Ubisoft has provided a shocking update on the current situation at the company. It revealed that its various studios are currently struggling to stay ahead in the industry due to its shift towards mega-brands and long-lasting titles. During a meeting with Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, he claims that recent game releases from the company performed below expectations and due to this, Ubisoft has been forced to cancel 3 unannounced games and further delay Skull and Bones.
At the time, Ubisoft didn’t confirm whether or not the upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Mirage would be delayed. The game currently doesn’t have a release date but given the ongoing pressure at Ubisoft, we’ll likely see the game pushed up further.
Ubisoft says that the company has spent the last four years trying to adapt its current franchises into live-service, mega-brand titles. This includes Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six and Far Cry. However, titles which were released during this period haven’t performed up to standard while others have suffered major delays due to ongoing industry changes.
Ubisoft’s holiday 2022 games, Just Dance 2023 and Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope also performed poorly in sales says Yves Guillemot.
Skull and Bones, which was originally set to release in November last year, was then delayed to March 2023. However, the game has now been delayed again indefinitely. Ubisoft says it will release sometime during the company’s 2023 – 2024 fiscal year. This runs from April 2023 to March 2024. Ubisoft says the delays have greatly helped the development of Skull and Bones.
“The additional time has already paid off and brought impressive improvements to its quality, which has been confirmed by recent playtests. players will be positively surprised by its evolution”.
Ubisoft did confirm that the company still plans to release both Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora and an unannounced game during the upcoming fiscal year. The studio will also release one of its many free-to-play games in development. However, it didn’t reveal which one. Ubisoft is working on multiple including The Division Heartland, The Division Resurgence and Assassin’s Creed: Codename Jade.
“We are clearly disappointed by our recent performance. We are facing contrasted market dynamics as the industry continues to shift towards mega-brands and everlasting live games, in the context of worsening economic conditions affecting consumer spending. Despite excellent ratings and players’ reception as well as an ambitious marketing plan, we were surprised by Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope underperformance in the final weeks of 2022 and early January. Just Dance 2023 underperformed as well. Therefore, with the approval of the Board of Directors, we are taking additional important strategic and operational decisions today. It is key to continue adapting our organization, to further strengthen our execution and to ensure we both deliver amazing games to players as well as great value creation.”
But outside of this sad news, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot says that Ubisoft’s focus remains positive. He claims that the company is well-positioned for change and will grow going forward thanks to its strength of the company.
The industry’s long-term prospects remain promising, and I am convinced Ubisoft is well positioned to benefit from this momentum thanks to the strength of our teams, brands, production capacity, technology and balance-sheet. Our back-catalogue remains very healthy with notably robust activity on Rainbow Six Siege, great momentum for our Assassin’s Creed games, and generally solid performance from our live games. We expect our strategy to build long-lasting live games and transform our biggest brands into truly global phenomenon with multiple offerings across platforms and business models, to ultimately generate significant value creation, with strong topline and operating income growth over the coming years.”