Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is a game that Ubisoft fully intends to support for years, according to User Experience & Realization Director Matthew Tomkinson. Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is the follow-up effort to Ghost Recon: Wildlands, a game that represented an innovative departure for the series as it left the comfortable confines of linear level design and embarked on an open world concept journey instead.
The result of that journey were middling — critics were impressed with some of the game's elements but generally disliked the game's repetition, narrative, and especially its vehicle controls. Ghost Recon: Wildlands still sold over 4 million copies in its first six months, though, and the game was a financial success by all definitions of the term. According to Tomkinson, though, there were a lot of lessons learned in between Wildlands and Breakpoint, and the development team seems primed to use that knowledge to support a lengthy post-launch life-cycle.
During our interview with Tomkinson, he made note of the fact that Ghost Recon: Wildlands received a staggering 19 different content updates over the course of its life cycle, including the recent one that saw Jon Bernthal added as a plant in some free missions before he was introduced as Breakpoint's main villain. After discussing the many updates Wildlands had, Tomkinson was asked about whether or not the team plans to dive that deep on Breakpoint content as well:
"Oh yeah. It's really a game that we imagine being played for years to come. We have lots of ideas. We have already prepared quite strong content for endgame players, like the raids that will be released quite early after [launch]. There's so much more...there will be lots of content for the game and the players. We wanted to make it like a place where you live, where you spend time, where you grow with your characters with lots of new stuff to discover."
According to Tomkinson, Ubisoft already has lots of ideas — including the implementation of new Ghost Recon: Breakpoint islands as post-launch content — and that the span of these ideas has the development team believing that players will be able to engage with Breakpoint for years. That positions it a lot more like a Destiny or The Division kind of game than its predecessor, which makes sense. With such an extensive open world design and a system that rewards players for pursuing Ghost Recon: Breakpoint however they want, embracing that depth and attempting to create a long-lasting, content-filled service is the logical next step.
The next question, then, is how much will Ghost Recon: Breakpoint resemble other games that frequently launch live service updates and content releases? The game will have PvP built-in at launch, and has tied its story, PvP, and exploration gains together, so that players maintain their progress across every mode. Will that mean a heavier focus on PvP? Could we see a Ghost Recon battle royale after all? We can't say for certain, but at the very least, there's plenty of tantalizing possibilities in play for Ghost Recon: Breakpoint as Ubisoft gears up for an October 4th release date.