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Ubisoft has confirmed that it's stepping away from its previous strategy of releasing a handful of premium AAA titles a year. Now, the publisher will adopt a new approach that favours on "high-end free-to-play" titles from its biggest franchises.
The company updated investors on its new strategy during an earnings call on Tuesday (thanks, VGC). Ubisoft chief financial officer Frederick Duguet explained some of the reasoning behind the change.
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"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," Duguet said.
"It is indeed no longer a proper indication of our value creation dynamics. For example, our expectation for Just Dance and Riders Republic are consistent with some of the industry's AAA performers. Additionally, we are building high-end free-to-play games to be trending towards AAA ambitions over the long-term.
"This is purely a financial communication evolution and doesn't change the fact that we continue to expect a high cadence of content delivery including powerful premium and free-to-play new releases."
On Twitter, one of Ubisoft's senior analysts clarified that the company's output is "expanding" rather than outright changing. In other words, Ubisoft hasn't fully abandoned releasing premium titles like Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Far Cry 6 - there'll just be a greater mix of free-to-play and premium content.
We've already seen the beginning of this new approach. Last week, Ubisoft announced The Division: Heartland, an original free-to-play title set in The Division universe that's expected to launch in 2022 for PC and consoles. No doubt this is just the beginning, with Heartland paving the way for free-to-play spinoffs of everything from Assassin's Creed to Far Cry.
It is my dearest hope that this new approach finally finds time for Rayman again. I've really missed that weird little dude.
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