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Ubisoft Watching EA's 'Project $10'

Ubisoft set to cash-in on used games...

Despite Assassin’s Creed II shifting nearly 9 million units, Ubisoft has reported a loss of over 40 million Euros for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010. It’s no surprise then that the French publisher is now looking at ways to monetise used games.

During an earnings call on Tuesday, Ubisoft CFO – Alain Martinez – admitted that they are now watching EA’s current strategy.

Regarding … monetizing used games or downloadable content … most of the games that we will release next year will have downloadable content available from the start.

We are looking very carefully at what is being done by EA regarding what we call the ‘$10 solution,’ and we will probably follow that line at sometime in the future.

But CEO Yves Guillemot is quick to point out that they have already been using a similar system which has already shipped with a few titles including Assassin’s Creed II.

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.

For those of you who are unaware, the system in question involves new copies of games shipping with a one-time code that will grant the purchaser access to free and priced DLC from launch. Priced DLC can still be bought without this code. Unless the initial user does not take advantage of this code, used copies will not have access to the free DLC. Codes can be purchased from EA (or whoever else adopts the system) directly for an additional charge of around $10.

The used game market would normally provide no income for developers or publishers and EA are reporting that over 70% of customers had redeemed their bonus content codes. This number sounds impressive but hasit  been responsible for a growth in new game sales?

Thanks, Gamasutra and GI.Biz

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