Ubisoft 'probably' adopting EA online model, five MMOGs in development

Publisher looking to monetize used game sales, will likely charge $10 for online features unless players purchase their titles new.

Last week, Electronic Arts took the wraps off its Online Pass program, which will require gamers wanting to play online multiplayer titles to purchase their games new or pay $10 to unlock those features on games borrowed, rented, or purchased used. Today, the first of the publisher's competitors indicated it would be following suit.

The next Assassin's Creed will feature online multiplayer, but Ubisoft might charge extra for gamers who buy it used.

In a post-earnings conference call today, Ubisoft CFO Alain Martinez answered an analyst's question about monetizing used games, saying, "We are looking very carefully at what EA is doing regarding what we call 'the $10 solution,' and we will probably follow that line sometime in the future."

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot then added that the system for such a solution was already in place. The publisher has been including downloadable content codes with new games since last year but has to date only used them to grant access to retailer-specific bonus features. Martinez also noted that "most" of the publisher's games next year would have downloadable content available from launch.

Elsewhere in the call, the executives went deeper into their online plans. They said that Ubisoft has five "massively multiplayer online light" or free-to-play games in development, including MMO takes on Trackmania and Might and Magic. Additionally, the publisher will be focusing more on high-quality games for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network and is planning downloadable offerings for use with the upcoming Project Natal and PlayStation Move peripherals.

Going beyond the console space, Martinez and Guillemot also said the company is more closely examining Facebook. The publisher is considering the social service not just as a potential platform for new games, but also as a way to promote its brands. Ubisoft has used the service in lieu of traditional press releases for such recent announcements as the recent delay of R.U.S.E.

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Discussion

348 comments
Jebril
Jebril

While from a legal perspective, this is technically since they are advertising features that come within the box purchased new and one of those would not be online multiplayer now. It is incredibly greedy and stupid. The used car makes all the sense in the world, a lot of people are unwillingly to buy a game they are going to have to stick with especially if it's half reared. (you know the word), just like with a used car no one wants to buy a car that will be incredibly difficult to sell to other people if you don't happen to like it after a week of playing it. And how will this affect renting games? They better pray Blockbuster still carry's their stuff if they are gonna pull this off without giving em' extra codes and what not. All in all this idea is silly and all it really will do is lower their overall sales and boost piracy. Which is fine by me, I want these companies to go bankrupt, people are worried that if they go bankrupt other people won't replace em'. But that's a joke lol, if there's a demand, there will be a supply that's known in the laws of economics. Even if EA, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Microsoft, and Sony all went bankrupt quality games would still be released with or without them. They are just an illusion to fill our void for video game needs.

KieLork
KieLork

Boycott this :/ that's stupid. Now they are going to attempt to get money from used game copies unless it's bought brand new... wow game companies are getting low. First DLC (Games without ALL the content almost forcing you to pay more then cover price to actually enjoy the game) now this?

ppg4all
ppg4all

wow 10 bucks i beetter buy it new

Ausutorarisu
Ausutorarisu

When Gamer A pays for his new game, he is the godxdamned owner. The developers has sold game earned money. That's it. The second hand market involves Gamer A and Gamer B as the seller and buyer respectively. Where is the role of the developers??? No. They wanna forbid second hand market? Just stick a "no resale" label outright! But will they reduce price for it? I doubt it.

Ausutorarisu
Ausutorarisu

golgo28, what a genius. Perhaps you work for them. Perhaps you are a mental. If you are this noble, promise never to buy second hand games or borrow them. You side with the wolves, your brilliant choice.

BlackSnake123
BlackSnake123

What?We have the right to buy used games,and they don''t have the right to charge us for buying the used games, this is illegal. action should be taken or else this greedy companies will charge us even for button mashing.

golgo28
golgo28

all of shut up,because they should charge u for mp if u buy used.why the hell should only retailers make money on used games.just because most of you are too cheap to buy games new.how about you whiners go get a job.

pukmok
pukmok

Do they not realize that if the multiplayer is not awesome, people won't pay. I play 3/15 of my games online and that's it. Assassin's Creed 2 multiplayer? Pshhh

FattyxBread
FattyxBread

Watch one day there will only be 10 people playing :). 5 including Game Masters. Thumbs up if you agree.

