Most games publishers are dipping their toe in the tempting waters of free-to-play gaming, but Ubisoft is diving in with both feet.
The publisher has invited press from across Europe to its Digital Days event in Paris today, where the firm is showing off its blockbuster free-to-play line-up – headlined by established brands with the previously announced Ghost Recon Online and a new Assassin's Creed title.
Assassin's Creed: Utopia is the result of a collaboration between Ubisoft and Japanese mobile gaming giant GREE. The iOS and Android title sees players creating colonies in 16th Century America and using their settlement's wealth to fund and grow an assassin's guild – laying the foundations for next month's Assassin's Creed III.
The game will be free to download, but players will be able to accelerate their progress by buying items that boost their colony's production, new fighters to defend it and weapons to make them stronger.
Assassin's Creed: Utopia is due for release on iOS and Android later this year.
Elsewhere, the publisher showed off new IP – most notably, The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot. This title is the first free-to-play game to be developed by Ubisoft's acclaimed Montreal studio – known for creating the Assassin's Creed, Splinter Cell and Far Cry titles, as well as the surprise hit of E3 Watch Dogs.
This PC game challenges players to create a trap-laden castle to protect their treasure, while raiding castles designed by Ubisoft and other players to increase their wealth.
That such a high-profile studio is working on free-to-play projects is indicative of Ubisoft's determination to make its mark on the sector. Also present at the Digital Days event were Silent Hunter Online, Anno Online and Might & Magic Raiders – all of which bring popular Ubisoft brands into the F2P space.