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In the wake of The Division, Ubisoft is all about games-as-a-service

The state of game development at Ubisoft, at least for the foreseeable future, is all about "live ops" and games-as-a-service, according to comments made by execs in a new Polygon feature.
"We're organizing our teams around the idea that instead of launching a game and moving on to the next one, we need to deliver 'live' games that provide long-lasting entertainment for players."

- Ubisoft VP of live ops Anne Blondel, speaking to Polygon.

This week Polygon published a lengthy feature that contains some informative bits of commentary from Ubisoft execs about the company's past, present and future.

While the feature rambles through select portions of Ubisoft's history in an effort to chart how it went from producing mostly discrete, linear games (think Rayman and Splinter Cell) to big open-world games supported by lots of post-launch DLC, it's intriguing to see staffers point to its poorly-received 2014 open-world racing game The Crew as a major turning point for the company.

"Since launching The Crew, across Ubisoft we've worked to improve our online infrastructure, provide better community events, support and tools and also deliver more regular game improvements and updates post launch," Ubisoft VP of live ops (and former executive producer on The Crew) told Polygon. "That's what's expected now, and it's what we're delivering with games like Rainbow Six and The Division, and it's what we learned thanks in part to The Crew."

Of course, Ubisoft isn't exactly blazing trails here; the concept of keeping players in your game by drip-feeding them fresh content (a la "games-as-a-service")  has been in vogue for years, and is liberally employed by fellow big-budget publishers in games like Destiny.

But in the wake of Ubisoft's Destiny-alike The Division setting new sales records for the company this week, it seems the company is throwing its weight behind games-as-a-service for the foreseeable future.

"For Ubisoft and The Division, games as a service is something we strongly believe in," Ubisoft Massive (the lead Division developer) brand director Martin Hultberg told Polygon. "It's really about a development team creating a world and experience and having a strong connection with the community to make sure it meets expectations. This includes everything from customer service, design elements, receiving input on features and listening to what could make the game better."

For further comments from Hultberg, Blondel and other Ubisoft execs about the state of the company, check out the full feature over on Polygon.

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