Yesterday was a great day for Ubisoft and not at all a good one. The publisher has announced the delay of a number of big games, including Watch Dogs Legion, Rainbow Six Quaratine and Gods and Monsters, which have collectively played a big part in Ubisoft's bottom line for the fiscal year.
Another contributing factor to Ubi's financial woes and Part of the cause of all the delays was the thunderous failure of Ghost Recon Breakpoint and, to a lesser extent, Division 2. Ubisoft did not provide the numbers but stated that it had made a "cut a downward revision to the expected revenue from the two games, which she blamed for failing to distinguish Breakpoint from its predecessor, a total lack of interest in sequels to live games, and unnecessary mistakes for game failure.
In a conference call after the announcement, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said that while Breakpoint would naturally be compared to Ghost Recon Wildlands, it's not a fair comparison because the Wildlands had years to get their act together. This is a lesson that applies to live games across the country: Extensions to live games cannot be handled in the same way as standard start-to-finish games.
"We continue to learn and adjust to the realities of live operations and what we have just experienced is that it is more difficult to create interest in continuing a successful multiplayer live game when the past iteration is benefited from years of optimization and improvements, "said Guillemot. "With so much learning and confidence in our teams, we mistakenly believed that after a 30-36 month difference between players, players would be ready to enjoy new adventures from our live games. Ultimately, it turned out to be too short a time. frame. "
But he also acknowledged that Breakpoint blew it squarely and squarely in many ways. Changes in the core gameplay elements are one problem in particular: Ubisoft has generally had great success developing its various franchises over the years, but "some of these formula changes can be confusing and require perfect application to offer the optimum experience ". Guillemot said.
"This was not the case with Ghost Recon Breakpoint. The changes we made to its core gameplay have generated a lot of negative reaction … While the formula change was received very well by some players, such as a day's average playing time. player has been very strong for more than three hours, and has also been rejected by an important part of the community. "
Interestingly, he also admitted that Ubisoft rolled up the dice a little, freeing Breakpoint while he was still suffering from some famous technical issues. They were not "blockers," Guillemot said, and Ubisoft was convinced that what he considered to be "small flaws" easily exceeded the overall quality of the cooperative campaign ̵
what we are seeing now is that we have mistaken our players' assumptions, "said Guillemot.
Watch Legion of Dogs, Six Quarantine Arc, and the Gods and Monsters are now all expected to arrive sometime in Q2 / Q3 from Ubisoft's next fiscal year, which puts them between July 1 and December 31, 2020. Beyond that sounds like Ubisoft's experience with Breakpoint means that we will wait longer than usual for its next round of live games.
"We need to make sure that multiplayer live games have enough time between each iteration received to build high expectation and momentum," Guilemot said. "We need to make sure that all of our upcoming productions benefit from sufficient development time. This has been our strategy for many years and has proven very effective. This situation tells us that we cannot make exceptions."