Ubisoft has been having a rough go of it lately. In addition to an ongoing company-wide toxic management reckoning, the publisher has spent the last year delaying and canceling multiple projects (seven in total have been canned, five of which hadn’t even been announced). What exactly is causing all this turmoil behind the scenes?
Well, insider Tom Henderson, who has delivered accurate Ubisoft-related info multiple times in the past, has attempted to shine some light on the situation. Henderson spoke to five current and former Ubisoft employees, and according to them, the reason for the cancellations and delays was that the games simply weren’t measuring up when presented to playtesters. It seems one issue is Ubisoft’s fixation on the battle royale format, with one employee saying there were at least a dozen games in the genre in various states of development at one point. The publisher has also been struggling with post-COVID hybrid development and will likely return fully to in-office development within the next year.
The dozen battle royale projects figure is a bit shocking, but it does make some sense. Ubisoft has specialized in open-world games and shooters, so of course they’d want to combine them. Still, the fact that so many BR projects were greenlit at the same time really speaks to a lack of focus and leadership at the company at the moment.
That said, according to Henderson, the employees he talked to did have some optimism for the future. Apparently, Ubisoft has a lot of stuff in the pipeline, it’s just taking a long time to finish and polish everything. Ubisoft is slated to launch Skull and Bones, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora during fiscal year 2024 (which runs from April of this year, to the end of March 2024) and the latter two are expected to do well. Henderson also hints that a new entry in The Crew series is expected for FY2024.
What do you think? Can Ubisoft right the ship? Of is a company that tries to make a dozen battle royales at once beyond hope?