Xbox360Gamer15
Xbox360Gamer15

I always buy my games used...i just wont play the mutiplayer...they are putting in a 15 hour single player in it...no mutiplayer for me.

elancion
elancion

Oh We're Not Gonna Take It no, We Ain't Gonna Take It oh We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore we've Got The Right To Choose And there Ain't No Way We'll Lose It this Is Our Life, This Is Our Song we'll Fight The Powers That Be Just don't Pick Our Destiny 'cause you Don't Know Us LOL, shouts out goes to Twisted Sister

the_hunger
the_hunger

As long as I don't have to log in or pay extra for the single-player mode or content, I don't care about online. Still, I'm waiting for a lawsuit that will finally make it illegal for developers and publishers to try to kill the secondary market in used games.

oKiRe
oKiRe

Hope this method blows up in their face.

Teyon
Teyon

Instead of punishing the end user for buying a used game, they should find a way to cut into used game sales at the retailer level. If retailers have to pay a set amount on used games sold (a separate sku to be scanned perhaps for tracking?) than everyone wins. The pubs get their money, the retailers get their money and the end user gets a functional game without having to shell out extra. Afterall, the user can't be blamed for buying a used game if it's the retailer providing the game as used. When do we start punishing the people selling instead of the buyer?

oskuuu
oskuuu

I just thought whats gonna happen if people really start paying from this rip off; for example I go to flea market and buy music cd for couple €'s, I start listening it and after 3 tracks music stops and there's an announcement: u just listened the silver edition of Ozzy Osbourne's Black Rain, send us 10 €'s and unlock the gold edition, we'll send u the secret code to download the rest 7 exiting songs... the whole idea just creeps me out x(

oskuuu
oskuuu

I hate to pay from live already; and u expect me to pay more? seems like i won't be playing anything online soon. "Downloadable content available from launch" nice what a rip off. Oh and downloadable offerings (read "useless waste of hdd space") are just stuff that they didn't put in the game, so they could give it to us later as so-called free dlc :(

Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

Never really cared about ubi's online stuff anyways.

pudgexd
pudgexd

Ubisoft will fail sooner or later with tactics that outrage gamers. Want to sell more copies of your game?? -Make sure the game is not sooooo SHORT -Multiplayer must be fun with updates/patches -Good replay value and countless gaming hours = More people will buy Just look at Blizzard Warcraft/Diablo/SC !!!

wahyudil
wahyudil

as long as they don't force us to be online for playing offline ... I'm fine with it ...

MatzeEdend
MatzeEdend

NOBODY should adopt a model that is made by EA... that's just asking for people to hate you.

Muteki_X
Muteki_X

Ah well, looks like the single-player/spiltscreen driven games will continue to get more and more of my business. Just like I have since my cousin's Atari and my NES, I will continue to enjoy offline gameplay.

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

Looks like I 'probably' won't be playing any online Ubisoft games in the future.

gunners4
gunners4

Yes this is mad!!!!!!!!!

lock445
lock445

That sucks... I buy almost only used games for consoles. It's only once this model reaches Activision when this will really sink in. EA? You've got MOH, some other FPS's I guess. Ubisoft? Splinter Cell. Activision? COD, now Halo and more FPS... that's when it's really going to hurt.

jamesm7786
jamesm7786

get the vaseline, the video game industry is here to collect!

Flint247
Flint247

Wow, I can't believe this.

DAMSOG
DAMSOG

@StarWatchers I only the car industry as an example of investment vs return, I'm sure the car industry doesn't design cars to break down to get a return on parts! What I am getting is that these companies EA/UBI etc have taken notice of the surge in online gaming and want a slice, anyway they can. Personally I dont buy used games but if I did I certainly wouldn't pay a fee to play them online. Due to the number of angry gamers who have posted their disgust at this move I dont think I'm alone in my opinions!

Flint247
Flint247

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

X-RS
X-RS

really hate this. i dont pay for lots of dlc, cuz you cant do anything with it later (sell, lend, etc.), but games still get released. WRONG! this trash fee, plus your live fee (for xbox gamers), plus the dlc chapters they release gradually, plus the locked content = RIPOFF! for the love of god please make it possible to buy a game at a FIXED solid price and play it online. if its 10 each game, thats nuts. 10 a year aint so bad, but come on people, find other strategies to make profits aside from online taxing.

