Ubisoft’s beloved Ghost Recon series has fallen on tough times of late. With the hype whipped up around Ghost Recon Breakpoint, featuring Jon Bernthal as its promotion run’s frontman, the expectations were high. Unfortunately, the game launched in an unfinished state and was criticised for its in-game monetisation and game-breaking bugs and glitches.
Somewhat quietly, the team added patches and 11 updates, with the end product being much better than at launch – until Ubisoft decided to integrate the much-maligned Quartz (its NFT structure) into the game. A couple of months later, any remaining support for Breakpoint finally ended. So, all eyes turn to the next instalment of Ghost Recon, which looks set to be a free-to-play title, to rebuild the prestigious name of the series.
Streaming and live streaming need to be leant on
In the modern gaming space, there’s a huge opportunity for games with the right model to live on and be popular long past their due, thanks to streaming and live streaming. Live streaming, in particular, offers immersive and engaging content, and for it to work, the hosts have to be charismatic and communicative, while the gaming shown has to be entertaining.
It’s these reasons why live streaming has spilt out of video gaming content and into the casino gaming product, with people across the country seeking the best live casinos USA. The classic games like blackjack and roulette are often among the most popular, but novel and new exciting games like live dealer craps Dice Duel, and Dragon Tiger have quickly accrued an audience thanks to the hosts and the quick-fire action.
The same principles need to be recognised by Ubisoft for the launch of Ghost Recon Frontline. As a free-to-play game, they may be able to get away with some of their disliked monetisation schemes, but for it to live long and build an engaged community, it has to lean into likeable streamers or make a game with enough skill and thrills that the top channels pick it up and carry on playing for months. After all, of the ten most popular games in May 2022 on Twitch, seven were free-to-play titles.
Building the community around a great game
Of course, at the end of it all, Ubisoft needs to offer a compelling game that people can enjoy, and as a live service, it needs frequent updates and expansions that are freely accessible to all. If much of the content is too much of a grind to reach or locked behind paywalls as season passes, player counts will dwindle, forcing out even the most dedicated, high-paying players due to a lack of matchmaking opportunities.
Ubisoft has dabbled in crafting a streaming platform in the past, with the 2021 launch of the gaming channel gTV. Aimed at highlighting the good in gaming amidst a particularly scrutinised time in the company’s history, on YouTube, videos still go live, and it has 11,000 subscribers. It shows that Ubisoft can pull together the talent needed to create a community-building platform, especially as its top three videos have over 250,000 views each.
Still, sceptics will see Ghost Recon Frontline as another cash-grab, which means that Ubisoft has to go all-out to prove this perception wrong. Doing this would put the series back in high esteem, showing that the company has learned from Breakpoint’s launch and is on a good path for the next “mainline” release, codenamed “OVER.”