Ubisoft CEO on Access Programs: “I Think It Makes the Publisher More Important in the Player’s Mind”
When it comes to an EA Access-esque subscription service possibly extending to other big companies, Activision has come out and said, “Once those models are proven, we’ll pursue them if we think it makes sense for our players and for our business.” But what about Ubisoft, another big third-party developer?
I think it makes the publisher more important in the player’s mind. Often, people are only interested in one brand from a publisher, so they don’t look for other brands. When you buy into something like Access, you can try other things for free and discover other things you like. It’s a way to make sure gamers can get more info on what we do and the diversity of our portfolio.
He then compared the idea of publisher subscription programs to television channels:
When you look on your console, you have many channels and you want that diversity. Instead of saying everything’s in one place, we can say ‘Okay, try these channels: EA, Ubi, Activision.’
Despite his positivity around a subscription service, Guillemot wouldn’t confirm if there were doing it. And as for the company not participating in PlayStation Now yet, he said, “We are still in the process of studying what it can do. We are open to any way that can give players access to our games. It has to work well and be a smooth experience.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Guillemot touched upon third-party exclusives in the wake of the Rise of the Tomb Raider timed-exclusivity deal, saying:
For Ubisoft, it’s more complex to do that kind of thing, especially on big franchises. You have to make sure your fans can access the games they really want to play. Sometimes they can’t afford to buy different consoles, so [exclusivity] needs to be considered carefully.
Would you want to see Ubisoft adopt a subscription service? Or do you only find yourself playing one of Ubisoft’s franchises?