Ubisoft has moved to allay fears that it would be moving away from AAA games development following comments during the company’s most recent earnings call this week that it would be looking to expanding its free-to-play offerings to take advantage of an evolving market.
In a statement given to various outlets including Game Informer, an Ubisoft representative said “Our intention is to deliver a diverse line-up of games that players will love – across all platforms. We are excited to be investing more in free-to-play experiences, however we want to clarify that this does not mean reducing our AAA offering. Our aim is to continue to deliver premium experiences to players such as Far Cry 6, Rainbow Six Quarantine, Riders Republic and Skull & Bones to name a few while also expanding our free-to-play portfolio and strengthening our brands to reach even more players.”
During the initial presentation—which also revealed that Skull & Bones would be delayed into 2022/2023—Chief Financial Officer Frederick Duguet is reported to have said the company wanted to move away from the annual release schedule that Ubisoft had become known for, saying (as transcribed by Video Games Chronicle) “In line with the evolution of our high-quality line-up that is increasingly diverse, we are moving on from our prior comment regarding releasing 3-4 premium AAAs per year. It is indeed no longer a proper indication of our value creation dynamics.”
The first of these big-name pushes into free-to-play will be the recently-announced Tom Clancy’s The Division: Heartland for which the publisher is tasking Red Storm Entertainment to develop for PlayStation, Xbox and PC and aiming to launch sometime in 2021 – 2022.