Ubisoft To Lean Away From AAA Games, Focus On Free-To-Play

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Ubisoft logo

Speaking to investors on an earnings call Tuesday, Ubisoft CFO Frederick Duguet said the company no longer wants AAA games to be the focus of their business model.

“We said for a number of years that our normal template is to come with either three or four AAA games, so we’ll stick to that plan for fiscal 2022,” said Duguet on the call. “But we see that we are progressively, continuously moving from a model that used to be only focused on AAA releases to a model where we have a combination of strong releases from AAA and strong back catalog dynamics, but also complimenting our program of new releases with free-to-play and other premium experiences.”

Duguet specifically mentioned an Assassin’s Creed mobile game developed specifically for China alongside Chinese mega-corporation, Tencent, who have a large stock holding in Ubisoft. According to Duguet, mobile games make up about 9% of Ubisoft’s total business, but they are hoping to expand in the years following 2022.

“In fiscal 2022, we will continue our evolution from a AAA release-centric model toward a model where AAA stands alongside new premium and free-to-play innovative experiences across platforms,” said Duguet. “These diverse experiences will feed on each other through complementary gameplay and business models.”

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot later on the call explained that older games still account for a meaningful percentage of the company’s recent earnings.

“We are continuing to move toward an increasingly pronounced recurrence of our revenues on the back of growing audiences,” explained Guillemot. “Therefore, we expect our highly-profitable back catalog to account for an even larger share of our business going forward.”

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