French developer Ubisoft announced today that it would be putting the brakes on the development of three projects. Far Cry 5, which was slated to launch on February 27, 2018, is being pushed back a month to March 27. The Crew 2 had a launch date of March 16, 2018, but has now been rescheduled to a vague window between April and September of 2018. A third title that has not been announced yet but was apparently scheduled to release sometime in the 2018-2019 fiscal year is now set back to Ubisoft's 2019-2020 FY.
Ubisoft’s Worldwide Studios Executive Director Christine Burgess-Quémard issued an official statement regarding the delays, saying the extra time will be used to deliver a more “engaging” gaming experience.
“This decision is in line with our strategic vision of developing even more engaging and higher quality experiences for gamers. Taking more time with Assassin’s Creed Origins enabled our talented development team to fully express their creative vision. As expected, this had a very positive impact on the game’s quality and largely participated to its commercial success. Taking a similar approach, we have decided to invest additional development time in three upcoming games.”
Ubisoft’s sales in November for Assassin’s Creed Origins as well as older titles put it in a favorable position for announcing the delays. The extra time spent on ACO has proven to be profitable, helping to increase third-quarter sales by 70 million euros ($82.5 million). That's a healthy profit considering there are still two months left in its third fiscal quarter. The company hopes to apply the same development tactic to its other franchises to drive the momentum through the rest of the year and into the next fiscal period.
“Our back-catalog performance throughout November followed the same excellent trends as in the first half of the year, and sales for Assassin’s Creed Origins continued their positive launch trajectory,” said Ubisoft’s CFO Alain Martinez. “We are now in a position to both update our financial 2017-18 targets, notably by revising our profitability upward, as well as invest additional development time in our future releases.”
While delays are always disappointing, it is good to know that Ubisoft is using the time to polish its games. Personally, I would rather wait an extra month for a title than have the devs rush it out with a multitude of bugs and other problems, which seems to be a growing trend among other studios.