Ubisoft announced today that they will be delaying several upcoming big titles, including Watch Dogs: Legion, Gods & Monsters, and Rainbow Six Quarantine. Originally all set to release in the first quarter of 2020, they’ve now been delayed to the second half of next year—Ubisoft’s 2019-2020 fiscal year. They will also be “optimized” for the next generation of consoles, according to GamesIndustry.biz.
This decision comes after poor sales performances from Ghost Recon Breakpoint and The Division 2, both released earlier this year. In a conference call, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot admitted that Ubisoft may have jumped the gun with the sequels, rather than waiting for players to naturally move on from the gameplay of the originals after “experiencing that gameplay for a long time,” according to Engadget. Moving forward, Guillemot believes Ubisoft “[needs] to wait longer for something that is more differentiated.” Additionally, Ubisoft did not meet their projections for the current fiscal year. They’ve lowered their projections from $2.4 billion to $1.6 billion in net bookings. Their profit projections also dropped from around $533 million to somewhere between $22 million and $55 million.
This isn’t the first time that Ubisoft has delayed a game this year. Back in May, they delayed the multiplayer pirate game Skull and Bones from 2019 to 2020 (after it had originally been set to release in 2018). Sure enough, Skull and Bones has been delayed yet again, now to the fiscal year following next year—meaning an April 2021 release at the earliest.
Now, Ubisoft has five AAA games set to release in the 2020-2021 fiscal year. In addition to Watch Dogs: Legion, Gods & Monsters, and Rainbow Six Quarantine, two new titles from Ubisoft’s “biggest franchises” will come out.
Guillemot acknowledged the gravity of their decision, saying it “will have a very significant impact on our financial results for this fiscal year and goes against our recent successes in building a more stable development model. However, it is in line with our strategy to maximize the future value of our brands for the long-term benefits of our employees, players, and shareholders.”