Ubisoft’s digital publishing manager for EMEA Thomas Paincon has said the firm feels it is best to release new IP through digital outlets due to the less risk involved.
Speaking with MCV, Paincon said when a publisher releases a game to retailers, if the IP doesn’t have legions of fans or a 90 Metacritic rating, “it’s very risky to launch a new game.”
“There is less risk releasing a new game digitally,” he said. “Look at From Dust, we sold half a million units on XBLA and PSN. Why? Because the prices were lower, but also because it was a new experience and people using digital platforms are more willing to test a new IP.”
Paincon said releasing digital titles during the first part of the year or over the summer when there is a lull at retail, is also a more strategic move as the titles are out before the “boxed blockbusters arrive.”
“It’s harder to compete for gamers’ money when there are lots of new triple-A games out,” he said. “Microsoft’s Summer of Arcade Xbox Live promotion is a good new market that people are getting used to.
“And now digital is a great business for retailers as online games are part of the revenue stream for them.”
Ubisoft currently has 10 digital release games in the works which include new IP. Titles coming as download-only include: Shoot Many Robots, Babel Rising and I Am Alive.