Ubisoft exec criticized for saying gamers should get comfortable “not owning games”


A new interview has highlighted a quote from an Ubisoft executive claiming gamers should “get comfortable” with not owning games in order for subscriptions to succeed.

Philippe Tremblay, director of subscriptions at Ubisoft, talked about what needs to occur before subscription services such as Ubisoft+ Premium and Ubisoft+ Classics can take off.

“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,” Tremblay said. “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.”

He added, “I still have two boxes of DVDs. I definitely understand the gamers perspective with that. But as people embrace that model, they will see that these games will exist, the service will continue, and you’ll be able to access them when you feel like. That’s reassuring.”

I don’t have a crystal ball, but when you look at the different subscription services that are out there, we’ve had a rapid expansion over the last couple of years, but it’s still relatively small compared to the other models,” Tremblay said. “We’re seeing expansion on console as the likes of PlayStation and Xbox bring new people in. On PC, from a Ubisoft standpoint, it’s already been great, but we are looking to reach out more on PC, so we see opportunity there.”

The Ubisoft boss ended by saying “Streaming is also a thing that works really well with subscription. So you pay when you need it, as opposed to paying all the time.”

The argument between physical media and digital media has often been in favor for physical media amongst many online, as digital-only games are often excoriated for a number of reasons. If a digital-only game’s servers go down, then the game is likely gone forever, for example.

On top of this, games that are gotten digitally often have consumers under the threat of losing their games/account permanently should they say/type something in game that the developer doesn’t like. This is less likely with physical media, unless the game in question is an online title or requires a constant internet connection (as some single-player games do).

Naturally, many people on social media were not fond of the executive’s remarks:

Editor’s Note: Featured art is from THE IDOLM@STER MILLION LIVE! theater days


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