Ghost Recon Breakpoint launched to widespread criticism last month, and among the many, many things it got panned for, its monetization model was something that drew a lot of attention. Sure, that’s partly because the market has (understandably) become very sensitive to any kind of in-game monetization model, but Breakpoint’s microtransactions have been deemed particular excessive and egregious, in spite of Ubisoft attempting to make amends.
However, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has defended the monetization model of the open world shooter, saying that though it has been deemed excessive by many, it’s still not a pay-to-win mode, and instead only gives “options” to players.
“In the case of Ghost Recon, our philosophy is for the player to play the full game, 100%, without having to spend money,” said Guillemot during Ubisoft’s recent investors call. “We have no pay-to-win elements in our games, and what we can say there is that [this is] the philosophy we have for all our games, but it has to be linked to more events, more content for players to play longer.”
Later, he went on to say that Breakpoint’s monetization model was designed based on the success that Ubisoft had seen with the in-game store featured in its predecessor, Ghost Recon Wildlands, and how much engagement it got from players.
“On live games like Ghost Recon Wildlands, we already had a store and people were buying items on the store,” he said. “What we did was give more options at the beginning of Breakpoint. We understand it has been seen as too big a store and that it was really not appreciated at all, but it came from the fact that players were spending time in the store and buying things in Wildlands, and our teams thought they could give them the opportunity to have more choice. Which has not been well-interpreted, but that was the goal.”
All the bad press and criticism Ghost Recon Breakpoint has adversely affected its sales. Ubisoft has openly admitted the game’s significant critical and commercial failings, while, in response to Breakpoint’s criticisms, Ubisoft has even delayed a number of its major upcoming releases.