Ubisoft Will no Longer Sell DLC That Affects The "Full Game Experience"

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Ubisoft Will no Longer Sell DLC That Affects The "Full Game Experience"

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Ubisoft's VP of live operations Anne Blondel-Jouin says the company will no longer sell DLC that "gamers have to buy for the full experience".

Got some really good news today for games everywhere: Ubisoft VP of live operations Anne Blondel-Jouin has told Gamesindsutry.biz that the company is dramatically changing its DLC policy following the success of Rainbow Six: Siege. Essentially, Ubisoft will no longer sell DLC that affects the "full game experience," and future Ubisoft DLC will be strictly limited to cosmetics that do not alter gameplay.

"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," explained Blondel-Jouin.

She spoke of Rainbow Six: Siege as the biggest catalyst for this change. All new maps for the shooter were released for free to all players, and the only DLC involves customizing existing and purchasing new characters.

"The way we monetise Rainbow Six is that people are happy about the new characters, and they can customise them with weapons and charms, but even if they don't do it, they will have the exact same experience of the other gamers," she added.

"[DLC should be] just an extra piece of revenue for us, which comes from gamers being happy. If gamers were not happy, we would not ask for that extra money."

Free DLC seems to be more and more prevalent these days. All of Titanfall 2 and Overwatch's maps are also released as free updates, in an effort to avoid splitting the player base.

Source: Gamesindsutry.biz

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I'll believe it when I see it. Ubisoft is not exactly known for being consumer friendly, though.

Siege released with 20 operators and has since added 8 new operators. The 20 original operators unlock for between 500-2000 renown, escalating with each operator you unlock from the same unit, and you gain between 100-350 renown per match, depending on if you win or not. In comparison the DLC operators are 25,000 renown each, but unlock automatically for season pass holders. That's roughly 125-150 matches to play to unlock one, with each match taking 10-30 minutes. If we assume 130 matches at 15 minutes each that's 32,5 hours player to unlock one of those 8 DLC operators. Or, if you will 280, hours to unlock all 8, on top of the 15-30 hours needed to unlock all the original operators and the attachments to all your operators gear.

I mean, it is technically free, but the price point is obviously set-up so that you won't be getting all DLC operators without a massive investment of time. I like Rainbow Six: Siege and I find its' DLC plan to be rather benign (since the original 20 operators provide you with plenty of options if you don't want the DLC), but playing over 300 hours to get the "full experience" seems a lot like DLC that blocks off the full game experience to anyone but the most ardent follower (I've played R6:S consistently since July and have some 120 hours logged).

Steven Bogos:
"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," explained Blondel-Jouin.

This still sounds like they can strip out story based content, to repackage as extra missions if they so desire.

Sounds like the replacement of DLC with microtransactions.

Guess we'll have to see how it unfolds.

Zulnam:
Sounds like the replacement of DLC with microtransactions.

Guess we'll have to see how it unfolds.

As long as it's really only cosmetic crap, I would be fine with that.

Steven Bogos:

"The way we monetise Rainbow Six is that people are happy about the new characters, and they can customise them with weapons and charms, but even if they don't do it, they will have the exact same experience of the other gamers," she added.

This is logically impossible. If you change anything in a game, then it's not the same experience anymore.

And yet Watch Dogs 2 just launched with extra missions as preorder bonus. Truly cosmetic, right ubisoft?

Probably should've stated that she only meant multiplayer releases.
I'm surprised they let out a statement like that at all, because they are guaranteed to break that promise in one way or another.

Queen Michael:

Steven Bogos:

"The way we monetise Rainbow Six is that people are happy about the new characters, and they can customise them with weapons and charms, but even if they don't do it, they will have the exact same experience of the other gamers," she added.

This is logically impossible. If you change anything in a game, then it's not the same experience anymore.

The changes she's talking about are purely cosmetic, nothing changes in the mechanics of the game. Therefore the gameplay experience remains the same.

OT: I quite like the RS:S model of DLC. The major updates, the maps, the operators and all the weapon mods are all free, and only the weapon/player skins cost any real-world money. Ok, the DLC operators are a *lot* more expensive than the regular operators (at 25k renown each), but between Skull Rain (the last DLC) and Red Crow (the new DLC) being released I've clocked up in excess of 70k renown allowing me to buy and fully equip the two new operators and still have a healthy chunk left over.

