Ubisoft Will no Longer Sell DLC That Affects The "Full Game Experience"

Steven Bogos

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Jan 17, 2013
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Ubisoft Will no Longer Sell DLC That Affects The "Full Game Experience"

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Ubisoft's VP of live operations Anne Blondel-Jouin says the company will no longer sell DLC that "gamers have to buy for the full experience".

Got some really good news today for games everywhere: Ubisoft VP of live operations Anne Blondel-Jouin has told Gamesindsutry.biz [http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2016-11-22-no-more-dlc-that-gamers-have-to-buy-for-the-full-experience-ubisoft] that the company is dramatically changing its DLC policy following the success of Rainbow Six: Siege. Essentially, Ubisoft will no longer sell DLC that affects the "full game experience," and future Ubisoft DLC will be strictly limited to cosmetics that do not alter gameplay.

"No more DLC that you have to buy if you want to have the full experience. You have the game, and if you want to expand it - depending on how you want to experience the game - you're free to buy it, or not," explained Blondel-Jouin.

She spoke of Rainbow Six: Siege [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/tag/view/rainbow%20six%20siege?os=%20rainbow%20six%20siege] as the biggest catalyst for this change. All new maps for the shooter were released for free to all players, and the only DLC involves customizing existing and purchasing new characters.

"The way we monetise Rainbow Six is that people are happy about the new characters, and they can customise them with weapons and charms, but even if they don't do it, they will have the exact same experience of the other gamers," she added.

"[DLC should be] just an extra piece of revenue for us, which comes from gamers being happy. If gamers were not happy, we would not ask for that extra money."

Free DLC seems to be more and more prevalent these days. All of Titanfall 2 and Overwatch's maps are also released as free updates, in an effort to avoid splitting the player base.

Source: Gamesindsutry.biz [http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2016-11-22-no-more-dlc-that-gamers-have-to-buy-for-the-full-experience-ubisoft]

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Gethsemani_v1legacy

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Siege released with 20 operators and has since added 8 new operators. The 20 original operators unlock for between 500-2000 renown, escalating with each operator you unlock from the same unit, and you gain between 100-350 renown per match, depending on if you win or not. In comparison the DLC operators are 25,000 renown each, but unlock automatically for season pass holders. That's roughly 125-150 matches to play to unlock one, with each match taking 10-30 minutes. If we assume 130 matches at 15 minutes each that's 32,5 hours player to unlock one of those 8 DLC operators. Or, if you will 280, hours to unlock all 8, on top of the 15-30 hours needed to unlock all the original operators and the attachments to all your operators gear.

I mean, it is technically free, but the price point is obviously set-up so that you won't be getting all DLC operators without a massive investment of time. I like Rainbow Six: Siege and I find its' DLC plan to be rather benign (since the original 20 operators provide you with plenty of options if you don't want the DLC), but playing over 300 hours to get the "full experience" seems a lot like DLC that blocks off the full game experience to anyone but the most ardent follower (I've played R6:S consistently since July and have some 120 hours logged).
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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Steven Bogos said:
"No more DLC that you have to buy if you want to have the full experience. You have the game, and if you want to expand it - depending on how you want to experience the game - you're free to buy it, or not," explained Blondel-Jouin.
This still sounds like they can strip out story based content, to repackage as extra missions if they so desire.
 

Zulnam

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Sounds like the replacement of DLC with microtransactions.

Guess we'll have to see how it unfolds.
 

Janichsan

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Zulnam said:
Sounds like the replacement of DLC with microtransactions.

Guess we'll have to see how it unfolds.
As long as it's really only cosmetic crap, I would be fine with that.
 

Queen Michael

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Jun 9, 2009
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Steven Bogos said:
"The way we monetise Rainbow Six is that people are happy about the new characters, and they can customise them with weapons and charms, but even if they don't do it, they will have the exact same experience of the other gamers," she added.
This is logically impossible. If you change anything in a game, then it's not the same experience anymore.
 

Amaror

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And yet Watch Dogs 2 just launched with extra missions as preorder bonus. Truly cosmetic, right ubisoft?
 
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Queen Michael said:
Steven Bogos said:
"The way we monetise Rainbow Six is that people are happy about the new characters, and they can customise them with weapons and charms, but even if they don't do it, they will have the exact same experience of the other gamers," she added.
This is logically impossible. If you change anything in a game, then it's not the same experience anymore.
The changes she's talking about are purely cosmetic, nothing changes in the mechanics of the game. Therefore the gameplay experience remains the same.

