Ubisoft Executive: Players Should Get Comfortable with Not Owning Games

"That's the consumer shift that needs to happen."

Image credit: Ubisoft | Assassin's Creed Mirage

Lately, the concept of owning (or rather not owning) games has been surfacing more frequently, and Ubisoft's name is strongly associated with the problem. Well, the company has something to say about it, and you probably won't like it.

In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Ubisoft's director of subscriptions Philippe Tremblay said that players should get used to not owning their games. 

Speaking about the Ubisoft+ subscription, Tremblay implied that having physical copies of games should be a habit left behind, just like with CDs and DVDs. Your progress is saved, so collecting discs shouldn't be a necessity.

"One of the things we saw is that gamers are used to, a little bit like DVD, having and owning their games. That's the consumer shift that needs to happen. They got comfortable not owning their CD collection or DVD collection. That's a transformation that's been a bit slower to happen [in games]. As gamers grow comfortable in that aspect… you don't lose your progress. If you resume your game at another time, your progress file is still there. That's not been deleted. You don't lose what you've built in the game or your engagement with the game. So it's about feeling comfortable with not owning your game."

He finds it reassuring to have games where you can always access them and thinks streaming works "really well" with subscriptions because you can pay when you need a game and stop when you don't.

These are predictable words from a director of subscriptions. The problem is players don't feel the same reassurance because this way, they lose the right to enjoy a title once they stop giving companies money or if they get banned for any reason. And Ubisoft is largely to blame.

I think the whole "not owning your games" panic peaked last year when a player found out their Ubisoft account was suspended for "inactivity," and rumors started spreading, making people fear for their purchases. Later, the company clarified that accounts with games avoid inactivity death, but the idea had already been planted: a company can cut you off from what you paid for.

Image credit: Ubisoft | Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

Tremblay doesn't have the same feelings about the situation and believes digital gaming is the future we should strive for. He admits that subscriptions left and right can be difficult to keep an eye on, but it's "part of the challenge we have as a subscription service, and we're embracing that."

"We're asking for a low commitment from gamers. We welcome them whether they want to stay a month or multiple months," he concluded.

Do you have a fear of not owning games? Read more about Ubisoft's perspective here and join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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Comments 2

  • Anonymous user

    Actually ridiculous. My mine craft was £30 instead of that i would have to play £1080 (based on 10 a month model)


    Anonymous user

    ·3 months ago·
  • Jamerson Alex

    The article's title is misleading since the Ubisoft exec doesn't exactly say 'customers should get comfortable...' From what is quoted, this 'director of subscriptions' is saying that a 'customer shift needs to happen' towards subscription services. That's not the same thing.

    Anyway, if you provide your customers with a service that they're willing to subscribe to, they will. But you must get to know what your customers needs are before you think you can make a product they're willing to subscribe to. I hope, for Ubisoft's sake, they're doing that.

    Maybe some games will work for that model - it basically already has in the past with games like WoW, Everquest, etc. I could see The Division or something going down this route.


    Jamerson Alex

    ·3 months ago·

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