It’s one of those days, and by one of those days I mean a day when loads of games get delayed all at once. The Last of Us Part II appears to be on hold until May and now it has been officially announced that a bunch of Ubisoft titles are also being delayed.
Ubisoft are usually quite good at responding to fan feedback, they put Assassin’s Creed on hold for a while to sort out problems with the franchise and it appears that the savage reception that Ghost Recon Breakpoint recieved has made them rethink the release of Watch Dogs Legion, Rainbow Six Quarantine and Gods And Monsters.
Yves Guillemot, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ubisoft released the following statement:
For Ghost Recon Breakpoint, while the game’s quality appeared on track – based on E3, Gamescom, previews and our latest internal playtests –, critical reception and sales during the game’s first weeks were very disappointing. As we have done with past titles, we will continue to support the game and listen to the community in order to deliver the necessary improvements.
At this stage, we have identified three main reasons behind this underperformance:
- First, it is harder to generate interest for a sequel to a Live multiplayer game, when prior iterations benefited from years of optimization. Consequently, we need to make sure there is more time between each iteration of Live games.
- Second, our strategy of introducing gameplay innovations in our games has had a very positive impact on our brands. However, to win over players, these innovations need to be perfectly implemented in order to offer an optimal experience. This has not yet been sufficiently the case with Ghost Recon Breakpoint. While the change of formula has been very well received by some players, with an average daily playtime per player of over three hours, it also has been strongly rejected by a significant portion of the community.
- Finally, Ghost Recon Breakpoint did not come in with enough differentiation factors, which prevented the game’s intrinsic qualities from standing out.
We are tackling these issues head-on and already are implementing significant changes to our production processes. We are confident in our capacity to adapt and evolve, as we have done successfully many times in the past.
In this overall context, we have decided to postpone the releases of Gods & Monsters, Rainbow Six Quarantine and Watch_Dogs Legion until 2020-21. While each of these games already has a strong identity and high potential, we want our teams to have more development time to ensure that their respective innovations are perfectly implemented so as to deliver optimal experiences for players.
Yves notes that the delay “will have a very significant impact on our financial results for this fiscal year” so this was not a decision they made lightly, but good on them for putting the quality of the games first before hitting release schedules.
UPDATE: A Ubisoft investor conference call is going on right now, Daniel Ahmed, Senior Analyst at Niko Partner tweets:
Rainbow Six Quarantine, Watch Dogs Legion, Gods and Monsters and Roller Champions will release before the end of 2020 and be optimised for next gen too
There are two more unannounced games that will be released before the end of March 2021, and Skull & Bones is still in development. Ubosft have also stated that Ghost Recon Breakpoint did not perform well and sales were significantly below expectations.