Gethsemani:
Siege released with 20 operators and has since added 8 new operators. The 20 original operators unlock for between 500-2000 renown, escalating with each operator you unlock from the same unit, and you gain between 100-350 renown per match, depending on if you win or not. In comparison the DLC operators are 25,000 renown each, but unlock automatically for season pass holders. That's roughly 125-150 matches to play to unlock one, with each match taking 10-30 minutes. If we assume 130 matches at 15 minutes each that's 32,5 hours player to unlock one of those 8 DLC operators. Or, if you will 280, hours to unlock all 8, on top of the 15-30 hours needed to unlock all the original operators and the attachments to all your operators gear.

I mean, it is technically free, but the price point is obviously set-up so that you won't be getting all DLC operators without a massive investment of time. I like Rainbow Six: Siege and I find its' DLC plan to be rather benign (since the original 20 operators provide you with plenty of options if you don't want the DLC), but playing over 300 hours to get the "full experience" seems a lot like DLC that blocks off the full game experience to anyone but the most ardent follower (I've played R6:S consistently since July and have some 120 hours logged).

I agree with most of what you say, but the renown per match you've quoted seems to be the amount you get for Terrorist Hunts and casual online matches. Playing ranked matches nets you around 600 to 1000 renown per match in my experience, which greatly increases the speed at which you can afford the full roster.

Amaror:
And yet Watch Dogs 2 just launched with extra missions as preorder bonus. Truly cosmetic, right ubisoft?

I'm not sure they're capable of travelling back in time for that one.

Xsjadoblayde:

Amaror:
And yet Watch Dogs 2 just launched with extra missions as preorder bonus. Truly cosmetic, right ubisoft?

I'm not sure they're capable of travelling back in time for that one.

It/this still rather smarts, given their fairly horrid pre-order/season pass policy for it is one of the main reasons I'm reluctant to toss money at Ubisoft (for the first time since Child Of Light, I think) for what looks like a pretty decent game (distinguished by its non-sociopathic/non-psychopathic lead and options for non-lethal progression).

Darth Rosenberg:

Xsjadoblayde:

Amaror:
And yet Watch Dogs 2 just launched with extra missions as preorder bonus. Truly cosmetic, right ubisoft?

I'm not sure they're capable of travelling back in time for that one.

It/this still rather smarts, given their fairly horrid pre-order/season pass policy for it is one of the main reasons I'm reluctant to toss money at Ubisoft (for the first time since Child Of Light, I think) for what looks like a pretty decent game (distinguished by its non-sociopathic/non-psychopathic lead and options for non-lethal progression).

Oh definitely, it is a welcome change as long as they stick to it. It's just that it doesn't seem that simple to go back and amend a game that has already been released and sold with all the dizzying editions. One could hope they would (especially as I only have the vanilla edition hehe!), but this is only the first mention of such an idea, so I'm not expecting much.

Grouchy Imp:

Queen Michael:

Steven Bogos:

"The way we monetise Rainbow Six is that people are happy about the new characters, and they can customise them with weapons and charms, but even if they don't do it, they will have the exact same experience of the other gamers," she added.

This is logically impossible. If you change anything in a game, then it's not the same experience anymore.

The changes she's talking about are purely cosmetic, nothing changes in the mechanics of the game. Therefore the gameplay experience remains the same.

It's not the same. Cosmetics may not be a part of your experience, but they clearly are a big part of other's experience given the widespread love for character customization and other graphical changes through costumes, mods, etc. While I personally find more enjoyment through a game's mechanics and gameplay to be the most important part of a game, the way people have deemed gameplay as the only important thing to game and everything else is expendable to excuse sanctioning off of certain kinds of content for microtransactions/DLC is disingenuous to games as an audiovisual medium.

But hey, if we're going to go down that route let's just ship the game with simple placeholder graphics and sell the actual finished graphical assets as "cosmetics". I mean it's all cosmetic so it should be fine, right?? Hell, you know what's also "cosmetic" and "optional" to game? Story. I wonder how many people would be okay with a game shipping without actual narrative to engage the player and only directing the player through bland instructions, while the actual story and characterizations of a game that dresses up those objectives was some "story DLC". It's just story and doesn't affect gameplay so it's fine, right?

Can I have an example where a Ubisoft game does sell DLC that negatively affects the Full Game Experiance to those that does not have it?

Of course they won't.
They will change the label of the same DLC and sell it as "Expansion" packs.

ShakerSilver:

Grouchy Imp:

Queen Michael:

This is logically impossible. If you change anything in a game, then it's not the same experience anymore.

The changes she's talking about are purely cosmetic, nothing changes in the mechanics of the game. Therefore the gameplay experience remains the same.

It's not the same. Cosmetics may not be a part of your experience, but they clearly are a big part of other's experience given the widespread love for character customization and other graphical changes through costumes, mods, etc. While I personally find more enjoyment through a game's mechanics and gameplay to be the most important part of a game, the way people have deemed gameplay as the only important thing to game and everything else is expendable to excuse sanctioning off of certain kinds of content for microtransactions/DLC is disingenuous to games as an audiovisual medium.

