It looks like things are getting a little rocky over at Ubisoft. According to a report released today, Ubisoft will be adjusting its financial targets and delaying the releases of three upcoming titles — Gods & Monsters, Rainbow Six Quarantine, and Watch Dogs: Legion — following poor reception of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, among other factors.
Ubisoft misses financial targets
It appears as if Ubisoft is significantly lowering its financial projections for the year. According to the report, Ubisoft is expecting net bookings to drop from €2,185 million ($2,426 million) to €1,450 million ($1,610 million) for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Ubisoft’s non-IFRS operating income sees an even more drastic decrease from approximately €480 million ($533 million) to €20-50 million ($22-56 million). However, Ubisoft is seeking to “maximize the future value of (its) brands.” Ubisoft estimates much higher net bookings and non-IRFS operating incomes for the 2020-21 fiscal year, at €2,600 million ($2,887 million) and €600 million ($666 million) respectively.
The gaming industry is no stranger to layoffs even when companies are operating in the black, so this is mildly concerning, but jobs are likely safe since no games are actually being canceled.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint and live game failures have reset strategy
Ubisoft attributes the sudden downturn in its financial projections to a few factors, but primarily Ghost Recon Breakpoint‘s critical and commercial failure. Additionally, Ubisoft says that The Division 2 underperformed to a lesser extent. Delaying Watch Dogs: Legion and the other titles is a strategic reaction to these missteps.
Ubisoft highlights a few major points in its report. First, the company will seek to add more development time between iterations of “live” games like The Division. Second, the gameplay in Ghost Recon Breakpoint was not up to par. Lastly, Breakpoint did not have enough “differentiation factors,” presumably meaning the game didn’t stand out from the crowd. Perhaps the report is alluding to Breakpoint scavenging gameplay elements from other Ubisoft titles like Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
Gods & Monsters, Watch Dogs: Legion, and Rainbow Six Quarantine will now be released in fiscal year 2020-21. Gods & Monsters originally had a release date set for February 25, 2020. Watch Dogs Legion was set to release on March 6. Finally, Rainbow Six Quarantine was scheduled for release in the first quarter of the year. It’s no doubt disappointing for fans to see these games delayed, but Ubisoft stands by its decision, stating that they “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.”
If you are a fan of Ghost Recon Breakpoint, don’t let the news concern you too much. According to Ubisoft, the developer and publisher will “continue to support the game and listen to the community in order to deliver the necessary improvements.” PC Invasion was not impressed by Breakpoint and gave it a 6 out of 10.