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Ubisoft looks to follow EA's Project $10 plans

System already in place to monetise second hand sales says Guillemot; publisher "looking very carefully" at EA's success

French publisher Ubisoft has admitted that it is keeping a sharp eye on Electronic Arts' Project $10 plans, as it looks to monetise boxed games beyond the initial purchase.

EA's plans have so far included offering extra content for consumers that buy their games brand new, with codes available in the package to access downloadable content, and in the case of EA Sports titles, access to play online.

Consumers buying their games second hand have to pay around $10 for the extra content and additional features, providing the publisher with additional revenue in a second hand market where retailers have traditionally enjoyed 100 per cent profit.

Speaking in a call to investors following its full-year financial results, Ubisoft's CFO Alain Martinez said it will likely follow EA's lead to ensure it continues to see returns from the lucrative second hand business.

"Most of the games that we release next year will have from the start downloadable content available," said Martinez. "And we are looking very carefully at what is being done by EA regarding what we call the 'ten dollar solution' and we would probably follow that line at some time in the future."

Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, added that a system was already in place, and pointed out that titles released in the last year, including the 9 million-selling Assassin's Creed II, already include codes for bonus content.

"Actually, we have been using keys starting last year on our products, so those keys were allowing some consumers to have the content if they were buying in specific stores.

"So we have the system in place to actually generate more revenue on the second hand market, so we are building now the content to make sure that it can be beneficial for both groups, he added.

Electronic Arts said last week that over 70 per cent of consumers had redeemed bonus codes for games including Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2, while second hand users who had purchased the codes were in the "low single digit percentage".

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Matt Martin


Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.