But hey, if we're going to go down that route let's just ship the game with simple placeholder graphics and sell the actual finished graphical assets as "cosmetics". I mean it's all cosmetic so it should be fine, right?? Hell, you know what's also "cosmetic" and "optional" to game? Story. I wonder how many people would be okay with a game shipping without actual narrative to engage the player and only directing the player through bland instructions, while the actual story and characterizations of a game that dresses up those objectives was some "story DLC". It's just story and doesn't affect gameplay so it's fine, right?

I think you've gone a bit overboard with your examples there. We're not talking about whether or not a game ships without a main campaign line, we're talking about whether the player's gun is cobalt or brushed aluminium. The former clearly affects how everyone experiences the game, while the latter really only affects how an individual player experiences the game. I play RS:S fairly regularly, and I can tell you with all honesty that you can't really tell at a distance if a player has a weapon skin or not. Ok, if they kill you you can see in the kill-cam that their weapon was painted a different colour, but you really can't tell otherwise. I wasn't saying that people don't get enjoyment from customising their inventories, I was merely pointing out that a weapon skin has no mechanical effect on the game - it doesn't make the gun fire faster or more accurately, it doesn't reduce recoil etc, therefore the flow of the game is unaffected regardless of how individually stylized the avatars are.

This conveniently comes after the launch of WD2...which has so much ripped-from-the-game DLC that you have to pay just to get a god damn extra difficulty mode.

Seriously? That counts as DLC now? Frickin' difficulty modes?!

It works pretty well, and the Season Pass they've offered alongside Siege has worked well - I'm definitely getting Season 2 of it.

And you get the maps for free, which are the big thing; yeah, saving on Operators is nice, but of the 8 they've released in a full year, only Blackbeard could've been said to have been "necessary" for enjoyment; all the others were just nice options that weren't required.

Grouchy Imp:
I agree with most of what you say, but the renown per match you've quoted seems to be the amount you get for Terrorist Hunts and casual online matches. Playing ranked matches nets you around 600 to 1000 renown per match in my experience, which greatly increases the speed at which you can afford the full roster.

Seriously? I've played quite a lot of ranked in the previous season and even there I only see a modest increase of 50 or so per loss (for 150-200 renown for a loss) and about 100 for a win, for 350-450 for a win. Terrorist Hunts yield about 100-150 renown, depending on type.

Paragon Fury:
And you get the maps for free, which are the big thing; yeah, saving on Operators is nice, but of the 8 they've released in a full year, only Blackbeard could've been said to have been "necessary" for enjoyment; all the others were just nice options that weren't required.

Valkyrie is also considered S-tier and is generally considered an absolute must for high ranked play. Which means that the Season 2 operators are the ones that stand out as incredibly useful. Of the remaining 6, the Canadian and Brazilian operators are good but situational and the Japanese ones are poised to both take their place along Douchebeard and Valkyrie in the top tiers of rankings, due to the extreme utility their abilities offer.

Gethsemani:

Grouchy Imp:
I agree with most of what you say, but the renown per match you've quoted seems to be the amount you get for Terrorist Hunts and casual online matches. Playing ranked matches nets you around 600 to 1000 renown per match in my experience, which greatly increases the speed at which you can afford the full roster.

Seriously? I've played quite a lot of ranked in the previous season and even there I only see a modest increase of 50 or so per loss (for 150-200 renown for a loss) and about 100 for a win, for 350-450 for a win. Terrorist Hunts yield about 100-150 renown, depending on type.

Get better :)

Gethsemani:

Grouchy Imp:
I agree with most of what you say, but the renown per match you've quoted seems to be the amount you get for Terrorist Hunts and casual online matches. Playing ranked matches nets you around 600 to 1000 renown per match in my experience, which greatly increases the speed at which you can afford the full roster.

Seriously? I've played quite a lot of ranked in the previous season and even there I only see a modest increase of 50 or so per loss (for 150-200 renown for a loss) and about 100 for a win, for 350-450 for a win. Terrorist Hunts yield about 100-150 renown, depending on type.

For the most part I'd say that we saw easily a doubling, sometimes even tripling of the renown earned when my friends and I switched from casual to ranked. I think the extended rounds per match, plus the increased likelihood of close-fought matches due to the ranked system tends to help towards the bigger payouts.

That being said, Ubi have shaved the ranked round times down from four to three minutes with the new DLC in an effort to force attacking teams into quicker assaults, so I wonder if this reduced match time will translate into a reduction in ranked renown.

