Skip to main content

To stay hip, Ubisoft buys Owlient, a free-to-play games developer

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Zynga is making a lot of money publishing social games on Facebook like FarmVille and now everyone wants a piece of the action. Not content to be outdone by the likes of EA and Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft is now purchasing Owlient, a French developer specializing in Internet free-to-play games, reports the AP. Like its competitors, Ubisoft is having a go at publishing free online games that are filled with microtransactions. Owlient has built an infrastructure to help them do that.

“We are thrilled to welcome the talented team at Owlient to Ubisoft,” said Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot. “Over the last five years they have developed an architecture dedicated to delivering and monetizing games as a service, as well as the skills of attracting and retaining online communities…This acquisition is the next step in the acceleration of Ubisoft’s free-to-play strategy following last year’s launch of Settlers OnlineCSI Crime City and Heroes Kingdoms, as well as the recent beta launch of our ambitious title Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online.”

Owlient’s is also predictably excited about the deal: “Joining the Ubisoft team will allow us to accelerate our international business and to expand our expertise and our games to new platforms. It also lets us integrate our proven online services architecture with Ubisoft’s so that we can help grow their brands online,” said Olivier Issaly, CEO of Owlient. “We are proud of what our team has accomplished and confident that joining Ubisoft will allow us to continue that success. We’d also like to thank our shareholder Innovacom, who has accompanied the Owlient team over the years as we developed.”

Owlient is an interesting purchase. The company has gathered a userbase of 25 million to its self-titled service, which is headlined by games like Howrse, which lets you train and race ponies until they die of old age and are sent to heaven. We have not tested any of the publisher’s games, but if you’ve played any of Owlient’s titles, please let us know what you think. Is this a good move for Owlient? Ubisoft?

Editors' Recommendations

Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
Facebook Gaming partners with Ubisoft, expands cloud services
facebook gaming partnership ubisoft cloud facb1

Facebook Gaming announced that it is partnering up with Ubisoft to bring certain games to the cloud gaming service. This service will expand to the majority of the mainland of the United States.

Facebook Gaming is a service that allows users to stream games on their Android devices for free using cloud servers. Users can easily access the service using the Facebook Gaming app, which is found on the Android app store. Currently, there are over 25 games that users can stream for free, including Roller Coaster Tycoon Touch, State of Survival, and Lego Legacy Heroes Unboxed.

Read more
The best free PlayStation 4 games available today
a player skydives in Call of Duty: Warzone

The best free-to-play games are often underrated. While some of the criticism is well earned, there are a lot of excellent free-to-play titles available. For those tired of spending $60 for the latest AAA games, here are the best PS4 games that you can download and play immediately at no cost.
Call of Duty: Warzone

It may not be the first Call of Duty game to do battle royale, but it's certainly the best -- not just in the franchise, but in the entire genre. Warzone has already amassed incredible acclaim, garnering a whopping 30 million players in little over a week since it was first released. The sprawling world map of Verdansk is an incredible sight to see and well equipped for the 150-player matches.

Read more
Ubisoft developing open-world Star Wars game, ending EA exclusivity

Ubisoft is developing an open-world Star Wars game that will release under the revived Lucasfilm Games banner. The planned release will be the first Star Wars game from a studio outside of EA in nearly a decade, ending a multiyear exclusivity deal.

The new title is being developed by Ubisoft Massive and will use the studio's Snowdrop engine. The Division 2 director Julian Gerighty is serving as creative director on the project and Ubisoft is currently staffing up for it.

Read more