Ubisoft has announced updates to its fiscal calendars for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. Due to the disappointing release of Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Ubisoft is now pushing back three of their next top-tier games, as a result. More within.
At E3 2019, Ubisoft opened their press conference with an incredible preview for Watch_Dogs Legion. After that stellar showing, they proceeded to spend a bunch of time discussing Ghost Recon Breakpoint, highlighted by Jon Bernthal and Bam Bam the Dog. Afterwards, Ubisoft continued their conference with Rainbow Six Quarantine and finished it all off with Gods & Monsters, a game rumored to be Ubisoft‘s Breath of the Wild in the Assassin’s Creed universe.
With Beyond Good and Evil 2 still in development, Ubisoft announced to the world that these four games would play a big part in their 2019-2020 fiscal year. Unfortunately, that will no longer be the case, due to the disappointing release of one of the four, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint.
After highlighting Ubisoft‘s achievements with UPlay, PC, and expansions in Asia and esports, Yves Guillemot, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ubisoft had this to say in an official statement, “However, we have not capitalized on the potential of our latest two AAA releases. 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.”
He went to explain why Breakpoint didn’t succeed:
- 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.
In light of this disappointment and their discovery, Guillemot explained the reasoning behind pushing back their next three AAA titles, “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.”
The announcement is a very candid admission of failure, the likes of which we don’t see very often from high-profile publishers and studios like Ubisoft. While it’s all disappointing news, by all accounts, it’s refreshing to hear them speak openly on the subject and actively pursue to do something about it.
By pushing back Watch_Dogs Legion, Gods & Monsters, and Rainbow Six Quarantine, Ubisoft is taking a massive fiscal blow, as they initially projected net bookings at around €2,185 million and non-IFRS operating income of around €480 million. That amount now shrinks to approximately €1,450 million and non-IFRS operating income of between €20 million and €50 million.
With those three major titles moving to 2020-2021, Ubisoft is now targeting net bookings of approximately €2,600 million and non-IFRS operating income of approximately €600 million for 2020-21.
When official release dates are confirmed, we’ll have them here on Cinelinx.