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Ubisoft’s two big 2019 releases under-performed, early 2020 games delayed

Ever since the poor launch of Assassin’s Creed Unity, Ubisoft has been turning a new leaf by giving developers more time and remaining open to game delays. Today, Ubisoft held its quarterly earnings report, going over how The Division 2 and Ghost Recon Breakpoint under-performed and reassessing the release dates for a few of its announced 2020 games.

This year, Ubisoft had forecast higher year-on-year earnings compared to the 2018 to 2019 fiscal year. That estimate has now been lowered by roughly 25 percent to match earnings in 2016-2017. This change comes down to the fact that The Division 2 and Ghost Recon Breakpoint fell below sales expectations by quite some margin. Ubisoft has been looking into the cause for this, coming up with three main factors:

“First, it is harder to generate interest for a sequel to a Live multiplayer game, when prior iterations have benefited from years of optimisation. 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.”

“Finally, Ghost Recon Breakpoint did not come in with enough differentiation factors, which prevented the game’s intrinsic qualities from standing out”.

Due to Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s launch day issues in particular, Ubisoft is “implementing significant changes” to its production processes. Multiple games pencilled in for early 2020 have also been delayed.

Watch Dogs: Legion is perhaps the biggest game to be affected by delays. The game was due to come out in March 2020 but will now release sometime between the 1st of July and the end of December 2020. Gods and Monsters also falls into this category with the same release window. Rainbow Six Quarantine was also expected in early 2020 but will now arrive some time between the 1st of April 2020 and the 31st of March 2021. Two unannounced Triple A games are also due out in this time frame, one of which is presumably the next Assassin’s Creed.

While Ubisoft’s early 2020 release calendar is now sparse, the publisher is still committed to continued updates and improvements to The Division 2 and Ghost Recon Breakpoint in an effort to eventually win players over.

KitGuru Says: I’m a tad surprised that The Division 2 significantly under-performed due to positive reviews and reactions from streamers. Ghost Recon Breakpoint seems a bit more obvious as the game didn’t have much positive buzz around it over the course of this year. Did any of you happen to play either of these games? Do you think ‘live service’ games should focus more on evolving over time rather than moving on to sequels every few years?

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