Ubisoft learned much from how it dealt with expansion and add-on content packs for Rainbow Six Siege. The company’s tactical first-person shooter has achieved phenomenal success since its release last year. Much of that relates to how Rainbow Six Siege refuses to lock any core content behind a pay-wall.
To clarify, users can still pay for the Season Pass. However, those without are able to unlock new characters through in-game currency that can be earned by simply playing the game. Everything in Rainbow Six Siege (including maps) are free except for some customization options that can only be accessed through real-world currency.
In light of that success, Ubisoft has decided to no longer sell expansion packs for its games. If the content of a DLC is important for players to experience the game in the fullest, Ubisoft will provide it for free.
Speaking with Gamesindustry.biz, Ubisoft’s vice president of live operations Anne Blondel-Jouin stated that monetizing a game is something the company has to be “very careful about”. If the DLC in question offers nothing of value to players in terms of core game experience, the DLC is no good. At the same time, if the content is deemed compulsory for the players, it’s wrong to ask players for money for it.
“If I take an analogy of an amusement park, you can go through all the rides, but then you can also go to the shop to buy some food or merchandise or whatever… regardless of whether you spend in the shop, you’re still part of the whole experience,” she explained.
On the subject of players paying for additional customization features that do not give them an advantage over others, Blondel-Jouin stated that if players are not happy with the game, Ubisoft would not be asking them for extra money. It’s “an extra piece of revenue, which comes from gamers being happy”.
You can read the whole interview here.