Feb 18, 2022 - Technology

Ubisoft cites new games' longer playing times as a sign of success

Video game screenshot of a man in a white suit peering at the camera

Mega-publisher Ubisoft boasted Thursday that players of late 2021's Far Cry 6 game spent more time in it than they did Far Cry 5.

Why it matters: The detail, one of many playing time stats promoted by Ubisoft in recent years, supports the company's concept that the more time its players spend in a game leads to more money spent in-game, t00.

The details: Ubisoft said Far Cry 6 players have spent 45% more time, on average, in that game than players spent in Far Cry 5.

  • It also said average playing time in Ubisoft Annecy’s Riders Republic was up 60% compared to that studio’s prior game.
  • In both cases, it also reported rises in PRI, or player recurring investment. Read: how much money a player is spending on extra content for the game beyond the initial purchase.
  • For FC6 vs FC5, Ubisoft said PRI was up 30%.

The big picture: The stats that a gaming company boasts show how it measures success — and maybe even explain how the company’s games are designed.

Between the lines: Ubisoft has been promoting swelling playing times at least since 2017’s Assassin’s Creed Origins, coinciding with its games getting larger and taking longer to complete.

  • The company’s thinking: the longer people play, the more likely they are to spend more in the game.
  • While some fans and critics have complained about the bigger games (and while some love it), the company seems to have benefitted.
  • During a call with investors Thursday, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said that 2020’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, already 130+ hours long and repeatedly expanded with more free and paid content, passed the $1 billion “consumer revenue” mark in December. He said it's a first for the top-selling franchise.

Sign up for the new Axios Gaming newsletter here.

Go deeper