Following what was reported as ‘surprisingly slow’ sales, Ubisoft has revealed the cancellation of three unannounced games. As there was a wave of cancellations made last summer, this brings the total number of scrapped Ubisoft projects to seven in just six months. Not only that, but Ubisoft has also delayed Skull & Bones – for the sixth time – and apparently, the CEO of the firm has let employees know that the onus of recovering the company is on them.
It’s a worrying time for the legendary developer, whose share price continues to plummet days after the cancellations were announced. If insider sources are to be believed, then Ubisoft’s attempts at sourcing a complete acquisition or a merger with another company in an attempt to shore up losses were ‘laughed at’. It was a year ago that Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, stated that the company would be open to an acquisition, but twelve months later, nobody wants to pick up the seemingly dwindling firm.
Is There Anything Good In Store For Ubisoft?
Recently, Ubisoft broke down a few more details about Assassin’s Creed Mirage, the next injection of exploration and opportunity in its open-world flagship franchise. In an interview, Stéphane Boudon, a Creative Director at Ubisoft, explained that it’s a return to the franchise’s roots that developers are aiming for – a return to form of sorts. There will be no magical, mythical elements in Mirage, but instead, it has been created to appear as a ‘love letter’ to the first-ever Assassin’s Creed game.
That’s good news for fans of the franchise, as while Odyssey, Origins, and Valhalla have been exciting, well-built games, they’ve felt like a step away from what made Assassin’s Creed Assassin’s Creed.
Now, in a more back-to-basics style of game, Assassin’s Creed Mirage revisits the classic stealth mechanics that made the franchise so popular. And, as it’s a much smaller world in general, Ubisoft has been able to make the 9th Century rendition of Baghdad much more dense, akin to Paris in 2014’s Assassin’s Creed Unity.
Unfortunately, that may be too little, too late for Ubisoft. With half a dozen cancelled projects in the bag and the need to recoup a huge amount of money, the firm is floundering. Despite a recent investment by Tencent, there’s still a need to cut costs, and that means delaying or cancelling games, and cutting out any unnecessary baggage.
Skull & Bones Won’t Set Sail Yet
Off the back of the cancellation announcement, Ubisoft revealed that Skull & Bones has been delayed yet again. This now marks the sixth time that the game has been delayed, and some fans are wondering whether it’s worth scrapping the project entirely. There are high expectations that Skull & Bones will be a cash cow for Ubisoft, standing firm as the kind of live service title that brings in a steady stream of revenue for a developer, and that’s likely why Ubisoft is reluctant to let it go.
As a global community, we’ve been waiting for Skull & Bones for several years, and it now seems like one of those games that, in truth, won’t ever see the light of day. One thing is for sure – Ubisoft needs to pull itself up and release some top-tier games soon, or further downfalls could be in store for the firm. There’s a push right now for Ubisoft to break further into free-to-play and mobile-based games, but will it be enough to save the company?