StarWatchers
StarWatchers

@DAMSOG and everyone else. I believe in your argument about this really passionatly but you need to understand the car buisness before using it as an example.. things always go wrong with cars and parts arn't cheap so they make alot of money from the sale of new cars but also make money from used cars by selling the parts needed to repair these older versions if they break down.

dRuGGeRnaUt
dRuGGeRnaUt

I would honest have to say that if they gave their games more replayibility people would keep them. I STILL have my Diablo2 warchest and have been play it for 6+ years(actually still playing it quite abit) and on Open B.net last night there were 67,000 people playing Diablo2 LOD online. Show me ONE console game(other than halo:) that has people still playing on line after almost ten years. But these 8 hour single player games, what good are they? Where this hurts the games market is in two ways: 1. I recently got Alan Wake. The only way I could afford this right now was by trading in two games(ODST was one of them). If I couldn't do this, I would not have got the game. otherwise, I would have to wait till it dropped to the $30 price range. So not only are they missing out on 50% of the full game price, those sales don't come in the first 2 months either, so there "earning reports" will show a LARGE lack of games bought. 2. Online multiplayer count: Companies always tout their numbers of people that have played online. How many of these people are buying used or borrowing a game from a friend? How many people that bought the (ugh) MW2 Stimulus package bought the game used?

otakubr
otakubr

i live in brasil here the games that in US cost 50 bucks i have to buy for 252 reais or 125 dolars how do they expect to avoid piracy in my country? and further for a 360 or a ps3 you pay 1000 dolars for the top version (elite and slim)

GOR_TAK
GOR_TAK

Piracy will increase unprecedentedly because of this, mark my words. A lot of honest console owners, who live on a budget and buy games used (to offset the industry's obscene over-priced fixing) will now turn to modded consoles to avoid paying ridiculously high used prices + the new online fee. An incredibly stupid way for greedy companies to stick it to their consumers. How about you developers just price your games reasonably in the first place? If games were only $20-$30, more people could aford them new and fewer people would turn to piracy.

360hammer
360hammer

@ wills_b Activision / Infinity Ward lawsuit is easy to explain. IW created a game Activision promised bonuses and after the game broke records the devs didn't get their bonuses. There is nothing about high sales giving devs more money. It comes down to working for a publisher who is going to take care of you or take advantage of you. As for the loss of used game sales yes you'll see an increase in cost and devs working more hours for less money. People tend to forget that for the past 20 years games have cost the same. I paid $60 for Zelda back in the day. Without used games there will be nothing to keep prices stable, nothing to compete with. Why is it that every consumer product has resale? You think it exists just because people sell their stuff?

AzelKosMos
AzelKosMos

I can't write what I truly think regarding this matter as it's against GS's TOS. Lets just say I am highly against this idea and depending on how this goes may end up scrubbing two companies from my potential game list. It's like EA takes one step forward two steps back...

jivemaster
jivemaster

Why should a 2nd hand user be able to use the servers? Because it's still the same freaking copy of the game. It's not a pirated copy. Owners have just changed hands. The previous owner can't use the service anymore. WTF is the problem with these companies?!? Are you banking on us getting bored of your game and leaving it on the shelf? Heaven forbid someone else may get pleasure from playing a game someone else has owned before. How is this any different from a hardcore user still playing the game in 6 months time, as opposed to someone getting bored with it in 1 month, and handing it over for someone else to use? Here's an idea - make good games we actually want to keep. Get a life. It's just a freakin' game. Lucky I have no interest in Ubisoft and EA titles.

wills_b
wills_b

@360hammer And I would love you to explain how "The disappearance of the used market means more slave labor ( your precious devs), less quality games at higher prices." Yeah, get rid of the 2nd hand market and games will get worse, and more expensive. How exactly?

wills_b
wills_b

@360hammer Before you flame and tell me to get a clue, I suggest you do the same. With regard to your comment that developers make no money from sales, how do you explain the Activision/Infinity Ward lawsuit, where Infinity Ward are claiming that they are due sales revenues from MW2. Or is that their salary? I am not saying that more money to developers will be charitably put into developers pockets and the production of better games, I am making the point that if games like AC2 sell 9mil copies, and result in a $54mil loss, no one will bother to make them in the future, and you'll be playing your free online version of peggle. Woo.

