Ubisoft cancels four more games, delays Skull & Bones for sixth time amid financial woes


Posts: 8,609   +107
Staff member
In a nutshell: Ubisoft, once voted the most hated gaming brand in the world, isn't having a good time right now. In addition to lowering its financial projections target for the last quarter and admitting its recent releases didn't perform as well as expected, the company has canceled three more games, adding to the four it canceled in the summer. It has also delayed Skull and Bones for a sixth time.

It was back in July when Ubisoft announced the cancelation of four in-development games, including Splinter Cell VR and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Frontline. Three more unannounced titles are joining the discarded pile, bringing the total to an expensive seven cancelations in one financial year.

Explaining its reasons for the move, Ubisoft pointed to Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope and Just Dance 2023 not performing as well as expected. The company also said it is "facing major challenges as the industry continues to shift towards mega-brands and long-lasting titles than [sic] can reach players across the globe, across platforms and business models."

There's some bad news for those hoping to play the finished version of Skull and Bones on March 9. The pirate sim is being delayed for an incredible sixth time to the early part of Ubisoft's 2023-24 fiscal year, which starts in April.

"Players will be able to discover the beauty of Skull and Bones in the upcoming beta phase. The additional time has already paid off and brought impressive improvements to its quality, which has been confirmed by recent playtests," Ubisoft said in its financial statement. "We believe players will be positively surprised by its evolution. We have decided to postpone its release in order to have more time to showcase a much more polished and balanced experience and to build awareness."

Those canned games have cost the company a lot of money. It has depreciated roughly €500 million ($538 million) in capitalized research and development expenses related to "upcoming premium and free-to-play games and the newly canceled titles."

Ubisoft has also lowered its financial projections for the October-December quarter from around €830 million ($891 million) to approximately €725 million ($779 million). It expects net bookings to fall by 10% for the year, having previously predicted those revenues to rise 10%. The company is looking to reduce expenses by another €200 million ($215 million) over the next two years through "targeted restructuring, divesting some non-core assets, and usual natural attrition." Unsurprisingly, Ubisoft's share price is in freefall (above).

2022 was far from Ubisoft's best year. There was the NFT debacle that saw the company's hubris over the non-fungible-token experiment with Ghost Recon Breakpoint thrown back in its face when it was wound down just four months after launch. There was also the talk of a buyout, or lack of one, disabling features in online games, allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct at certain Ubisoft studios, and let's not forget it charging $120 for Far Cry 6 GOTY Edition even though the game didn't win a GOTY award. For an organization voted the most-hated gaming brand in 2021, there was certainly plenty of schadenfreude among consumers.

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Posts: 4,064   +7,221
Oh man, I guess embracing current year politics and pumping out near identical garbage for 15 years has finally caught up to them.

I'm sure to shed a tear for the arseholes that pioneered always online DMR for single player games and the war crime that was uplay.


Posts: 945   +846
TechSpot Elite
Ubisoft have not learned anything from the last decade of gaming. When you mess with a community, they fight back, usually with their wallets.
No one wanted NFTs in games and that writing was on the wall before they announced it.
No one wants yearly releases anymore.
No one wants another free-to-play MMO.
No one wants bloody UBISOFT CONNECT.

People want high quality games that will last them a good long while with stuff to do that isn't repetitive. AC Valhalla was close to the mark but despite its impressive open world its remarkably empty with many repetitive quests.
FC6 took a route similar to FC5: New Dawn and I couldn't get onboard on a free weekend, despite loving the previous series entries.
Watch Dogs Legion left a lot to be desired....
Just Dance.... who actually plays this? I appreciate I have no interaction for what is probably the target demographic but pretty sure tweens don't want to play dancing games anymore, they've got their tiktok dances.

Disabling online features on old games, while it sucked, is not a massive deal, no one was playing those games in great numbers and we all accept these things happen over time.
Some things they're doing are hitting the mark, indie games, Rocksmith+ and people seem to like Brawlhalla, maybe think what makes these successful?

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,584   +4,630
This isn't a huge surprise because the two most recent iterations of arguably their two biggest franchises (Assassin's Creed and Far Cry) were inferior to their immediate predecessors.

Assassin's Creed: Odyssey was an open-world RPG masterpiece on the level of Skyrim and Witcher 3. The downside of producing a masterpiece of that level is that Valhalla, while a fantastic game in its own right, just couldn't live up to the impossible standard that Odyssey had set.

Far Cry 5 could have been a masterpiece like Odyssey but Ubisoft decided to give it easily THE WORST story ending in the entire Far Cry franchise just to set the stage for Far Cry: New Dawn. That was a corporate money-based decision that automatically disqualifies it from being a masterpiece. Despite that, I still think that it's the best in the franchise overall and something that Far Cry 6 couldn't live up to.

These two franchises are a HUGE chunk of Ubisoft's bread-and-butter. The successes of Odyssey and Far Cry 5 made Ubisoft's executives think that they could do no wrong and so they tried pulling even more crap than they had before. Now, with their two marquee franchises on a downturn, they're REALLY feeling the consequences of their actions.

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 1,606   +1,521
I would love to see a sequel to Odyssey. Something about that games settings and mood and the added mythology was very special. Some of the missions were too limited and repetitive, so a sequel that improves all the little things, ups the beauty with UE5, adds more mythology much more involved side quests, better bonuses for legendary sets would be awesome.

James Ryan

Posts: 50   +79
I would love to see a sequel to Odyssey. Something about that games settings and mood and the added mythology was very special. Some of the missions were too limited and repetitive, so a sequel that improves all the little things, ups the beauty with UE5, adds more mythology much more involved side quests, better bonuses for legendary sets would be awesome.
I couldn't agree more Origins and Odyssey were sensational for having enjoyable, different landscapes and stories. I just couldn't get into Valhalla the same. I like Viking culture and lore so I think it was the landscape. It wasn't different enough to be captivating. Plus I hated doing the quests in Valhalla it was just a nightmare to traverse...


Posts: 883   +897
It seems the appetite for endless cookie-cutter open-world rehashes has gone. Maybe a genuine new IP and not another skin on the same stale formula????
If you insist on rehashes how about buying the IP and rehashing Tie Fighter or Conflict Freespace? - I really fancy a good mission-based spacey game with a story you progress through and not an open world in sight.


Posts: 206   +247
Wow, get woke go broke actually hit them in the end, as it should have. Good. If you put identity politics in your game, I am NOT playing it. I'm not paying for a game to be "shaped for modern audiences" or "adapted to include diversity". If you want that, ask the community you are pandering to for money. I don't want climate change related stuff in the games. I want fun, a good story and zero modern politics, one side or the other.
Every time these companies think they know better than us, it hits them in the head. But they never learn, apparently.


Posts: 178   +108
Their stupidity is palpable. Even though I have never much liked Assassin's Creed or Far Cry 2, the latter being a reboot of the series with quite a different apporach, I think both titles had great bases to improve from, but eventually Ubisoft turned every miracle their super talented developers created to unconsiderate greedy cringefests. Rainbow Six: Siege and For Honor, two the best multiplayers of the last decade, both destroyed by senseless updates. Ubisofts management is the whole and complete reason for this. Such incompetence is staggering to witness. You just don't take whatever you want and sprinkle it with the thing X to appeal to the masses, no matter if it is gender politics, twitch gameplay or simply 'moar content'. They have completely deserved this freefall which I don't expect to end before the company is sold forward, or perhaps they tone down so that they can continue making AA-titles. My only advice for the shareholders is to get rid of the bosses there as fast as possible!