Grouchy Imp:
I think you've gone a bit overboard with your examples there. We're not talking about whether or not a game ships without a main campaign line, we're talking about whether the player's gun is cobalt or brushed aluminium. The former clearly affects how everyone experiences the game, while the latter really only affects how an individual player experiences the game.

Re-read what I wrote. I suggested shipping the game with the campaign and actual gameplay elements but only without the story that dresses up that gameplay. I mean does the antagonist's motivations or the romance between two characters actually matter to the game's mechanics and content? More often than not things like this are purely cosmetic elements. To many, gameplay is all they want and they don't really care for whatever story surrounds the tasks they are performing, and would probably be fine with a game shipping with just placeholder graphics and bare-bones objectives to engage them, then having back the story and graphical assets sold to them as "optional" DLC.

My point was that by saying that one kind of content is expendable to the money-grubbing content-sanctioning practices of publishers just because they don't have an effect on gameplay means that all other types of content of similar relevance to gameplay are fair game, regardless of how important they are to the individual person's experience. If you're okay with costumes and other graphical stuff being lopped off for DLC/microtransactions, why not just sell all elements of a game that don't affect gameplay separately?

Xsjadoblayde:

Amaror:
And yet Watch Dogs 2 just launched with extra missions as preorder bonus. Truly cosmetic, right ubisoft?

I'm not sure they're capable of travelling back in time for that one.

Why not? They could just give the dlc for free to everyone. Or they could fix it for the pc version which hasn't been released yet. Or they could have just executed their plans, which I can assure you have not been made today, before releasing Watch Dogs 2. But they didn't. Because they don't really care, they just want good publicity.

Now the question is are they going to still give you the offer to buy these dlc's with cash and allow you to purchase them with in game money, at a ridiculous rate, encouraging you to simply shell out real cash?

ShakerSilver:

Grouchy Imp:
I think you've gone a bit overboard with your examples there. We're not talking about whether or not a game ships without a main campaign line, we're talking about whether the player's gun is cobalt or brushed aluminium. The former clearly affects how everyone experiences the game, while the latter really only affects how an individual player experiences the game.

Re-read what I wrote. I suggested shipping the game with the campaign and actual gameplay elements but only without the story that dresses up that gameplay. I mean does the antagonist's motivations or the romance between two characters actually matter to the game's mechanics and content? More often than not things like this are purely cosmetic elements. To many, gameplay is all they want and they don't really care for whatever story surrounds the tasks they are performing, and would probably be fine with a game shipping with just placeholder graphics and bare-bones objectives to engage them, then having back the story and graphical assets sold to them as "optional" DLC.

My point was that by saying that one kind of content is expendable to the money-grubbing content-sanctioning practices of publishers just because they don't have an effect on gameplay means that all other types of content of similar relevance to gameplay are fair game, regardless of how important they are to the individual person's experience. If you're okay with costumes and other graphical stuff being lopped off for DLC/microtransactions, why not just sell all elements of a game that don't affect gameplay separately?

Well, as scary as that prospect is, I would hope in my naive way that story, worldbuilding and plot development were more integral to a game than you perhaps suggest. After all, a game without these things is simply a physics engine. I would suggest that plot, pacing etc are as much part of a game as bullet physics and hit-boxes, so I tend to think that they would be safe from the penny-pinching of publishers.

Incidentally, Ubisoft is also looking for ways to change the general definition of the term, 'Full Game Experience'.

Grouchy Imp:
I would hope in my naive way that story, worldbuilding and plot development were more integral to a game than you perhaps suggest. After all, a game without these things is simply a physics engine.

Divorce the actual contents of a game that the player interacts with from the story and characters that dress it up. This is what I'm getting at - it's all essentially cosmetic at a mechanical level.

Gethsemani:

Grouchy Imp:
I agree with most of what you say, but the renown per match you've quoted seems to be the amount you get for Terrorist Hunts and casual online matches. Playing ranked matches nets you around 600 to 1000 renown per match in my experience, which greatly increases the speed at which you can afford the full roster.

Seriously? I've played quite a lot of ranked in the previous season and even there I only see a modest increase of 50 or so per loss (for 150-200 renown for a loss) and about 100 for a win, for 350-450 for a win. Terrorist Hunts yield about 100-150 renown, depending on type.

Paragon Fury:
And you get the maps for free, which are the big thing; yeah, saving on Operators is nice, but of the 8 they've released in a full year, only Blackbeard could've been said to have been "necessary" for enjoyment; all the others were just nice options that weren't required.

