[Gamescom 2012] Free To Play Games From Ubisoftby Daniel Ryan
Ubisoft is coming out with great games all over the place and showing no signs of fatigue. CEO Yves Guillemot announced that the company is making moves towards the free-to-play market and next-gen consoles.
“Ubisoft is positioning itself to capitalize on the forthcoming arrival of the next generation of consoles, which will be increasingly connected and will strongly boost the market thanks to a new qualitative leap, and the integration of social games benefits and the item based model; the ongoing strong growth in the Free-to-Play market for PCs, smartphones and tablets.” said Guillemot.
One big success for the company has been the recently released Trials Evolution on the Xbox Live Arcade. breaking records, the game sold 100,000 copies in the first 24 hours after launch.
Ubisoft has announced at Gamescom three new free-to-play games set in the universes of two of the company’s popular franchises: Anno Online, Might & Magic Heroes Online and Might & Magic Raiders.
All of Ubisoft’s free-to-play titles will be playable on PCs either via a Web browser or a simple client download.
Anno Online is all about the strategy, simulation and highly-detailed animation and graphics the Anno series is known for in a free-to-play, browser-based game. Players can build and develop big medieval cities using the detailed economic system enjoyed by Anno fans. As they satisfy the population’s needs, they will unlock new buildings and face more demanding inhabitants, eventually needing to discover and claim additional islands and connect them with trading routes.
[youtube_sc url="http://youtu.be/KE_OqFIrhGA" width="600" autohide="0" fs="1" hd="1"]
For the first time in the Anno series, players will have the opportunity to be part of one giant empire and gather in powerful guilds, working toward joint goals and server-wide quests.
Might & Magic Heroes Online
The multi-million-unit selling Might & Magic franchise is now adding two new episodes to the saga. Might & Magic Heroes Online is a new free-to-play, browser-based MMO role-playing game that stays true to the authentic Heroes game-play formula found in earlier PC titles. Players can customise their Heroes to take on a variety of challenges and ultimately rule the battlefield. Along the way, a multitude of awe-inspiring fantasy environments, all set in the Might & Magic world of Ashan, are available to explore.
[youtube_sc url="http://youtu.be/_eKYhWyuxYA" width="600" autohide="1" fs="1" hd="1"]
Towns can be set up for army recruitment, economy, or to serve a variety of purposes all at once. And since no Hero is more powerful than their army and no enemy is too difficult to overcome, players can join forces with their friends’ Heroes and mix and match creatures to create the ideal army for epic co-op battles.
Might & Magic® Raiders:
Might & Magic Raiders is a free-to-play action/RPG that allows players to choose from four different character classes and team-up with friends to defeat dangerous demons and impressive bosses. The Raiders story starts just before the events of Might & Magic® Heroes® VI.
[youtube_sc url="http://youtu.be/Tphzx6Kh0Gc" width="600" autohide="1" fs="1" hd="1"]
Players will be part of the Raiders of Ashan and will defend Hammerfall by engaging in fast-paced 20 minute bursts of action with fellow raiders in an immersive co-op experience.
The right move for Ubisoft?
With all the free-to-play games out on the market right now, is it the right move to saturate it some more? Or is Ubisoft making the right decision to load up consumers now.
“The free-to-play market is growing rapidly thanks to the improving quality and flexibility in these new gaming experiences,” said Stephanie Perotti, Worldwide Director for Online Games, Ubisoft.
“Ubisoft is taking the quality of core games and combining it with the best characteristics of online play to create free-to-play titles that will stand out from the crowd and reward customers already familiar with our popular game franchises.”
Anno Online and Might & Magic Heroes Online are being developed by Blue Byte®, the Ubisoft studio behind The Settlers franchise and the latest installment of the Anno franchise, Anno 2070™. Anno Online will be released this Autumn and Might & Magic Heroes Online is targeted for release this Summer. Might & Magic Raiders is being developed by Ubisoft Chengdu and will be released sometime in 2013.
For more free-to-play gaming check out our review of Stronghold Kingdoms. If you want some more news about Ubisoft, check out Watch Dogs, or see what happened with the Ubisoft/Microsoft Dance-Off Boogaloo.