Downloaded content and how it should be distributed has always been a topic of hot debate. Companies are often accused of cutting crucial features of their games and releasing them as DLC. Star Wars Battlefront is probably the worse example of such tactics but thankfully, EA learned from the backlash and redeemed itself with Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2.
Ubisoft, on the other hand, didn’t quite get the message until The Division came out and faced similar backlash. The good news is that the company is ready to change its monetization approach for its future games. According to Blondel-Jouin:
The key is if it’s not adding something on-top of the actual experience of the game, then it is no good. Because you’ll be asking for more money for the wrong reasons. Also, if the content is compulsory for the gamers, it’s no good as well. It is a way to deliver more fun to gamers, but they have a choice to go for that extra fun or not.
Jouin went on to say:
If I take an analogy of an amusement park, you can go through all the rides, but then you can also go to the shop to buy some food or merchandise or whatever… regardless of whether you spend in the shop, you’re still part of the whole experience. Nobody is making you buy if you don’t want to, but it is another way to have a different entertainment experience. If you’re with your kids, and there’s a toy you want to get, we will make sure it is an extra experience. It won’t be the case if you don’t buy it then you can’t do anything else.
It wouldn’t work if it was about making it compulsory for gamers. No more DLC that you have to buy if you want to have the full experience. You have the game, and if you want to expand it – depending on how you want to experience the game – you’re free to buy it, or not.
Ubisoft claims that people are happy with how the company is handling Rainbow Six DLC. However, the release with so little content and more was added later as both free and paid DLC.
The upcoming games like Wildlands and the next Assassin’s Creed should see a change in monetization stretagy from Ubisoft.