Ubisoft: ‘Get Comfortable’ With Not Owning Games

Ubisoft is one of those companies forcing a return to office

In a recent interview, Ubisoft’s Director of Subscriptions, Philippe Tremblay, spoke at length about the state of play in our increasingly digital global landscape. He laid out the present and future of streaming services, particularly covering the recent changes made to the Ubisoft+ service, which has undergone a slight rebrand.

In his words, ‘millions’ of users have flocked to Ubisoft’s cloud-based streaming service since it launched, and there are expectations that the number of users adopting these subscription-based models will swell as time goes on. He stressed that gamers should get comfortable with these services and that despite some users still clinging to physical games, a consumer shift ‘needs to happen’.

Digital Is The Future

In recent years, we’ve seen the concept of cloud gaming and subscription services explode. From PlayStation Now to Xbox Game Pass and from GeForce NOW to EA Play, it seems like there are countless services that you can pay a monthly fee for to unlock a host of ever-changing games. There are tens of millions of people – if not more – with multiple subscriptions, covering the field and gaining access to hundreds of titles.

Ubisoft recently amended its service – Ubisoft+ – with a slight rebrand. The core offering is now known as ‘Ubisoft+ Premium’ and it operates alongside other tiers, such as ‘Ubisoft+ Classics’, which gives players access to back-catalogue games – but nothing brand-new.

In the interview with GamesIndustry, Philippe Tremblay spoke about the usage of Ubisoft+ and how consumer trends have evolved:

There are multiple behaviours. There are definitely a lot of people who come in for one game and then decide to buy it after the subscription ends. That’s part of the reality and that’s ok with us.

He referenced the ‘tremendous value’ of subscription services, pointing out that subscribers of the Ubisoft+ Premium service get access to the latest games from the moment they’re released – and that typically means they’re getting the highest tier of that game, too.

There’s still room for more gamers to get on board, though, as Tremblay explained:

One of the things we saw is that gamers are used to, a little bit like DVD, having and owning their games. That’s the consumer shift that needs to happen. They got comfortable not owning their CD collection or DVD collection. That’s a transformation that’s been a bit slower to happen in games. As gamers grow comfortable in that aspect… you don’t lose your progress. If you resume your game at another time, your progress file is still there. That’s not been deleted. You don’t lose what you’ve built in the game or your engagement with the game. So it’s about feeling comfortable with not owning your game.

Soon, Ubisoft will onboard Activision Blizzard games to its subscription-based offering as part of the recent deal with Microsoft to acquire streaming rights for the games. Over time, subscription services are soaking up a staggering portion of revenue in the games industry – will this peak soon, or is the growth of these services persistently exponential?

For more Insider Gaming coverage, check out the news that GAME in the UK could stop trade-ins

  1. Yeah, no.

    I will not be told by publishers to get comfortable with not owning my games. I will always buy physical and if Ubisoft stop publishing physically then I will stop buying Ubisoft games, it’s that simple.

    There are millions of people who still prefer physical releases.

  2. Yeah, no. “That’s the consumer shift that needs to happen”, for you. Needs to happen for you so you can make more money doing the exact same thing Spotify does, underpaying the source and charging the user more and more as the practice becomes more acceptable. All the while reaping the benefits of not having to provide a consumer with any form of goods, purely services that you can deny them at any time with no repercussion, robbing the user of the kind of agency we’ve enjoyed for years with games we paid good money for.

    What happens if your servers are down? What happens if I’m playing a game you decide to take away? What if I want to revisit a classic but it’s not in your current library? What if I don’t have the internet? What if I want to mod or configure a game?

    Subscriptions and cloud gaming will always and should always be secondary to ownership.

    I am so goddamn tired of corporate execs, who give zero fucks about games, delivering less and charging the same. Constantly finding better ways to part you with your cash for less.

  3. I already bought very few Ubisoft titles. Now I won’t be buying any. Period… AND I’ll be sure to spread the word.

  4. Ubisoft won’t be getting my business if it’s online, streaming only. Straight up, I have a summer home I go to that is not connected to the internet – in the north of NH. If I cannot own a pysical copy, well, I will just not play that game. What men like Phillipe seem to forget is that not every person has access to the internet 365 days a year. Ah well, I will stick to games released through GOG and leave the streamers to their rental misery.

  5. This guy sounds like a complete jerk. There is no way I’m going to be comfortable with not owning my games, I’m not buying into this garbage.

  6. Movies on disc still make sense. Game discs became pointless a while ago because of all the updates, servers, and DLC. Half the games don’t work at all or are severely gimped without servers now. No point putting them on disc, and I hope they stop coddling the plastic hoarders. I really want all that code in a box garbage to end, along with Gamestop. That said, subscription services don’t make sense either, especially Ubisoft. By the time all the content for a game is actually released, the complete edition is like 60% off anyway, and that’s the only time I care about the games.

  7. I’m a steam user who hasn’t cracked a game in 15 years.
    That said, I hate that Ubisoft’s forcing me to use their launcher on Steam, and will NEVER use their subscription.
    Hope they get comfortable on going back on their bullshit, or I’ll make a point of cracking every Ubisoft game I want to play. Not supporting this shit piece of a company.

  8. I have very comfortably not purchased a Ubisoft game for the past decade. Their games are trash and I look forward to not purchasing anything from them in the future.

  9. They’re absolutely delusional

    The *ENTIRE* reason they took Rocksmith2014 Extended Edition out of stores is because their subscription-based-only Rocksmith+ tanked and their shareholders are mad.

    I’ve got over 2000 hours in Rocksmith2014 and they will not get a single penny from me for Rocksmith+ because of the fact that it’s sub only

    I have a very limited amount of room in my life for subscription services, and Ubisoft will never be one

  10. You have never owned your games. This is established fact. This is why every game, as well as every software program, comes with a license agreement. They can revoke your use of the software at any time and are not required to pay you back.

    You are renting the software. It has been this way since the invention of software and it will never not be that way. The only thing you actually own is the physical media it came on.

    I’m not really sure why people are freaking out over this sudden realization in recent years.

  11. Not a problem, I don’t buy Ubisoft games so he is right, I need to accept the fact that I will never own their games…and they will never own my money…

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