Ubisoft has decided to fully embrace the “games as a service” model of business. They intend to shift away from annual releases and instead will make money off microtransactions. Ubisoft had been gravitating to this business strategy for the last few years. According to CEO Yves Guillemot, they will “focus on longterm enagement with player communities” and will offer “new experiences and content.” In other words, Ubisoft will not have to spend as much money on developing new games. They will minimize expenses while still prying more money away from players. AAA games seems to want to embrace the free to play model except without the free part.
Ubisoft wants to go all in on these so called “live services.” This is not shocking considering how microtransactions and loot boxes have taken over the AAA industry. Ubisoft is looking to cut expenses despite record profits. The AAA industry is full of liars and always looking for new ways to force players to fork over more money. The relationship between publishers and players continues to become more contentious. The problem with this type of business model is if the player base drops off. If no one is paying for additional DLC and other in-game purchases, then Ubisoft will tank. The AAA industry could be ready to crash. Governments are looking crackdown on loot boxes and are closing in on the industry. This could easily backfire and I would be happy if it did. Thier comeuppance is right around the corner.