Ubisoft's adoption of free-to-play business models is part of a push to create what is being described as a "resort" mentality that can cater to all players types, online editorial director Elizabeth Pellen told Polygon today.
In this sense, players are treated as resort-goers who each have different interests that are all catered for under a single roof. The company first began integrating free-to-play design slowly, under the belief it needed to "adapt to a change in player behavior," said Pellen. "With the appearance of online gaming, free-to-play became a means to describe personality of the player."
However, Ubisoft's early initiative was at first largely avoided by its developers who didn't feel confident with the model; It's only recently as the company has evolved how it approached free-to-play that it has begun integrating monetization teams with design teams to come up with creative ways to combine artistic design and monetization.
"Fear turned to liberation when ideas of how free-to-play could work started being made by the developers and not HQ. Where first there was a split between creative teams and business teams, now monetization and art designers have been combined and are developing their own style of free-to-play."