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Ubisoft: Gamers have to get used to not owning their games

"It's about feeling comfortable with not owning your game."

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Late last year it was reported that PlayStation gamers who had acquired Discovery video content from the PlayStation Store would lose all access to the material - despite having bought it. And this could happen to our digitally bought video games as well, as the publishers have the right to remove them. We have already seen digital store fronts being shut down, which makes it impossible to download titles we've paid for.

This sparked a debate about owning things digitally (instead of physically), which does mean that you have to be prepared to lose some content or in the worst case scenario everything, without being able to do anything about it. Now Ubisoft has voiced their opinion on all this, and they think it's about time gamers got used to not owning any video games.

In a GamesIndustry interview about the subscription service Ubisoft+, their director of subscriptions, Philippe Tremblay, had this to say about owning video games:

"One of the things we saw is that gamers are used to, a little bit like DVD, having and owning their games. That's the consumer shift that needs to happen. They got comfortable not owning their CD collection or DVD collection. That's a transformation that's been a bit slower to happen [in games]. As gamers grow comfortable in that aspect... you don't lose your progress. If you resume your game at another time, your progress file is still there. That's not been deleted. You don't lose what you've built in the game or your engagement with the game. So it's about feeling comfortable with not owning your game.

I still have two boxes of DVDs. I definitely understand the gamers perspective with that. But as people embrace that model, they will see that these games will exist, the service will continue, and you'll be able to access them when you feel like. That's reassuring."

Ultimately, Discovery and Sony solved whatever licensing issue they had and postponed the deletion of all Discovery video material from PlayStation Store for another 30 months - which probably means the issue will return two and a half years from now.

What do you think about all this, is Ubisoft on to something, or is it just tragic that a generation of gamers are now growing up owning no games? This means they won't have retro consoles to remember their childhood with when they get older, while we all could risk losing everything if the online support of an older format or online store is shut down.

Ubisoft: Gamers have to get used to not owning their games


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