For many years, Ubisoft has been among a number of publishers many have accused of oversaturating the video game market with relatively similar experiences due to their use of a frequent release schedule. However, according to Ubisoft’s recently released 2017 Annual Report, the publisher may soon be abandoning this business practice.
Released on Monday, Chairman and CEO, Yves Guillemot introductory message within the Annual Report stated that in the future, the publisher would be moving more towards a business model that is less dependent on the constant release of new titles and more focused on building and maintaining communities surrounding the titles they do release.
Not only does this suggest a shift in focus to making more online-based experiences, but also a strong adoption of the games-as-a-service model. Quite simply, the reasoning behind this shift is that the publisher is able to profit more off titles that maintain active communities in the second year of release than titles that do not maintain active communities.
One such example mentioned by Guillemot’s message was Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, which was recently reported to have an active user base of around 25 million players despite having been released in December 2015. The reason so many players have continued to play the title (and thus influence others to pick up the game too) is the support the game has received over the past two years in the form of updates, events and new content.
It will be interesting to see if other publishers with massively popular online titles will decide to echo this decision in focusing less on pushing out new properties and more on maintaining a new title’s active community further into its life.