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Ubisoft Sets Their Sights On Digital Releases

Ubisoft held their Digital Days event recently and it showcased Ubisoft's drive towards developing digital-only titles.

Ubisoft has announced their intent to increase their stake in the digital-title market during their Digital Days event.  Alain Corre, EMEA executive director, announced the company's high ambitions as Ubisoft is hoping to reach a 50 percent share of the publisher's turnover within three-to-four years.

During this announcement, Ubisoft revealed several mobile and digital-only titles such as Child of Light, Trials Frontier and Valiant Hearts: The Great War to help them achieve their goal.  Child of Light and Valiant Hearts: The Great War are both planned for digital releases and Trials Frontier will be a mobile game that is designed to work with its digital counterpart, Trials Fusion.  

 

As a Trials fan, I am excited about a mobile version in Trials Frontier.

These titles will not be the triple-A releases that Ubisoft is known for, but shows Ubisoft's focus on games that they label "indie" and "mini-triple-A experiences." 

"It's more an indie mindset.  To do an indie game is not because you are independent, but it is also something that is about creativity and freedom," said Thomas Paincon, EMEA marketing director for digital publishing.

Ubisoft is also working on developing companion apps that will accompany the company's "triple-A" titles such as the open-world title, Watch Dogs.  Paincon said that companion apps for mobile devices and tablets can act as a gateway for casual gamers, and can even turn their free-to-play experience into them becoming a paying customer.

"We see that as an entry point to the universe.  Because again, right now we are talking about open world for triple-A.  The goal is through this open world we will have a different entry point.  And the goal is to make them as easy as possible," said Paincon.

This could be the strategy that helps Ubisoft expand into the digital world, and it means that triple-A titles will not be limited to just one console.  Triple-A titles will span several different outlets even those outside of gaming.

"It's more an indie mindset.  To do an indie game is not because you are independent, but it is also something that is about creativity and freedom," said Thomas Paincon, EMEA marketing director for digital publishing.

This strategy will also make triple-A titles more viable and cost-efficient for developers given the increasing cost of development, and could also draw more players through different means.

"Digital will represent a lot of different platforms.  We really believe that all the companion apps, all these second-screen features, will also be a lot more present here in the next year," said Paincon. "The next-gen is more digital than ever, so I think that a shift will arrive.  But it will not mean no retail, I don't believe in that.  I think it will always be based around retail.  If you take Minecraft at retail in the UK, they are doing amazingly well... I cannot see the future.  But you can see the frontier between digital-only and triple-A games is thinner..."

What is your opinion on Ubisoft's goal towards the digital gaming market?  Do you foresee them reaching their goal of a 50 percent share in three-to-four years? 

Published Oct. 22nd 2013

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