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Assassin’s Creed publisher Ubisoft is on a losing streak

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The Na'vi in ​​Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora announces a new release date.

Image: Ubisoft

Another big Ubisoft game has been delayed. Avatar: Pandora’s Limits will not arrive for the release of James Cameron’s feature film Avatar: Path of Water in December of this year and currently launches no earlier than March 2023. CEO Yves Guillemot also told staff on Thursday that some projects have been canceled and that the publisher will have to cut costs to “the bare necessities” as it searches for its next hit blockbuster.

“We have also decided to halt development on some games so that these talents can focus on other higher priority projects,” Guillemot wrote in a corporate email viewed by Kotaku. He continued:

In the current economic climate, careful and strategic management of our investments is more critical now than ever. Thus, we must succeed in strictly limiting our spending to what is necessary, questioning some of our habits and reflexes, and jointly reinventing ourselves to gain cost, flexibility, and efficiency benefits.

Guillemot reiterated that despite these challenges, the company is still aiming for more than $400 million in operating profit this year.

In addition to AvatarUbisoft announced today during its first quarter income statement that another “unannounced smaller premium game” originally planned for this fiscal year has also been delayed. Perhaps it was a reference to Project Rift, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla DLC has become a standalone game. bloomberg informed that the game was intended to fill in gaps in Ubisoft’s upcoming release calendar, though two sources familiar with Ubisoft’s plans recently revealed Kotaku that the game faced new challenges despite the rush to complete it.

As for which projects have been cancelled, Guillemot confirmed during today’s call that at least two of them have been cancelled. Splinter Cell VR as well as Ghost Recon Frontline. The latter was a battle royale-influenced multiplayer shooter that was heavily criticized after its announcement last year and returned to the drawing board earlier in 2022 after playtests accused it of being too game-like. Call of Duty: Warzone rip off.

Thus, until the end of 2021, Ubisoft had hopes for a new Mario + Rabbids strategy the game and this headache of many years of development Skull and Bones. But while the latter cost as much as any big blockbuster, the people who worked on it remain skeptical that it will be the hit the company needs. The pirate ship game has little to offer beyond what was already shown when it resurfaced in a live stream earlier this month, according to one developer. Despite the survival sim’s many resource-gathering mechanics, they said that every single part of the game lacks depth.

In today’s telephone conversation, Guillemot accused Avatara delay with wider production issues related to the coronavirus and a desire to make the game a strong start to a new series for the publisher. Kotaku understands that at least one manufacturer was recently removed from another major project to take part in it. Guillemot also attempted to allay investor skepticism by cryptically pointing to a new “valuable mobile licensing partnership for one of our AAA brands,” although he did not share details under pressure from analysts.

Assassin’s Creed remains one of the few big bright spots for the company, and Kotaku understands that in addition to the live service project Assassin’s Creed InfinityUbisoft is also still planning another new open world game. Assassin’s Creed a game called Project Red (Update: 2:10 pm ET, 7/21/22: bloombergJason Schreier reports Red is actually part of Infinity, not a standalone game). According to two sources familiar with its development, the action will take place in Asia. VentureBeatJeff Grubb previously reported that the game may be set in Japan, and although Kotaku While I can’t confirm it, sources have said that this setting, in addition to being a long-requested one by fans, has been discussed internally for a long time.

Meanwhile, several employees say Kotaku Ubisoft’s various studios are facing smaller and smaller staff raises, fewer hirings and various budget freezes. This new wave of austerity comes as many big tech companies brace for a potential recession. However, Ubisoft’s concerns go beyond that, as ambitious projects like Beyond Good and Evil 2the sequel to the beloved cult-classic action-RPG, still completely missing. and senior developers of some major franchises are leaving the ship.

The next Ubisoft Forward game showcase will take place on September 10th. The company did not respond to a request for comment.


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