OT: I quite like the RS:S model of DLC. The major updates, the maps, the operators and all the weapon mods are all free, and only the weapon/player skins cost any real-world money. Ok, the DLC operators are a *lot* more expensive than the regular operators (at 25k renown each), but between Skull Rain (the last DLC) and Red Crow (the new DLC) being released I've clocked up in excess of 70k renown allowing me to buy and fully equip the two new operators and still have a healthy chunk left over.

Gethsemani said:
Siege released with 20 operators and has since added 8 new operators. The 20 original operators unlock for between 500-2000 renown, escalating with each operator you unlock from the same unit, and you gain between 100-350 renown per match, depending on if you win or not. In comparison the DLC operators are 25,000 renown each, but unlock automatically for season pass holders. That's roughly 125-150 matches to play to unlock one, with each match taking 10-30 minutes. If we assume 130 matches at 15 minutes each that's 32,5 hours player to unlock one of those 8 DLC operators. Or, if you will 280, hours to unlock all 8, on top of the 15-30 hours needed to unlock all the original operators and the attachments to all your operators gear.

I mean, it is technically free, but the price point is obviously set-up so that you won't be getting all DLC operators without a massive investment of time. I like Rainbow Six: Siege and I find its' DLC plan to be rather benign (since the original 20 operators provide you with plenty of options if you don't want the DLC), but playing over 300 hours to get the "full experience" seems a lot like DLC that blocks off the full game experience to anyone but the most ardent follower (I've played R6:S consistently since July and have some 120 hours logged).
I agree with most of what you say, but the renown per match you've quoted seems to be the amount you get for Terrorist Hunts and casual online matches. Playing ranked matches nets you around 600 to 1000 renown per match in my experience, which greatly increases the speed at which you can afford the full roster.
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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Amaror said:
And yet Watch Dogs 2 just launched with extra missions as preorder bonus. Truly cosmetic, right ubisoft?
I'm not sure they're capable of travelling back in time for that one.
 

Darth Rosenberg

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Xsjadoblayde said:
Amaror said:
And yet Watch Dogs 2 just launched with extra missions as preorder bonus. Truly cosmetic, right ubisoft?
I'm not sure they're capable of travelling back in time for that one.
It/this still rather smarts, given their fairly horrid pre-order/season pass policy for it is one of the main reasons I'm reluctant to toss money at Ubisoft (for the first time since Child Of Light, I think) for what looks like a pretty decent game (distinguished by its non-sociopathic/non-psychopathic lead and options for non-lethal progression).
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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Darth Rosenberg said:
Xsjadoblayde said:
Amaror said:
And yet Watch Dogs 2 just launched with extra missions as preorder bonus. Truly cosmetic, right ubisoft?
I'm not sure they're capable of travelling back in time for that one.
It/this still rather smarts, given their fairly horrid pre-order/season pass policy for it is one of the main reasons I'm reluctant to toss money at Ubisoft (for the first time since Child Of Light, I think) for what looks like a pretty decent game (distinguished by its non-sociopathic/non-psychopathic lead and options for non-lethal progression).
Oh definitely, it is a welcome change as long as they stick to it. It's just that it doesn't seem that simple to go back and amend a game that has already been released and sold with all the dizzying editions. One could hope they would (especially as I only have the vanilla edition hehe!), but this is only the first mention of such an idea, so I'm not expecting much.
 

ShakerSilver

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Grouchy Imp said:
Queen Michael said:
Steven Bogos said:
"The way we monetise Rainbow Six is that people are happy about the new characters, and they can customise them with weapons and charms, but even if they don't do it, they will have the exact same experience of the other gamers," she added.
This is logically impossible. If you change anything in a game, then it's not the same experience anymore.
The changes she's talking about are purely cosmetic, nothing changes in the mechanics of the game. Therefore the gameplay experience remains the same.
It's not the same. Cosmetics may not be a part of your experience, but they clearly are a big part of other's experience given the widespread love for character customization and other graphical changes through costumes, mods, etc. While I personally find more enjoyment through a game's mechanics and gameplay to be the most important part of a game, the way people have deemed gameplay as the only important thing to game and everything else is expendable to excuse sanctioning off of certain kinds of content for microtransactions/DLC is disingenuous to games as an audiovisual medium.

