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[Editorial] General: The Soapbox: Calling Out UbiSoft

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,569MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

For those of you who aren’t in the know, Ubisoft Blue Byte recently posted an article where business analyst Teut Weidemann criticized the globally recognized MOBA League of Legends and their parent company, Riot Games, for not focusing on their profits. Okay, so that’s not the way it was worded, but it’s easy to read between the lines and see that this analyst is essentially taking a jab at Riot, pointing out that they have a questionable business model which should, in theory, be making substantially more money than it currently does.

Read more of Derek Czerkaski's The Soapbox: Calling Out UbiSoft.

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Comments

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member

    Gabe Newel has said that they (Valve) went into business with the idea that if they focus on value of product and service that the rest of it will take care of itself automatically. For them that worked, they make more money per employee than Microsoft.

    I would not say it works in all cases but its clearly a business model the should be explored more by others

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • MykellMykell MackayPosts: 618Member Uncommon

    The digital era has changed a lot of business models. The power used to be in the hands of the middlemen selling us crap now its in the hands of consumers.

    Some companies realise this and have profited enormously. The old guard is just kicking and screaming on their deathbeds, refusing to go quietly.

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member
    Originally posted by Mykell

    The digital era has changed a lot of business models. The power used to be in the hands of the middlemen selling us crap now its in the hands of consumers.

    Some companies realise this and have profited enormously. The old guard is just kicking and screaming on their deathbeds, refusing to go quietly.

    agree.

     

    plus a publically traded company will have a hard time having something like:

    'our values are to focus on value of product and service before profit' in the charter but a private company can have whatever they want in a charter

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • goblagobla somewherePosts: 1,411Member

    Personally I give Ubisoft my vote for single worst publisher.

    Here's the thing. EA, Activision and all their ilk do all the bad things as well, day-1 DLC, DRM, ruining franchises, single player cash-shops etc.

    But they don't seem to do it literally every single game they release.

    I have seen EA PC releases that weren't the equivalent of kicking consumers in the balls. I've not seen a single Ubisoft PC release that didn't have any of above-mentioned bad things.

    With other publishers when shit hits the fan it seems to be a case of them failing to control their greed. With Ubisoft it seems by design.

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  • tawesstawess LkpgPosts: 2,532Member Uncommon

    What i find hard to understand is... What is the point... .. . A business analyst... Who´s job it is to look at numbers and compare them to other numbers did his job and came to a conclusion... Not wrong by the way... Riot could have made a metric *bleep*ton of money more from their users. Also Riot lives and dies by LoL... They literally have nothing else... Ubisoft otoh have survived and flourished through some really dark times... So from a business analyst point of view they are doing something right... Alsi said business analyst most likley have a NDA preventing him from badmouthing his client/employer.

     

    Now that being said. Riot is pretty much Blizzard and LoL is pretty much WoW... Right time and place + some really good buzz and customer care. This bring me in to the second.. what is the point.

     

    What was the point of the original article... Riot are locked in to their current course... they do not have the luxury to drop this game and start on the next... Ask CCP how well that went... So even if they might stand to learn something from it... They can not do anything about it.

     

    Also... Ofc P2W is the best way to gain money, especially short term and with a well-balanced powercreep you could keep the dosh flowing... Because you know what... "real" gamers are still such a tiny minority that we at best is a marketing tool.

     
  • graverobbergraverobber højerPosts: 17Member Uncommon
    while the author might have a point or two i can agree with, doing  a "slam a company" article without putting your name on it, is just stupid, why MMORPG.COM allowed that would be nice to know.
  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,418Member Uncommon

    I consider MOBA games in general to be really cheap games and i personally have no interest in LOL.So in saying that i think they  should feel lucky they have any profits at all,as i am sure the owners of Riot games are doing quite well.

    As to DLC  it all depends if it is as mentioned day 1 dlc then no way in hell,that is like saying we have this game but instead of selling it to you we will break it up and sell it in pieces to make more money.Oh ya sort of exactly what SOE is doing with Landmark/Next.

    The author is not really slamming RIOT games as a whole just the financial advisors...more or less.He is actually stating the game LOL is amazing and should be making mounds of money,that is NOT slamming a company.


    Samoan Diamond

  • goblagobla somewherePosts: 1,411Member

    Originally posted by SBFord

    Read more of Derek Czerkaski's The Soapbox: Calling Out UbiSoft.

