Ubisoft Connect – The Next Generation of Ubisoft Services
An evolution and expansion of the Uplay and Ubisoft Club services that was unveiled today, Ubisoft Connect is the new Ubisoft gaming hub which introduces a host of cross-platform features, such as full cross-progression on highly anticipated titles like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Immortals Fenyx Rising, and Riders Republic, new social events and challenges for PC, console, or streaming devices alike, and much more. We sat down with Stephanie Perotti (VP of Online Services) and Charles Huteau (Creative Director on Ubisoft Connect) to talk about the new features, the reason for the change and what players can expect from the new cross-platform hub for player services.
Firstly, what is Ubisoft Connect?
Charles Huteau: It’s a new merge between Uplay, our current PC client, and the Ubisoft Club rewards system. We want to provide a more consistent experience across multiple platforms, so we’ve created this new ecosystem to bring our players together across multiple screens and devices.
Stephanie Perotti: We’re also building on what we learned in creating the Ubisoft Club and Uplay, and more than merging them together this is also an extension of those services.
What are the key benefits of the new system for players?
It brings that fast access to everything players need to support their gaming. We’re also bringing several new features, including our Smart Intel system, which people may already know from using our AI gaming assistant SAM in our mobile app. We’ve been testing it on mobile for the last two years and we’ve had some great feedback, so we’re happy to bring that across the whole Ubisoft Connect system and to all of our players. There is also a new activity feed where people can see everything they and their friends have achieved recently, and that’s fully cross-platform too, so those can be seen no matter where a player is accessing it from. The idea is that the overlay is a foundation for future features, it’s just the beginning and provides a basis for new and great features we can add to support our players and keep improving and enhancing their experience.
What were some of the key things that were learned from the launching Uplay that have been integrated into Ubisoft Connect?
The big change in that experience is based on what we learned from those rewards, as well as how our games have evolved in that time. There has been an in-game overlay in Uplay for a number of years now, and we learned that it’s the best way for players to interact with content; it’s directly in-game, it’s accessible with a click at the moment you need it, they don’t have to leave the game and break the immersion, and they also have quick access to key elements they want to see directly. Our games and players have evolved over the years, and we’re adapting to that. We’ve reworked how players progress through Ubisoft levels, players can still complete challenges in all Ubisoft games but now we’re introducing time-limited challenges every week to give people even more rewards when they play. We’ve also changed the way we approach exclusive rewards, where previously we would create rewards and challenges at the launch of the game, now we want to make sure that we can follow the life of the game and drop multiple packs of rewards over time that are relevant to the community and how the game has developed.
Why roll out these changes, and why now?
CH: We’ve been developing online services at Ubisoft for about 10 years now, and we felt it was the right time to create something fresh for our players, something better adapted to the way people game today. When Uplay launched more than decade ago, we were one of the first people to offer that kind of service, and it was somewhat uncharted territory for us, but also for players too. We know everything wasn’t perfect, but we have learned a lot since then, always driven by the community’s feedback, and that’s how we’re able to deliver something that’s stronger and better adapted with Ubisoft Connect. There was some trial and error, we learned to listen and adapt to our players’ feedback and Uplay is totally different to what we started with all those years ago. But now we can take all of that and start fresh in a totally new ecosystem, making it available for more players with the benefit of a strong community and years of working together with them.
We didn’t start out on the right foot with the PC community, but we have worked hard to make up for that and we can be proud of what the Uplay team have achieved in the last few years in improving community sentiment and appreciation, which have increased drastically since those early days.
What does this mean for the future of Ubisoft Services?
The first really exciting thing is that everything in Ubisoft Connect is cloud based, meaning we can do things like update any game on any platform in a way that’s independent from the game itself. This makes it very flexible, allowing us to update and iterate quickly, add features without having to involve a game team to ask them to implement something or force a game update. The second thing is that it’s not just a unified experience but that it’s totally cross-platform, and things like cross-platform play and cross-progression are something that players expect now.
We’re building this unified ecosystem to really support our teams in building the best game experiences possible, and it’s the same for our players. It’s a combination of those two worlds, players and game production teams, in a single interface.
Oct 22, 2020 at 06:16