But hey, if we're going to go down that route let's just ship the game with simple placeholder graphics and sell the actual finished graphical assets as "cosmetics". I mean it's all cosmetic so it should be fine, right?? Hell, you know what's also "cosmetic" and "optional" to game? Story. I wonder how many people would be okay with a game shipping without actual narrative to engage the player and only directing the player through bland instructions, while the actual story and characterizations of a game that dresses up those objectives was some "story DLC". It's just story and doesn't affect gameplay so it's fine, right?
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

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Can I have an example where a Ubisoft game does sell DLC that negatively affects the Full Game Experiance to those that does not have it?
 

OldNewNewOld

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Of course they won't.
They will change the label of the same DLC and sell it as "Expansion" packs.
 
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ShakerSilver said:
Grouchy Imp said:
Queen Michael said:
Steven Bogos said:
"The way we monetise Rainbow Six is that people are happy about the new characters, and they can customise them with weapons and charms, but even if they don't do it, they will have the exact same experience of the other gamers," she added.
This is logically impossible. If you change anything in a game, then it's not the same experience anymore.
The changes she's talking about are purely cosmetic, nothing changes in the mechanics of the game. Therefore the gameplay experience remains the same.
It's not the same. Cosmetics may not be a part of your experience, but they clearly are a big part of other's experience given the widespread love for character customization and other graphical changes through costumes, mods, etc. While I personally find more enjoyment through a game's mechanics and gameplay to be the most important part of a game, the way people have deemed gameplay as the only important thing to game and everything else is expendable to excuse sanctioning off of certain kinds of content for microtransactions/DLC is disingenuous to games as an audiovisual medium.

But hey, if we're going to go down that route let's just ship the game with simple placeholder graphics and sell the actual finished graphical assets as "cosmetics". I mean it's all cosmetic so it should be fine, right?? Hell, you know what's also "cosmetic" and "optional" to game? Story. I wonder how many people would be okay with a game shipping without actual narrative to engage the player and only directing the player through bland instructions, while the actual story and characterizations of a game that dresses up those objectives was some "story DLC". It's just story and doesn't affect gameplay so it's fine, right?
I think you've gone a bit overboard with your examples there. We're not talking about whether or not a game ships without a main campaign line, we're talking about whether the player's gun is cobalt or brushed aluminium. The former clearly affects how everyone experiences the game, while the latter really only affects how an individual player experiences the game. I play RS:S fairly regularly, and I can tell you with all honesty that you can't really tell at a distance if a player has a weapon skin or not. Ok, if they kill you you can see in the kill-cam that their weapon was painted a different colour, but you really can't tell otherwise. I wasn't saying that people don't get enjoyment from customising their inventories, I was merely pointing out that a weapon skin has no mechanical effect on the game - it doesn't make the gun fire faster or more accurately, it doesn't reduce recoil etc, therefore the flow of the game is unaffected regardless of how individually stylized the avatars are.
 

RJ 17

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This conveniently comes after the launch of WD2...which has so much ripped-from-the-game DLC that you have to pay just to get a god damn extra difficulty mode.

Seriously? That counts as DLC now? Frickin' difficulty modes?!
 

Paragon Fury

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Jan 23, 2009
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It works pretty well, and the Season Pass they've offered alongside Siege has worked well - I'm definitely getting Season 2 of it.

And you get the maps for free, which are the big thing; yeah, saving on Operators is nice, but of the 8 they've released in a full year, only Blackbeard could've been said to have been "necessary" for enjoyment; all the others were just nice options that weren't required.
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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Grouchy Imp said:
I agree with most of what you say, but the renown per match you've quoted seems to be the amount you get for Terrorist Hunts and casual online matches. Playing ranked matches nets you around 600 to 1000 renown per match in my experience, which greatly increases the speed at which you can afford the full roster.
Seriously? I've played quite a lot of ranked in the previous season and even there I only see a modest increase of 50 or so per loss (for 150-200 renown for a loss) and about 100 for a win, for 350-450 for a win. Terrorist Hunts yield about 100-150 renown, depending on type.

Paragon Fury said:
And you get the maps for free, which are the big thing; yeah, saving on Operators is nice, but of the 8 they've released in a full year, only Blackbeard could've been said to have been "necessary" for enjoyment; all the others were just nice options that weren't required.
Valkyrie is also considered S-tier and is generally considered an absolute must for high ranked play. Which means that the Season 2 operators are the ones that stand out as incredibly useful. Of the remaining 6, the Canadian and Brazilian operators are good but situational and the Japanese ones are poised to both take their place along Douchebeard and Valkyrie in the top tiers of rankings, due to the extreme utility their abilities offer.