Not too long ago, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot took to the company’s investor relations to talk to investors and keep them up to date on all things Ubisoft. Well, during that call, Guillemot claims that the French company has no pay-to-win elements in their games.
Website gamesindustry.biz wrote up a piece on Ubisoft’s IR call and highlighted some interesting stuff. Firstly, Guillemot was asked if he is worried that gamers are starting to “rebel against more aggressive monetization” in games.
Guillemot feels that Ubisoft’s gains in live-service revenue over the last few years are not linked to “aggressive increases in microtransactions,” but rather “improved revenues from existing games” and the “rise in player engagement.”
Guillemot goes on to explain Ubisoft’s philosophy on monetization and how they earn money through live-service mechanics:
“When we are able to create events that bring people to stay longer in our games, they are spending money in our games from time-to-time. What we consider is that in bringing a high-quality experience, we can increase the revenue per game, knowing that this is because we created more content on a regular basis.
In the case of Ghost Recon, our philosophy is for the player to play the full game, 100%, without having to spend money. We have no pay-to-win elements in our games, and what we can say there is that [this is] the philosophy we have for all our games, but it has to be linked to more events, more content for players to play longer.”
I bet you are thinking, “Didn’t Ghost Recon: Wildlands have post-launch microtransactions?” Yes, the game did, and here’s what Guillemot had to say about that:
“These items were designed as an optional way for players arriving later to the game (post-launch) to catch up with those who have been playing for longer and enjoy our co-op and challenging end-game experiences. These time-savers have since been removed from our store for now.”
Website Games Industry makes mention that the game (Ghost Recon: Wildlands) still sells weapon blueprints, attachments, and vehicles with real money that applies to PvE and PvP portions of the game.
Moreover, Games Industry focuses on another call on whether the critical backlash against Ghost Recon: Breakpoint (aside from the glitches) was related to the existence of the microtransactions at launch. Guillemot offers his take:
“On live games like Ghost Recon Wildlands, we already had a store and people were buying items on the store. What we did was give more options at the beginning of Breakpoint. We understand it has been seen as too big a store and that it was really not appreciated at all, but it came from the fact that players were spending time in the store and buying things in Wildlands, and our teams thought they could give them the opportunity to have more choice. Which has not been well-interpreted, but that was the goal.”
In summary, Guillemot feels that Ubisoft wasn’t trying to nickel and dime customers across their games, but offer gamers more “choices” through the company’s “non-pay-to-win” live-service. In other words, it was all about the shekels.