This week, publisher Ubisoft revamped its Ubisoft+ subscription service, bringing both its Classics and Premium tiers to PC for the first time in the process. But as Xbox players continue to enjoy the best that Ubi offers – including day-one access to its latest games – PlayStation is for some reason still being treated differently, which will no doubt be frustrating to many PS5 players.
While the cheaper Ubisoft+ Classics range is, thankfully, included as part of a PS Plus Extra or PS Plus Premium sub, PlayStation players have never received access to what is now Ubisoft’s Premium tier. Some of the best open world games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, as well as classic Ubi titles like The Crew 2, The Division, and Watch Dogs are all on Ubisoft+ Classics, and they certainly help bolster the value of PS Plus. Senior VP of partnerships Chris Early called this “the beginning” of its long-term PlayStation strategy back in May 2022, but since then not much has changed. PlayStation players are still missing out on the chance of getting day-one access to some of the best games like Assassin’s Creed Mirage and Prince of Persia The Lost Crown for a more modest fee. In that regard, Team Green continues to come out on top.
Say what you will about digitally renting games versus owning your own copy – I feel for the GTA 5 players who lost access when it left Game Pass this month. But the reality is that it’s a growing market, and one which can save players plenty of cash on day-one releases. Of course, Ubisoft+ Premium coming to PlayStation won’t innately solve this issue for Team Blue – it demands its own $17.99 monthly fee, after all. But in a world where the latest Xbox exclusives like Palworld, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, and Avowed are already coming to Game Pass on day one, the platform also having access to Ubisoft’s latest and greatest at launch only makes PlayStation’s offering feel worse.
While I welcome the news that Foamstars will be coming to PS Plus at launch for a limited time, this is but a small shuffle forward – I doubt we’ll be seeing major first-party exclusives released this way anytime soon. The service may have offered more monetary value than its Xbox counterpart last year through the games it provided, but that doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to providing more affordable ways to play brand new titles.
Speaking on the growth of Ubisoft+ as part of the revamp announcement, director of subscriptions Philippe Tremblay reveals that October 2023 – the month Assassin’s Creed Mirage launched – recorded the highest number of monthly active users since Uplay+ arrived back in 2019. Additionally, Tremblay claims that 10% of subs had never played a Ubisoft game before. It’s a rapidly expanding frontier for the publisher, and it’s clear that a huge chunk of its value comes from those day-one releases.
It’s unconfirmed as to why there is this odd discrepancy when it comes to Ubisoft+ on PlayStation, and The Loadout has reached out to Ubisoft for comment. As many Xbox players continue to indulge in the sweet delights of day-one releases at a fraction of the cost, the same can’t be said for PS5 players. Yes, the litany of exquisite PS5 exclusives continues to be the console’s main draw, but judging from the Xbox lineup for 2024 there may finally be solid competition in the single-player arena. At that point, I feel the pressure could start to mount on PlayStation to up its game when it comes to granting immediate access to future titles.