Some companies have been converting their pay-to-play MMOs on the down-low or acquiring developers to work on top secret projects without being conspicuous about it. Many publishers are trying to ease into the free-to-play market catering to more than 60 million players because free-to-play is still somewhat frowned upon in many gaming circles. However, Ubisoft doesn’t seem to mind making it very well known that they’re in the free-to-play game to stay and they’re planning to continue their expansion in the MMO market by bringing in another developer, Owlient, to work on an upcoming big-budget project.

Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer at Ubisoft commented in the press release, saying…
“This acquisition is the next step in the acceleration of Ubisoft’s free-to-play strategy following last year’s launch of Settlers Online, CSI Crime City and Heroes Kingdoms, as well as the recent beta launch of our ambitious title Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online.”

Electronic Arts has already been a part of the free-to-play arena with Battlefield and Need for Speed World. Activision doesn’t need to worry about free-to-play games with their ocean liner, World of Warcraft dwarfing the competition for almost a decade. Ubisoft, to be one of the biggest game publishers out there, was a little slow joining in on the MMO genre but they seem to be setting up the company to make big strides in catching up with EA and Activision with some really high-profile projects in the work.

Owlient will join the likes of Massive Entertainment, Nadeo and Quazal as other developers who are currently under the Ubisoft label to design original, free-to-play MMO projects.

You can learn more about Ubisoft’s MMO plans by heading on over to the Official Website. At the moment Ghost Recon Online is undergoing closed beta testing. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on what the projects will be once they get announced.

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