Nov 8, 2013
Recently Ubisoft held a specific ‘Digital Day 2013‘, showing that they are set on a digital future for the company.
Alain Corre, the EMEA executive director, stated that within the next 3 to 4 years, he has set a goal for the company to create 50% of their profits from digital sales.
Valiant Hearts and Trials Frontier are amongst the games they wish to achieve this with, as they are digital only releases. But what does this show for the future of Ubisoft? Aside from their huge franchises such as Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs, they are also looking to provide smaller, indie-esque experiences for gamers everywhere.
Aside from this, they are also developing apps for future titles, such as the upcoming Watch Dogs. These are sure to provide extra income for the company somehow in the future, as well as establishing themselves within the tablet community, and providing a broad range of digital-onyl releases. As well as this, it can also introduce more casual gamers into Ubisoft’s arms, who will happily welcome them into purchasing their other titles. Rayman: Jungle Run has been a very popular title on smart devices, and it seems they could bring a number of similar titles to such devices, instead of the normal consoles.
The company have seen the results from titles such as Blood Dragon, which was a very unique add-on to the popular Far Cry 3. The indie world seems to have had a big influence on huge companies, as Ubisoft are learning that without constraints, something quite special can be created. Even Rayman: Origins and Legends has shown that when given the time needed, alongside freedom in creating a certain vision, the result is something marvelous.
Instead of merely releasing a title on PS4 and Xbox One, it appears the company are aiming to create an entire universe which interlinks, and tempts as many gamers as possible to get involved within the universes they create. The digital-releases on consoles also need to change somewhat, often releasing for £60 compared to the high streets £40, but if done correctly, this could remain a very good source of income, as internet infrastructure improves over the next-generation.
Many other developers could learn from Ubisoft. By taking the focus away from the huge titles that awaits an enormous sum of money, they are also ahead of the trend, as casual games are also entertain even the most hardcore of gamers. Small, budget priced indie games are becoming as popular as expensive mainstream titles, and so Ubisoft have learnt there is as much potential as a business venture, but also artistically. Alongside the digital downloads via Steam and their Machines, the future does look very digital. As the PC has already been rendered a digital gaming device, as disc-based games are now covered in dust, perhaps consoles are next.
In effect, it doesn’t seem that Ubisoft are just switching to digital. They are integrating digital aspects into their existing model. And that could prove very lucrative for them, alongside providing innovative experiences for the consumer.