Free-to-play and mobile have changed the industry
Ubisoft Toronto boss Jade Raymond has stated there's only room left for ten "triple-A" videogame releases a year now, claiming the free-to-play and mobile markets have altered gaming. According to the executive, publishers are going to have to start being honest with themselves.
"There's still room for great triple-A games, that can despite the budget, retain the classic model of expecting people to pay in one big chunk," Raymond told The Guardian. "There's only room for let's say ten successful titles a year on those sorts of budgets. So you have to go all-in on those; you have to be sure you'll have a hit, and when you make it you have to invest everything to make sure it's amazing."
According to Raymond, publishers are going to have to work out how to make free-to-play games and other piecemeal experiences work on consoles if they hope to keep going. Consumers are less willing to spend money before playing the game, allegedly, so the industry must adapt.
With EA and Square Enix recently losing their bosses as the result of financial failure, it's clear there's something going wrong in the so-called "AAA" space. It's likely not as simple as the emergence of free-to-play gaming, and I think Ubisoft's in for a rude awakening if it believes freemium will magically solve all its problems.