Ubisoft cancels three unannounced games due to underperformance

by Danny Craig  · 
Ubisoft cancels three unannounced games due to underperformance

Gaming giant Ubisoft has canceled three of its yet-to-be-announced titles and delayed Skull and Bones again in a move to cut costs after recent titles underperformed.

The details:

  • Ubisoft confirmed in a recent financial update that it has decided to cancel some of its upcoming projects before their announcements as the company is facing "major challenges as the industry continues to shift towards mega-brands and long-lasting titles." This comes after the underperformance of Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope and Just Dance 2023, which "surprised" the publisher after generally positive reviews.
  • Ubisoft Singapore’s pirate game, Skull and Bones, was saved from the chopping block but received its sixth delay since its original announcement back in 2017. It’s now targeted for release during the 2023–24 fiscal year, with Ubisoft believing players will be "positively surprised by its evolution" when its beta phase finally happens.
  • Along with depreciating about €500 million of capitalized R&D to reflect the "increased cautiousness related to the current challenging video game market and macroeconomic environment as well as the necessary increased focus on fewer titles," the company is also undergoing a "targeted restructuring" in an effort to save about €200 million.

What else is going on with Ubisoft?

  • After several games were delayed and failed to release by the end of 2022, as first reported by Kotaku, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot sent an email to staff asking for their "full energy and commitment to ensure we get back on the path to success." The CEO stated that the postponed launches "weighed on our costs and decreased our associated revenues.”
  • Massive Entertainment’s upcoming open-world Star Wars title could likely feature microtransactions. A recent job listing seeking a monetization specialist appeared on the studio’s careers site to focus on finding ways to "generate additional revenues in the fairest, value-added way possible" across "multiple projects."
  • Lead gameplay designer at Massive, Fredrik Thylander, recently expressed the opinion that achievements and trophies in games have had a negative effect on the final products. He claims that the implementation of the systems "eat resources that could have made the game better." Although Thylander wrote his tweet from the viewpoint of a game designer, many players disagreed with him in their responses. For example, one player claimed that achievements can be “a reason to go back and replay the game.”

Looking to work on Ubisoft’s existing and upcoming games? You can find positions at the publisher here.

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