Last week, Ubisoft pulled back the curtain on The Division: Heartland, which is the first game the publisher has branded as an "Ubisoft Original." Apparently, this will be a new branding term used by the publisher for future titles that have been developed in-house. As Eurogamer notes, however, Ubisoft exclusively publishes games created by its own developers, so it's a bit unclear why the distinction is being made. It's possible that the company could be expanding to publish games from outside studios, but that's all just speculation until something concrete is announced. Still, it's a very unusual move for the publisher!
"Moving forward 'The Ubisoft Original' mention is attached to all of Ubisoft's games created in-house by our talented developers," an Ubisoft representative told Eurogamer.
Ubisoft is one of the biggest video game publishers in the world, thanks to franchises such as Assassin's Creed, Rabbids, and Rainbow Six. Given the company's size, it wouldn't be surprising to see it publish outside content. Lots of publishers do just that, and it could help the company name grow even bigger, while supporting smaller developers. By creating a new branding to separate the two, it would help fans of the publisher distinguish which games have been created specifically by in-house talent.
Of course, it's entirely possible that "Ubisoft Originals" is just a rebrand for the company to market its existing IPs and nothing more. Lots of companies tend to make smaller branding changes in an attempt to better market their games or services. However, it will be interesting to see whether or not this is the start of something bigger. Hopefully, fans will have a better idea sooner, rather than later!
For those that missed last week's announcement, The Division: Heartland is an upcoming free-to-play title in the popular series. The game will release on consoles, PC, and cloud, and Ubisoft is currently looking for players to help test out the game. A firm release window has not been announced just yet, but the game is expected to release later this year, or in early 2022.
What do you think the reason is for the Ubisoft Originals branding? Do you think Ubisoft plans on publishing outside games? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!