Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Ubisoft - Let's Apply F2P Type Models to $60 Games!

No, bad Ubisoft! Don't make me get the spray bottle!

In what really feels like a case of two steps forward, ten steps back, Ubisoft has recently gone on the record as saying that they're going to heavily adopt the free-to-play model ... even on games that are costing full retail price in the first place.

The company recently made these comments to VentureBeat:

There will be free-to-play on consoles,” Martinez said. “But in the future, with games like Watch Dogs, we could see more opportunity for $60 games to learn from the free-to-play model. The next generation will offer more and more item-based content,” Martinez. “This will benefit our games’ profitability.”

So, basically, you buy a game for $60, and then you still have a bunch of microtransactions to unlock stuff. In what world does this make sense? A free-to-play model is suppose to be one where the base game costs either next to nothing or nothing at all, and then gamers are often incentivized to buy items if they enjoy the game. Sometimes it does go beyond that with needing to buy new levels and actually unlock more content through paying, but when games are cheap it sort of makes sense and can be defensible. What Ubisoft is purposing here defeats the purpose of both the free-to-play and regular payment models by seemingly combining the worst of both worlds.

I've said this before about stuff like the term indie, but I'll say it again here: free-to-play is not a goddamn buzzword that you can apply to your games to make them magically sell better or be more well received by the public. Companies doing shit like this is what is going to drive any sort of credibility that a free-to-play model actually has into the ground and practically through the other side.

The most disappointing thing here is that Ubisoft had done well recently in getting rid of its insanely obtuse DRM and saying that in the future it will be a little more considerate of player's needs. With this announcement though, I cannot help but doubt the veracity of the later part of those statements. I know that game making is a business and that people have to be paid, but there are better ways. Come up with new ways to get people interested, and getting people to want to pay because the product you make is just that damn good.

Don't just go "hey, this model looks good, let's throw it on fucking everything forever!" because that's the way that otherwise feasible types of things like free-to-play quickly become reviled and hated by the community, to the point where no one wants to see them ever again.

EDIT: I have no idea why over half the text is showing up as pitch black. Hurrah blogger interface!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.