    Originally posted by graverobber
    while the author might have a point or two i can agree with, doing  a "slam a company" article without putting your name on it, is just stupid, why MMORPG.COM allowed that would be nice to know.

    I guess maybe he didn't put his middle name on it?

    We are the bunny.
    Resistance is futile.
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  • laseritlaserit Vancouver, BCPosts: 1,928Member Uncommon

    I've heard of Internet anonymity but guest writer?

     

    even in the local rag where I live, you must put your name behind your editorial.

     

    Kind of makes it worthless

    "If you make an ass out of yourself, there will always be someone to ride you." - Bruce Lee

  • meonthissitemeonthissite newport news, GAPosts: 445Member Uncommon

    Yeah because that's what we need is more eastern style economies to nickle and dime the gamers to death! There are so few of those you know. >.>

    What's sad is there are probably some Ubibots out there who'd advocate for their bad economic practices just like people have done for games like GW2, NWO, and now AA.

  • graverobbergraverobber højerPosts: 17Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by gobla

    Originally posted by SBFord

    Read more of Derek Czerkaski's The Soapbox: Calling Out UbiSoft.

    Originally posted by graverobber
    while the author might have a point or two i can agree with, doing  a "slam a company" article without putting your name on it, is just stupid, why MMORPG.COM allowed that would be nice to know.

    I guess maybe he didn't put his middle name on it?

    sorry all i see is guest writer at the top of this article

     
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,185Member Uncommon

    The article seems to have a poor logical argument in that it makes some assumptions as facts. For example, you could pretty much use the logic in the article to say the same thing about Ubisoft's Steam sales. If AC4 goes on a good Steam sale for 50 - 80% off, then Ubisoft is not making as much money as it could. Why would they put the game on sale or ever lower the price instead of just selling it for $60 and keeping the price there. The answer is pretty obvious and that is to get sales they otherwise would not have.

    LoL sells stuff cheap and tries to appeal to a greater volume of players. There is a price point where people balk at laying down cash, but under that they don't mind wasting a little. Is it more than any other incidental they might purchase? What is the appeal of the purchase? Is it something they use to differentiate themselves amongst their peers?

    Cheap, high volume is a valid business strategy. LoL could charge more and put mechanics in their games to push their players towards more sales. They might raise revenue per transaction, but actually lower revenue due to lower sales volume. It's also a valid strategy but it's also a risky one.

    They have found a sweet spot of pretty happy players and making a ton of money. Do they need to make that much more? To me that sounds greedy. The analyst sounds greedy. I think one core problem of a modern business philosophy is that we have to maximize revenue at all costs. Maybe that focus loses the more important picture of doing something well, making your customers happy, and making decent money off of that.

  • AnirethAnireth Posts: 599Member Uncommon

    I wonder why Ubisoft didn't buy AcitivisionBlizzard and EA yet, if they are so good at making money. They must have lots of it, and you can only invest a limited amount of that in games. I mean, a few hundred millions per game, and only if you really pull all stops. Thats almost nothing. For example, for the cost of developing GTA V, you would get a single A350. The A380 does cost more than 400, and Emirates ordered a whopping 140 of those.

    So yeah, games are cheap as dirt.  So why didn't Ubisoft already buy out every major company with the left over money? Maybe because they lost $66 million in 2013, despite such genius like Mr. Weidemann? Or is it *because* of guys lime him?
     

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  • tawesstawess LkpgPosts: 2,532Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Anireth

    So yeah, games are cheap as dirt.  So why didn't Ubisoft already buy out every major company with the left over money? Maybe because they lost $66 million in 2013, despite such genius like Mr. Weidemann? Or is it *because* of guys lime him?
     

     

    Soooo... 400mil is peanuts but a loss of 66mil is gasp worthy...?

     

    Yupp that makes sense.

  • sumo0sumo0 odensePosts: 115Member
    And shit like this is why i don't buy ubisoft stuff.
  • JorendoJorendo EdePosts: 263Member

    It is pretty safe to say that Ubisoft has absolutely no idea what gamers want what so ever.

