Ubisoft said it has invested four times as much in premium games as in free titles.
The company’s first CEO, CEO Yves Guillemot, made a point of highlighting how Ubisoft shared its investments in its opening remarks during the publisher’s first-quarter earnings call Tuesday.
Its previous earnings call in May attracted a lot of coverage focused on pushing the company into the free-to-play market – so much so that Ubisoft released a follow-up statement stating that its investment in free-to-play play was not at the expense of its AAA production.
Guillemot returned to this topic near the top of Tuesday’s earnings call, when he compared Ubisoft’s current offer to claim a significant place in the free-to-play business with its previous efforts to enter new markets, including open world segments and live services.
“Ubisoft has demonstrated its ability to successfully enter new markets and segments in which it initially lacked competence,” he said.
“18 years ago, we learned new skills and finally became one of the leaders in open world games with Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, one of the most successful franchises in the industry.”
“10 years ago, we underwent another round of significant investment to become one of the best live service operators with The Division, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, For Honor, and The Crew.”
Ubisoft’s investments in free-to-play games began in earnest two years ago, on titles such as The Division: Heartland and the newly revealed Tom Clancy’s XDefiant.
But Guillemot said Tuesday that premium games still account for about 80% of Ubisoft’s investments.
“Our new investment phase, started two years ago, is the natural evolution of our commitment to building quality and depth in our portfolio for the benefit of our players. This will ultimately lead to a larger audience. and more recurring income, ”he said.
“First, about 80% of our current investments are aimed at significantly expanding our premium offering by expanding our larger existing franchises, building new IPs with a focus on player engagement and social interaction, and adding blockbuster licensed entertainment brands to our portfolio.
“Next, about 20% of our current investments are aimed at free-to-play, to expand the universe of our brands and bring them to a wider audience across all platforms including mobile, across all geographies emerging markets, and with multiplayer titles designed to always be green.
“Each of these premium and free projects is built to maximize the impact on the universe of their respective brand,” adds Guillemot.
Ubisoft chief financial officer Frederick Duguet said in May that the company believed the time was right “to come up with high-quality free games across all of our biggest franchises across all platforms”.
And he said on Tuesday’s phone call: “We started investing in free-to-play two years ago. This is a decision we made three years ago, so it hasn’t started moving forward, but we expect it to be a contributor. significant “.
Also Tuesday, Ubisoft provided a few additional details about Assassin’s Creed Infinity, which claims to be a massive online game that will evolve over time as a live service, and said it expects to surprise gamers. with the second year of content for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.