Ubisoft has updated its strategy for the near future, and in a new statement, has revealed that it has canceled three unannounced games and has delayed Skull and Bones yet again. Attributing this leaner focus on “major challenges” and an industry that it says is shifting towards “mega-brands and long-lasting titles,” Ubisoft says that its recent launches have not performed as well as expected.
The holiday season, which usually sees major business for Ubisoft, was a “surprisingly slower” period for the company, and as a result, it’ll be focusing more of its efforts on building its current brands and live service titles. “As a consequence, we have decided to cancel three unannounced projects, on top of the four already announced in July 2022,” Ubisoft said.
“We are clearly disappointed by our recent performance,” Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said. “We are facing contrasted market dynamics as the industry continues to shift towards mega-brands and everlasting live games, in the context of worsening economic conditions affecting consumer spending. Despite excellent ratings and players’ reception as well as an ambitious marketing plan, we were surprised by Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope underperformance in the final weeks of 2022 and early January. Just Dance 2023 underperformed as well.”
Ubisoft has revised its Q3 2022-23 net bookings target, which it now expects to reach approximately $779 million versus its prior target of approximately $831 million. Skull and Bones, which has been delayed several times since it was first revealed and was due to set sail on March 9, will be released in the 2024 fiscal year, which spans April 1, 2023-March 31, 2024. The game will have an upcoming beta phase before it launches, and Ubisoft believes that this will lead to a much more polished and balanced experience.
This isn’t the first time that Ubisoft has pulled the plug on several of its projects, as back in July 2022, it announced that it had canceled development on Splinter Cell VR, Ghost Recon: Frontline, and two unannounced titles.