UnderSeven
UnderSeven

Coming from ubisoft and EA this doesn't surprise me. Focusing on ubisoft these guys have been dirty bastards for a while. They provide really awful online play servers, have you ever tried to play might and magic online? I've never gotten it to work personally and their support was useless. They cripple their games with DRM's. They develop whatever they want (Taking the stealth out of splinter cell). I would pretend this move matters, but I've already more or less decided not to buy ubisoft based on previous actions of theirs. If this became an industry wide trend however some other company would find a way around it, the fact is no one wants to pay 60 dollars for new games all the time, esp. if they only have between 6 to 12 hours of content.

UbiquitousAeon
UbiquitousAeon

Ubisoft can go **** themselves. First the draconian DRM on their PC games, now this. I'm going to avoid buying their products for now.

Altaireed
Altaireed

Ubisoft go FY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

acer_062
acer_062

Why can't they just keep it simple and reduce the price of new games by $10 and then charge $10 dollars for unlocking online content - whether the game is new or used.

collingtonuk
collingtonuk

Its a money making exercise and an attempt to kill the second hand market. The 'maintaining servers' lie does not hold any water, the vast majority of on-line games on consoles (if not all) are locally hosted so cost them NOTHING to maintain. The initial costs of the product are represented in the sale price paid new which covers profits for the developers too, that game has no more overheads for them at all. EA particularly have made a speciality of 'updated' games like fifa tigerwoods and so on that are basically the same as the last version with minor tweaks, those sales rely on people trading in their older copies to get the new one. If the old version is suddenly worth less because of the extra $10 fee it will effect the sales of the new version as people will not be able to afford it. Left hope EA and the others are badly burn by this new money making scheme.

DAMSOG
DAMSOG

@scuffpuppy are you for real? Could you please tell us what other industry expects profits from products that are sold second hand? Dont give us that bullsh#t about developers loosing out, what about car companies that pour literally millions into delevopment of their products, do they expect a return if their product is resold ten years later, NO. Your argument lacks any credibility and quite frankly isn't fooling anyone here.

liam82517
liam82517

So from what Im seeing here the morons are out in force on this one. Lets attach their line of thinking to say used cars. I buy a car for 10000 then after a few years I trade it in for a new car now I only get back some of what I played because the car is old and newer models are out. The place I trade the car into sells my old car on after adding on a 1000 or so to make some profit. So by moron logic the company that made my car just lost a sale and should there for include a gas pedel that attaches only to the persons foot that bought the car originally and if someone buys it 2nd hand they need to pay another couple of grand to get a new foot pedel... right?....right?

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

oh look some ones actually blaming nintendo for this hahah , epic fail , ea was the first to come up with this idea of makin used game buyers pay 10 more , youd pay 5 more then new buyers buying it used what a rip off , guess ill wait til walmart drops prices now , lol looks like i have n o choice thanks to ea thq and ubi , , except for wii games of course as most of them have no online feature

acsam12304
acsam12304

@ZedX-14Pilot and by your reading skills it looks like u were never thought anything. im surprise you can even read at all. and btw i was born here you f-ing moron. your the f-ing joke around here i never called gaming companys criminals. i said they dont have the right to call US criminals. and u AGAIN misread what i said again.i said we as people work long hours during the day in offices, or work hard breaking your back with hard labor to earn money to even play a game thats a rip off price to begin with. and they will want to charge us with more money after buying a game. and so your saying i dont own the game at all? so what im renting from them? or they are letting me borrow the game but i have to pay for it right? you do own the games licence and just so happens you tell me to read the EULA why didnt you post it up on here for all of us to read? oh wait i forgot you live in a wisky tango tralar cuzin-F-ing park, where your IQ is close to a rat that was ran over by a car, who was born from a mother who cant even count to 1 or say her get passed the letter C when saying the ABCs. where the only real news in your place is when someone has a nose bleed. but then again trying to talk to you is like talking to a wall