Ubisoft has developed and published games with the same formula for the last several years: create a massive open-world single-player campaign that is ripe for sequels. The Rainbow Six franchise has been no exception to their formula until they released Rainbow Six Siege. The game released on December 1, 2015, and since then, the studio has cranked out three seasons of content, including new maps and agents as well as bug fixes and performance improvements. According to Ubisoft VP of Live Operations Anne Blondel-Jouin, this is all part of Ubisoft’s plan to deliver games as a service.
Our idea with games as a service is to deliver not only the AAA games we’re used to delivering at Ubisoft, but also AAA services so that each time a gamer connects to our game, they’re having quite a different experience and want to spend as much time as possible [playing].
We want to make sure we’re as gamer-centirc as possible, meaning everything related to the games–gameplay, game design, marketing, PR, community development, community management–all of that is very much linked to the global gamer experience. We’re making sure everything we’re pushing to gamers is in line with the experience we want to deliver to them with the game.
It’s possible that Rainbow Six Siege won’t be the only game to become a service. She went on to say how they’re looking for ways to not create sequels for established games each year.
Instead of looking at developing one sequel, one opus per year, we’re looking at delivering content on a much more regular basis, but smaller content which is more focused on what the gamers are looking for.
She also talked about how the dev teams need the gamers to be a part of helping them fine tune the finished product, but she was quick to say that that doesn’t mean they should release a beta under the guise of a finished product.
I’m not saying we should be releasing an unfinished product, but I think it’s a relationship we’re building with the gamers. The more they know the game, the more they understand it and the more we understand the way they’re playing the game, the better the experience we can provide them with. We adapt. We’re doing little tweaks, and we can only do that when the gamers are part of it.
Ubisoft obviously wanted to do something similar with The Division, and perhaps The Division will pick up speed as time goes on. After all, Blondel-Jouin also mentioned in this interview that despite the rocky launch of Rainbow Six Siege, the game has more daily active users than it did at launch and the numbers are steadily increasing. As they continue to push the eSports aspect of the title, they’re sure to keep the numbers steady.