Speaking at the Publisher’s Investor Day today, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot laid out his plans for the upcoming years as he ran down a list of changes that have transpired over the years in the gaming industry. We bring you some of the most important takeaways from the complete transcript as the gamer who lives at the receiving end of the decisions made.
1. The gaming industry has stabilized over the past few years to a much more profitable business. For all the talk of disruption in the industry, the Ubisoft CEO believes the industry has become a more stable place to earn a buck in recent years. In the same aspect, the publisher also plans to grow revenues by 60% over the next three years with a fairly multiplayer-centric focus on gameplay.
2. Speaking of the multiplayer-centric push forecasted for the gaming industry, the publisher said that it is transforming its traditional organization into a live operations model so that it can deliver the sort of multi-year service that drives engagement, and is also making “a strong push on multiplayer-centric games.” It is already evident in games like Rainbow Six Siege, For Honor, and The Division, but Guillemot also confirmed that the as-yet unannounced new AAA IP the publisher is working on for its 2017 fiscal year will also be driven by multiplayer as well.
3. Players addicted to one single game have profited over the years thanks to the development of the industry from making “fire and forget” games to establishing at least “year-round services over multiple years”. Significant point here being the revered company going from no direct contact to construct a path for constant direct contact between them and the players. Explicitly being put throughout these sentences, Ubisoft’s investors recognise the fact that what used to be a hit-driven and cyclical business is now a more recurring and dependable source of revenue.
4. Dependability being a rather major factor among gamers and publishers, Ubisoft proudly announces how it has created that with the increased level of interaction and engagement between them and the players over long periods of time. And capitalizing on that, Ubisoft CEO lays out his plan to grow revenue by a rather ambitious projection of 60% which would bring profits to almost €2.2 billion by the end of its 2018-2019 fiscal year. Transforming its traditional organization into a live operations model is apparently the top priority for them, as they want to deliver the sort of multi-year service that drives engagement.
5. Other few key takeaways from the entire pitch would be how Ubisoft wants to widen their audience and raise awareness of all their franchises. Ubisoft also announced their unorthodox plans of achieving the above said goals by generating them from beyond their transmedia operations; by taking on promotion through theme parks and more consumer products. First step in this direction would be the company announcing their partnership with Scholastic to create a new young adult book series based on their IP, namely Assassin’s Creed, and it being called ‘Last Descendants’. First book launches this September, with the second following in January 2017.
Lastly, Guillemot also addressed the future of the debacle series that is Assassin’s Creed. With last year’s annual release of this IP garnering mixed reviews and disappointing attention, after having confirmed that the franchise will be taking the year off this time and committing to a plan visioning its return next year, Guillemot wouldn’t commit to the series becoming an annualized franchise once again. “The goal is not to automatically come back to an annual cycle, but to come back on a regular basis,” Guillemot said. “We can’t say every year.”