Welcome to The Gaming Street Podcast, hosted by Steven Wong and Olivia Da Silva, where we discuss the business of video games. This week’s episode delves into Ubisoft’s decision to delay three of its AAA titles in 2020, whether the free-to-play revenue model may soon go into decline, and the industry’s trend toward video game subscription services.
Ubisoft delays Watchdogs: Legion, Rainbow Six Quarantine, and Gods & Monsters amid disappointing revenues
Ubisoft president and CEO Yves Guillemot announced that three key games – Watchdogs: Legion, Rainbow Six Quarantine, and Gods & Monsters – will be delayed from their early 2020 release schedule to the next fiscal year. The decision was made due to the disappointing Ghost Recon Breakpoint and The Division 2 sales, and was done to give the upcoming games more time to be fully polished. Nevertheless, Guillemot expressed pride in not using “pay-to-win” monetization methods, which players would revolt against. We examine the potential impact these delays on Ubisoft’s reputation and whether they’ll help the company recover from the expected shortfalls.
Is the free-to-play model sustainable for mobile games?
Although free-to-play games play prominently into the mobile gaming boom, user acquisition and conversion costs have steadily risen over the years. Game developers need paying players to spend about $35 each just to break even, which is an unsustainable system for all but the biggest developers in the space. How soon will this boom start turning into a bust?
Subscription services may be the future of gaming
Microsoft took its Xbox Game Pass service to the next level with the launch of Xbox All Access, where members sign up for a two-year Xbox One console lease-to-own program that includes a path for upgrading to Project Scarlett – the next generation of the Xbox console. Could this program lift sales of the Xbox One, especially given how the console is entering the final year of its lifecycle? More importantly, what will the future of gaming look like if it is divided into multiple subscription services run by publishers such as Electronic Arts, Microsoft, PlayStation, and others?
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