After the big reveal of Ubisoft + Premium, an interview with the company’s Director of Subscriptions revealed how the company sees the future of physical media, claiming that people will get used to it “like everything else”.
The gaming industry has been full steam ahead on streaming services over the past few years. Services like Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Plus and NVIDIA GeForce Now have taken the industry by storm, offering libraries of titles for a monthly fee. Ubisoft has recently revealed its new Ubisoft + Premium service, and on the heels of the reveal, the Director of Subscriptions has made some interesting claims regarding a ‘gaming digital future’ to GamingIndustry.biz.
Ubisoft’s Tremblay first compared gaming to other forms of entertainment, mentioning how consumers have become comfortable with other forms of digital media using a “rental” model like a subscription service. He then said, “One of the things we saw is that gamers are used to, a little bit like DVD, having and owning their games. That’s the consumer shift that needs to happen. They got comfortable not owning their CD collection or DVD collection,” referring to the paradigm shift of consumers no longer owning their media.
Tremblay went on to say, “That’s a transformation that’s been a bit slower to happen [in games]. As gamers grow comfortable in that aspect… you don’t lose your progress. If you resume your game at another time, your progress file is still there. That’s not been deleted. You don’t lose what you’ve built in the game or your engagement with the game. So it’s about feeling comfortable with not owning your game,” in a statement that seems to be Ubisoft’s plans with their new subscription model.
The gaming industry has been rocked by numerous games delisting from digital storefronts. PlayStation has also removed some media from the PS Store as well on December 31, 2023, effectively removing the ability of a buyer to redownload their already purchased media due to “licensing issues”, and consumers who have purchased these items can no longer use them. Ubisoft’s very own The Crew title appears to be suffering the same fate on March 31.
This is an ongoing development from Ubisoft, and they have notably not made any remarks just yet to clarify the nature of Phillippe Tremblay’s claims about how customers ‘need’ to ‘shift’ to “no longer owning their media,” but this isn’t the first time Ubisoft has found themselves in hot water over the past year, so we will update readers with developments as they happen.