Ubisoft Wants To Funnel Gamers To Ubisoft Plus With Its Absurd Pricing Bundles

The company's upcoming titles are priced to make Ubisoft Plus appear like a good deal.

Story Highlights

  • Ubisoft’s pricing structure on its upcoming titles leaves a lot to be desired.
  • It really looks like an attempt to funnel as many players to Ubisoft Plus as possible.
  • The company’s head of subscriptions, Philippe Tremblay, even said as much in an interview.

Ever since Netflix hit the world by storm, the rise of subscription services has been rather unprecedented. Even the gaming industry has not been able to avoid this trend, with reportedly more than 30 million users of the Xbox Game Pass alone. While these services aren’t bad per se, problems arise when developers try too hard to push players towards the subscription model.

This usually entails racking up the prices of their latest titles. But recently, we’ve seen companies like Ubisoft push it even further. Its coming game, Assassin’s Creed Shadows locks special quests and items if you don’t opt for the more expensive editions. The “Gold” and “Ultimate” editions in this case, almost seem purposely inflated when it comes to their pricing, just to funnel players towards the monthly subscription instead.

Assassin's Creed Shadows Pricing Structure (via Ubisoft).
Assassin’s Creed Shadows Pricing Structure (via Ubisoft).

It’s hard to look at this image, and not immediately realize the option Ubisoft wants you to buy. Not only is the subscription option clearly defined with the more eye-catching colors, but it’s also placed right next to the more “valuable” edition. Customers are meant to think it’s the best option available when it might actually be the worst. Here’s why.

About the Author: Danish Bukhari has diverse experience in various RPG titles. With over 200+ hours played in games like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Elden Ring, he is uniquely knowledgeable on the subject.

Ubisoft Doesn’t Want You To Own Your Games Anymore

While this might seem like a stretch, let’s not forget what Philippe Tremblay, Director of Subscriptions over the company said earlier this year. During an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, he mentioned:

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. That’s a transformation that’s been a bit slower to happen [in games]. So it’s about feeling comfortable with not owning your game.”

Ubisoft almost seems like it’s on a crusade to get more people subscribing to Ubisoft Plus, and stepping away from actually owning the games they want to play. Much of this has to do with the fact that while the subscription model seems a lot cheaper than buying a title outright, it comes with several caveats. For one, you can’t guarantee permanent access to a title if it’s on a subscription service.

While you might get to play it for a month or two, there’s no saying that the game will still be available a few years from now. So unlike if you had already actually purchased a title, you won’t be able to play it if it gets removed from Ubisoft Plus. We’ve seen this happen a lot with Netflix, and its tendency to remove shows due to licensing problems. Players have even asked why is piracy theft if buying games doesn’t lead to ownership.

Is this likely to happen with the latest upcoming triple-A titles that Ubisoft is developing? Probably not. But it’s still a possibility, and any gamer who cares about longevity should feel a bit uneasy if they permanently plan on subbing to Ubisoft Plus.  There is also the problem of the service in general just being rather poor, with fans mentioning their poor selection of available games and high pricing as two big problems.

The Company Will Likely Keep Pushing These Absurd Models

Unless players learn to vote with their wallets, it seems unlikely that Ubisoft will back down from its aggressive pricing structure. Star Wars Outlaws was priced nearly identically too, complete with extra content for players who opt for the Ultimate Edition or the Ubisoft Plus subscription. So whether or not this really works, depends on the sales numbers of these games.

Why I stopped buying Ubisoft games and might even never play them again and I think you should consider that too
byu/whatyearisthisanyway inpcmasterrace

Ultimately, I think it’s fair to say that subscriptions should be available as an option for people who want them. But forcing players to opt for one, by purposely limiting the content they can get in-game to just the most expensive bundles, is an obvious attempt at greed. And the thing is, this trend won’t be unique to Ubisoft. Because more companies are sure to jump on the bandwagon if it becomes profitable.

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Danish is an opinion piece writer at eXputer who loves sharing his takes on the industry. He is a long-time PC gamer with a passion for delving into the discussion and discourse surrounding the titles that he plays. Often eager to jump right into the fold and formulate his take on the latest topics, his noteworthy presence on gaming forums, and keen insight help him understand the gaming community in a thorough manner. This helps him provide a more nuanced look into any topic or discussion.

Writes Opinion Pieces at eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Mass Communication.

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