     

    - DRM, keep defending it and calling pc gamers pirating b%tches (their words exactly). All pc gamers where pirates and boohoo where destroying the industry. They even said 90% of their games got pirated on the pc.....based on torrents on a torrent site..cause yeah that gives you a very fair and correct number. Hey how about people who bought the game and just download the crack to copy over their LEGALLY OWNED game so they didn't had to connect all the time and could actually play their game when the drm server WAS DOWN AGAIN FOR THE SO MANIEST TIME.

     

    - Uplay, as said in the article no one is happy with it. It also makes no sense that i buy a game on steam, then install it on steam, start it on steam...just to see i have to start Uplay and launch the game trough there. What's the point? Steam already is a anti piracy protection...something you can't prevent anyway but still why do i need to run two programs before i can even start my damn game?

     

    - Screwing over core fans to please mainstream gamers. Remember this tactical game called Rainbow six..yeah totally butchered. It became a action focused game. Even the new one has a lot to proof still. They been doing this with more games, just to please only one group of gamers who already get more then enough games and if they want to play tactical games then why make it easy for them? They shouldn't play a tactical game if they find it boring that you have to plan things and that the action is only a small portion of it all.

     

    - Money over quallity games. Assassins creed got milked dry to the max. Remember how they said that AC was done after AC3...bam a year later there was AC Black flag and boom another year later there is AC revolution or what ever its called. AC games can be good but quiet frankly they are boring as heck right now. Every year a new release, and every year you do the same freaking thing. Its like CoD, it had its good games but right now they keep trowing to many of them in your face. The quallity gone backwards as with the AC games you see the same broken feauteres every year.

    Not to mention the bs they did with Watch_dogs. Not optimizing it at all for the pc and even switching off the best graphics cause it would put the next gen consoles to shame. And comming up with excuses that pc's would be able to run such graphics....YES THEY WOULD! PC's are generations ahead of the current consoles, that is a cold hard fact! You just need to optimize it.

     

    They have no idea about games. They only know how to make money in a short term. The guys in suits know how this works. You make some great profit for a few years and then the company breaks down, they flee to a new company and leave the old one behind in a broken state. This is nothing new, this hapens at so many companies. Only now they found their way into the game industry, but this won't last much longer anymore.

  • ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,394Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jorendo

    - Screwing over core fans to please mainstream gamers.

    ...

    - Money over quallity games.

    ...

    They have no idea about games. They only know how to make money in a short term.

    I find it hard to sympathize with these arguments when Ubi releases game like Child of Light, Rayman Legends, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Trials Evolution. Sure, they've got their share of boring big-budget titles and unfortunately AC games are starting to be among them, but even AC is a fairly good series as far as AAA big releases go. AC2, Brotherhood and AC4 are all excellent games with lots of innovative elements. Even Watch_Dogs is a decent game with some really nice ideas. It's not the uberhit some thought it would be, but it's not bad, either.

     

    Frankly, I don't get the Ubi hate that seems to be so popular right now. Out of all the big publishers, they seem to be the one most likely to experiment and innovate. When was the last time CoD or Battlefield got an important new gameplay element? Exactly. AC got a huge upgrade in AC2, multiplayer in Brotherhood, naval combat in AC3 and huge improvements to naval combat in AC4. Yes, its ground combat is starting to suck, which is why it'll get overhauled in Unity and get a co-op mode. It's constantly moving somewhere, which is very good for a big-budget moneymaker series nowadays.

     
  • sketocafesketocafe StoupaPosts: 800Member Uncommon

    It's silly to assume that Riot would have the same player base it does to take advantage of a different monetization plan if they had started with that plan.  It's even a stretch to imagine the base would be similar if Riot had started with the current IP gains (reduced three times now) as well as the not reducing IP prices during champ sales. 

    Riot is where it is because their f2p model was palatable to consumers, and the changes they have made to it to increase their earnings have been timed well enough that they were accepted without much fuss or loss of players. Imagining that there is all of this wasted potential because they didn't go with a plan which would have made more money but seriously stunted the player growth which makes that potential is pointless.

     
  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade KingsmouthPosts: 2,641Member Uncommon

    Envy is such an ugly thing. And that's exactly what drove the guy's comment.

    Sure, they could probably get more money per person, but at the expense of driving more people in exchange.

    Which would of course be good for the competition.