Valkyrie is also considered S-tier and is generally considered an absolute must for high ranked play. Which means that the Season 2 operators are the ones that stand out as incredibly useful. Of the remaining 6, the Canadian and Brazilian operators are good but situational and the Japanese ones are poised to both take their place along Douchebeard and Valkyrie in the top tiers of rankings, due to the extreme utility their abilities offer.

Valkyrie is powerful, but was never on the level of BB is terms of being required.

The new Japanese Operators are good, but Hibana's gadget has a huge tell and is still Mute'able and Bandit vulnerable while both her weapons are hard to use.

Echo is good too but he is vulnerable to Thatcher and IQ and if he loses his drone he becomes a less effective Mute.

Paragon Fury:
Valkyrie is powerful, but was never on the level of BB is terms of being required.

Sure, previously the Beard was on a level of his own, with his transparent titan shield. With BB's huge shield nerf though, he was brought down from Godlike to merely very useful. That puts him in the same space as Valkyrie right now.

Paragon Fury:
The new Japanese Operators are good, but Hibana's gadget has a huge tell and is still Mute'able and Bandit vulnerable while both her weapons are hard to use.

I've found the Type 89 to be an absolute beast, on par with Twitch's F2 in terms of sheer spray potential, albeit with a shorter full auto duration. And while her gadget has a huge tell, it also provides a unique and ubiquitous ability to the team, in that she's one of two operators that can take out reinforced walls and the only one who can make several holes from multiple directions on her own at once. Thermite is still the better operator for breaching action, but Hibana's ability to make murder holes is very powerful and I don't think we've seen its' true potential yet.

Paragon Fury:
Echo is good too but he is vulnerable to Thatcher and IQ and if he loses his drone he becomes a less effective Mute.

I actually struggle to see Echo losing his drone to Thatcher unless Echo screws up or Thatcher does some really clever play. IQ is still a danger to it, but IQ needs some utility considering how mediocre her ability is (even after it got buffed). That Echo's MP5SD4 is a legitimately scary weapon helps him. Either way, my point was that both Hibana and Echo are poised to be more useful and more often picked than Frost, Buck, Caveira or Capitao. None of them are bad operators, but they all have abilities that are only situationally useful, whereas Echo and Hibana are likely to always find their abilities useful, much like BB and Valk does.

008Zulu:

Steven Bogos:
"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," explained Blondel-Jouin.

This still sounds like they can strip out story based content, to repackage as extra missions if they so desire.

This is exactly how I read it as well - I wouldn't get too excited, mission packs aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

ShakerSilver:

But hey, if we're going to go down that route let's just ship the game with simple placeholder graphics and sell the actual finished graphical assets as "cosmetics". I mean it's all cosmetic so it should be fine, right?? Hell, you know what's also "cosmetic" and "optional" to game? Story. I wonder how many people would be okay with a game shipping without actual narrative to engage the player and only directing the player through bland instructions, while the actual story and characterizations of a game that dresses up those objectives was some "story DLC". It's just story and doesn't affect gameplay so it's fine, right?

Sounds like a great idea. For example my computer generally can't run games on high graphic settings so I wouldn't bother buying 4k textures but only lower quality textures and probably not even bother with any form of shadows. I mean why pay for something I won't be able to use.

Games without stories are fine, they generally aren't that good anyways so if I can get the game cheaper without a story I would be fine with that.

HannesPascal:
Sounds like a great idea. For example my computer generally can't run games on high graphic settings so I wouldn't bother buying 4k textures but only lower quality textures and probably not even bother with any form of shadows. I mean why pay for something I won't be able to use.

Games without stories are fine, they generally aren't that good anyways so if I can get the game cheaper without a story I would be fine with that.

You misunderstand. The reason why I'm complaining about game makers fleecing content from games and selling it back to you is because they haven't made the base game cheaper and are charging you for content that's already part of the game. Unlockable cosmetics used to be a thing earned in games normally and available to everyone, now games are shipping with that content sanctioned off behind extra paywalls while the game still has the same retail price. My point was that if people are okay with that "cosmetic" stuff being cutoff and sold back to them, they would essentially be okay with other "cosmetic" content being treated similarly and developers/publishers further dipping from the same well.

From this day on, the DLC vital for the full-game experience will be pre-order exclusive and not available after the game's launch.

I cant' believe someone hasn't used this already. Oh well.

I'll believe it when I see it Ubi. Triple As have gotten so used to trying to fleece as much cash as they can using whatever ideas seem good to them at the time, damn what comes later. Besides, if Ubisoft does actually go this route, how long will they keep at it? I mean look at all the money these other companies are making, why do we have to suddenly make less of the money, we wants the money!

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