VIRTUALIZATION

Watch out Warzone and Fortnite: Ubisoft is coming after free-to-play

KAROL SEVERIN | May 17, 2021

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Ubisoft announced last week that it is adding specific focus on free-to-play, alongside its AAA catalogue. In doing so, it is following a route that has been very successful for Activision with its Warzone strategy.

Free-to-play games which draw audiences via big franchise names and monetise via in-game spending are going to be increasingly common among AAA publishers. The focus on in-game spending and particularly on the cosmetic, rather than the progress-related, parts will be the key revenue component.

As games become less finite and more perpetual (consumer goal is less about ‘finishing them’ and more and ‘playing/spending time in them’), the opportunity to monetise needs that stem from this perpetual engagement (e.g. socialising or expression) starts to outweigh the mere monetisation of access to a packaged product.  Simultaneously, free-to-play games also act as a powerful marketing driver for AAA releases as they come out, as well as streamability and word of mouth for the franchise.

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