Ubisoft is changing its approach to downloadable content based on the success it has experienced through the multiplayer shooter Rainbow Six Siege. Moving forward, the game publisher will no longer offer paid DLC that it feels is necessary for players to fully experience a game.
“The key is if it’s not adding something on top of the actual experience of the game, then it is no good,” said Ubisoft’s VP of live operations Anne Blondel-Jouin in an interview with Gamesindustry.biz. “Because you’ll be asking for more money for the wrong reasons. Also, if the content is compulsory for gamers, it’s no good as well.”
Blondel-Jouin cites Rainbow Six Siege’s DLC model as one the company will use for all of its games moving forward. New maps and modes are available completely free, while weapons skins — similarly to many free-to-play games — are available through microtransactions. Characters can be purchased for real money, but they’re also available to acquire through regular play.
“It is just an extra piece of revenue for us, which comes from gamers being happy. If gamers we not happy, we would not ask for that extra money,” Blondel-Jouin added.
This is an approach that Ubisoft seemed to lean into with several of the Assassin’s Creed games, already. Assassin’s Creed III featured a non-canonical Tyranny of King Washington add-on, while Assassin’s Creed IV’s Freedom Cry expansion starred a separate protagonist.
What’s curious, however, is that Ubisoft — in an interview with the same publication — seemed to hold a much more positive view on downloadable “day one” content just two years ago. At the time, VP of digital publishing Chris Early said that “there was no resistance” when Ubisoft put “time saver” microtransactions into Assassin’s Creed IV, effectively making the game easier for those willing to shell out some extra cash. Whatever the reason for the change of heart happens to be, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.