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Ubisoft, can you explain your $18/month subscription service?

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This week, Ubisoft announce Ubisoft+, its “full access” subscription service was coming to Xbox, and the Play Anywhere version includes Xbox, PC, and Amazon Luna.

the price? $18 a month, that’s it at the top of the Xbox Game Pass subscription, as well as the fees more than an Xbox Game Pass subscription, although there are fewer games overall.

I racked my brains trying to figure out what kind of customer would pay $18 a month for this stuff, and I really have no idea. The call is meant to be a slew of previous Ubisoft games and then new ones launching directly on the service, much the same way Xbox exclusives launch on Game Pass.

But this calculation seems strange. $18 a month is about $220 a year, maybe more with taxes. At the current price of $70 for AAA games, that’s three full-price Ubisoft games per year, plus change. It seems to be… an aspiration to expect the consumer to buy a lot to get value for money, and there’s the very obvious fact that if you wait maybe a month after launch, most Ubisoft games usually drop 50% or more and are easy to pick up.

And if it’s good, the thing is, you’re advertising it to most die-hard Ubisoft fans, and the back catalog is a big part of the draw, if they’re not such big fans … Most of them already own or have you played several of these games, nullifying this interest? Therefore, it will only save them money if they buy four Full price Ubisoft games every year, and I really don’t know if Ubisoft offers that many these days.

An additional factor is that Ubisoft always does its best in the free-to-play space. Heard good things about XDefiant following my first real test, but it’s… a free-to-play game, and therefore mostly out of Ubisoft+ unless they offer battle passes, cosmetics or something in it.

I think there’s a reason you’ll see most publishers steer away from subscription services for catalogs and new releases outside of a select few. I have bigger concerns about the long-term sustainability of Xbox Game Pass, but with this catalog and the first-party and third-party games in it, it’s certainly a solid proposition on the consumer side, at least. I don’t think I can say the same for a Ubisoft-only package like this, given both Ubisoft’s recent offerings and the asking price.

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