    My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

  • MrFryinMrFryin Windsor, ONPosts: 21Member Common

    Got to love them writers who try to write up a troll article as a guest writer to create more site views and have it fail with a mere 18 posts. Nice try though.

    Ubisoft is Ubisoft, as in they will do whatever they want and keep on doing it regardless of consumer input.

    On the other hand, consumers continue to buy their products and putting up with their antics because they sometimes put out a decent title here and there as mentioned in an earlier post.

    Soon enough it will bite them in the ass real hard and this is where they will have to make the decision to either smarten up or keep on trucking as is and fail.

    We shall see...

     

    ***To be continued in Post #2 if Article #2 ever comes out. 

  • blubstererblubsterer Hamburg, ALPosts: 88Member

    I've read this article a few weeks ago. My first reaction was pure astonishment about the fact that Ubisoft thinks to know what players want. After a few days this feeling lost ground to pure anger. How can one of the worst publishers arrogate to give Riot Games any "tipps" regarding their business model? A rather sucessful one, that obviously suits the playerbase. There are enough companies out there that sacrifice nearly everything to their shareholder value. We really don't need more of them ....

  • ApraxisApraxis RegensburgPosts: 1,515Member Uncommon

    The original article (linked in that article) is actually a joke.

    First of all he accuse Riot to make their game P2W(or other said to release overpowered heroes one must buy) and on the other hand he accuse Riot to not make enough money per user. What?

    And now there we are.. yeap... Riot is not really a pure F2P game(as most others), there is a incentive to buy champions, although, they are not all overpowered when they release as those guy claims.

    But albeit that you don't have to buy a lot.. and therefore Riot earns less/per player as other games which are clearly even more pay 2 win and expect that the player buys stuff to be able to play. That those other games do not even have close to the number of players may be just a result of that.. though completely ignored from the guy in that article.

    And then.. what would he say about games like DoTA2 or Torchlight, which are pure F2P and the player does almost have no whatsoever incentive to buy anything other then to donate to the company because he actually likes that game. Yeap.. i guess those games do earn even less than Riot per player.. but the player may actually be happier with that.. and as a reason may actually get more players over time, and with that more overall revenue in comparsion to some other games.

    Or simple said.. this guy has no clue whatsoever.. and with that UbiSoft deserves to burn in hell.. as their game actually monetize their f2p games that badly.. and, as a sidenote, are nowhere near that successful in that market as more fair games like DotA2, Torchlight and others.

  • BurntCabbageBurntCabbage jeffersonville, INPosts: 372Member Uncommon

    screw UBI they killed shadowbane along with my family n mates on mourning

    i hope they go bankrupt and are force to eat out of dumpsters the rest of their miserable lives

  • skynight007skynight007 reston, VAPosts: 7Member
    My lesson: Stop Comparing Moba business models to other games of different categories.
  • SoandsosoSoandsoso Richmond Hill, ONPosts: 533Member
    Originally posted by Torvaldr

    The article seems to have a poor logical argument in that it makes some assumptions as facts. For example, you could pretty much use the logic in the article to say the same thing about Ubisoft's Steam sales. If AC4 goes on a good Steam sale for 50 - 80% off, then Ubisoft is not making as much money as it could. Why would they put the game on sale or ever lower the price instead of just selling it for $60 and keeping the price there. The answer is pretty obvious and that is to get sales they otherwise would not have.

    LoL sells stuff cheap and tries to appeal to a greater volume of players. There is a price point where people balk at laying down cash, but under that they don't mind wasting a little. Is it more than any other incidental they might purchase? What is the appeal of the purchase? Is it something they use to differentiate themselves amongst their peers?

    Cheap, high volume is a valid business strategy. LoL could charge more and put mechanics in their games to push their players towards more sales. They might raise revenue per transaction, but actually lower revenue due to lower sales volume. It's also a valid strategy but it's also a risky one.

    They have found a sweet spot of pretty happy players and making a ton of money. Do they need to make that much more? To me that sounds greedy. The analyst sounds greedy. I think one core problem of a modern business philosophy is that we have to maximize revenue at all costs. Maybe that focus loses the more important picture of doing something well, making your customers happy, and making decent money off of that.

    I think you hit the nail on the head.

    If Riot tried to add more cost to the player the game wouldn't have been as much of a success as it is.

    Now that they have a large fan base then maybe they can make some changes to get more out of the freeloaders.

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