What Ubisoft Executive’s Suggestion on Game Subscriptions Could Imply

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What Ubisoft Executive’s Suggestion on Game Subscriptions Could Imply

Ubisoft executive has said gamers need to be comfortable with not owning their games. What does this mean for the future of game subscriptions?


The Ubisoft director of subscriptions Philippe Tremblay stated that gamers need to get comfortable with the idea of not owning their games. This statement was made on gaming subscriptions and expansion. But the comment has spread and been taken out of context all over social media. The Ubisoft executive, along with other game publishers have been under fire over the comment.

But what did the Ubisoft executive mean?

In his statement with Gamesindustry.biz, Tremblay explained that people are now used to not owning CDs or DVDs of shows, movies, and music. The digital subscription services handle the user’s data just fine. Tremblay insists that gamers will eventually become habituated to not owning physical copies of their games. He thinks this shift needs to happen to make game subscriptions more sustainable.

Tremblay points out that subscription services will save the player’s progress. Even without a physical copy, gamers can access their gaming data through services like Ubisoft Plus.

Limitations of subscription-only games

It’s unnecessary to state that games are quite different from shows, movies, or music. These media are widely available on legal subscription services as well as illegal streaming platforms. But for games, they need to be downloaded from safe and regulated spaces.

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It is not guaranteed that a game that is available only on subscription platforms will always be accessible. For example, Grand Theft Auto was removed from the Xbox Games pass. Games can be taken off subscription services and the gamer won’t be able to recover from the loss of data.

Tremblay’s comparison of subscription expansions to digital media subscriptions opens up another topic. For music, movies, and shows, people may have multiple accounts for multiple services. One show may be exclusive to just one platform. While digital media subscriptions may be affordable, gaming subscriptions might not. Many gamers may not be willing to subscribe to more than one service to play all their games. This mindset alone might lead to piracy.

What is the future for game subscriptions?

It’s easy to see the appeal of digital game ownership. You save up on storage and a little bit of money. But subscription only games still have numerous limitations. A gamer might simply prefer to have a physical copy of their favorite game. It is a hobby for many people to collect different volumes of games and keep them displayed. Digital ownership does not allow such joy.

The subscription pattern has worked out great for various media publishers. Market value for popular services such as Netflix, Spotify, and Hulu keeps varying. The gaming market has subscription services such as Xbox Games Pass, Ubisoft Plus, and PlayStation Plus.

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Gaming subscriptions are a popular choice already as reportedly 52% of players use digital subscriptions. It is an advantage to have a large library of games digitally accessible. But for now, there are limitations. These limits make it seem like a complete shift to subscription games may still be a distant goal. But it is possible to leap into subscription games only and leave behind owning physical games.

There will always be a group of people who prefer to own a physical copy. These people might see it as a hobby instead of a necessity. The digital vs physical game library debate might always be prevalent. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of preferences.

What Ubisoft Executive’s Suggestion on Game Subscriptions Could Imply
The Old One
When he's not sighing at sub-standard teammates in Dota 2 and CS2, The Old One is writing about those two games (among other things). If you see his name around the site too many times for your liking, well, the guy just never stops writing. Yes, we've tried an intervention.