Reports of a new Ubisoft subscription service – seemingly entitled Ubisoft Pass – has leaked ahead of E3 2019. Although the listing was promptly removed from the Ubisoft store, posters at ResetEra managed to snap a screenshot before the item was removed. VG24/7 also reported that a Ubisoft subscription category had also been added to the Ubisoft website, but that too has now since been deleted.
As Ubisoft does not currently offer any subscription services, it’s widely speculated that the service may mirror that of Electronic Art’s EA Access, which offers early or exclusive access to demos, betas, and new releases, as well as providing digital access to a ‘vault’ of games from EA’s extensive back catalogue. Given the Ubisoft Pass sighting also included the term “premium”, it’s likely the subscription service will be tiered, offering different services depending upon the subscription cost.
Alternatively, as Gamespot quite rightly asserts, it’s possible the leak could be indicative of a new Ubisoft streaming service. Ubisoft’s CEO, Yves Guillemot, has talked openly about streaming and cloud gaming in the past, saying in the company’s most recent financial report: “These major changes [in the video game industry] will be driven in large part by the growing success of console and PC franchises on mobile and the advent of cloud gaming. The latter will allow for, among other things, appealing multi-screen offerings and the creation of amazing new experiences that make use of unprecedented technological capacities. A clear indicator of the future scale of this transformation is how an increasing number of platforms are competing with one another to obtain quality content and access to communities of engaged players.”
In response to requests for comment, Ubisoft said: “We do not comment on rumors or speculation.” We’ll likely find out more at Ubisoft’s upcoming E3 2019 press conference, scheduled for 9pm (UK/BST) on Monday, June 10th.
Ubisoft recently reported another record financial year, revealing the company will be “speeding up [its] investments in teams and studios in order to support the Group’s growth” over the upcoming financial year.
In its full FY19 fiscal report, the developer/publisher shared a 17 per cent hike in net bookings – rising to €2,029 million – and revealed that non-IFRS operating income was up 49 per cent to €446 million. Furthermore, the company revealed it had out-performed estimates for digital, PRI (player-recurring investment such as DLC and microtransactions) and back catalogue sales, “confirming the increasingly recurring profile of Ubisoft’s business”. In just a year, PRI spend has jumped from 28 per cent of net bookings to 31 per cent, and the company anticipates even stronger revenue this year.