Ubisoft Interested in EA Access-Like Program
When EA announced their EA Access subscription program for the Xbox One, you knew that it was a matter of time before another publisher decided that this was a good idea and took it for themselves. Naturally, it’s EA France- I mean, Ubisoft who are the first to express interest in the subscription model. In an interview at Gamescom, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot expressed interest in launching a Ubisoft version of the service.
In supporting the proposed Access model of service, Guillemot doesn’t talk about the potential revenue stream and stable revenue stream that a subscription model would provide. He’s more interested in the spin-off revenue that a subscription could provide.
He told Game Informer, “Often, people are only interested in one brand from a publisher, so they don’t look for other brands. When you buy into something like Access, you can try other things for free and discover other things you like. It’s a way to make sure gamers can get more info on what we do and the diversity of our portfolio.”
The implication of what Guillemot is saying is that he is looking for the additional new release revenue that would come from gamers trying new Ubisoft games. For example, someone only plays Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed games. With a Ubisoft subscription service, that person could try the Far Cry or Rayman franchises. When the next game in those franchises came out, they would be more inclined to buy those games at release if they’ve been drawn into those franchises at $5 per month.
Guillemot’s vision extends beyond just the Ubisoft plans for a subscription service. He envisions something closer to a cable TV plan saying, “When you look on your console, you have many channels and you want that diversity. Instead of saying everything’s in one place, we can say ‘Okay, try these channels: EA, Ubi, Activision.’”
While I don’t mind the idea of having access to extensive back catalogues for $30 per year (if we all go with EA Access pricing), there are plenty of issues. For example, what’s to stop a company with a subscription service from pulling digital sales of its back catalogue or only offering certain games through the subscription service. Will they be exclusive to only one platform like EA’s seeing as Ubi isn’t very friendly with PlayStation Now? Until Access starts laying out some concrete future plans and we see how it works in the wild, I get a little worried that a service like Access might not benefit the gamer in the long run.
Source: Game Informer