2022 is turning out to be a substantial rebuilding year for game publisher Ubisoft, as its 2022 holiday release list of major cross-platform games has now been wiped clean.
The bad news came on Wednesday when Ubisoft delays the launch of its open world pirate adventure again skull and bones, this time beyond the previously suggested release date of November 8 on PC and current-gen consoles. The creator of the game confirmed the delay until March 9, 2023, after an independent Kotaku report suggested that S&B‘s latest rounds of pre-release testing pointed to a stable but dull experience for its online multiplayer modes and noted issues with the game’s “progression” systems.
skull and bones debuted at E3 2017 as an apparent build of the third-person open-sea pirate adventure found in the mid-’10s assassin’s Creed games, albeit with no formal ties to that other Ubisoft-led series. As originally announced, players would directly control the captain of a pirate ship and command the AI-controlled crewmen to engage in a solo campaign or go online for open sea combat with both PvE (fight against the computer) like PvP (fight against real players). items.
However, even as the game neared its previously confirmed release window of November 2022, Ubisoft had yet to post a clear video demo of what the final game would look like playing, meaning no live streaming footage. of player points of view, in-game HUD elements, or demonstrations of how the different modes will work. In the years since S&BThe initial announcement from Microsoft and Rare’s own online open world pirate series. sea of thieves has racked up player counts and accolades while also offering major free patches and updates, all of which have lent our initial criticism of that game from 2018 debatable.
Prior to S&BIn the fall 2018 release window, Ubisoft began to push the game’s release date further out to sea. Shortly before E3 2018, the game’s retail release was pushed to “fiscal year 2020”, only to be pushed from that release schedule to “sometime after March 2020”. This was followed by mentions of conference calls over the years that delayed S&BLaunching in fiscal year 2022, then fiscal year 2023, before finally settling on its November 8 release date earlier this year.
“Generous subsidies” may have come at a cost
According to an extensive 2021 report from Kotaku, S&B began to develop even further back than we had heard publicly: in 2013, as an expansion of the pirate-filled adventures of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. The spin-off game’s messy shelf life has reportedly been prolonged due to a tenuous deal struck between Ubisoft and the Singapore government, which allegedly gave the game maker’s Singapore office certain “generous subsidies” in exchange for a release. game guarantee. Y unique IP development by the company’s Singapore studio. The report was so full of behind-the-scenes stories of confusion and toxicity that Kotaku released an additional feature length piece about underpayment of the project, mismanagement and sexual harassment of staff.
Those stories, of course, added to other reports and investigations into Ubisoft’s allegedly widespread problems with mismanagement, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. Those accusations prompted several top executives to resign, even though Yves Guillemot, the longtime chief executive who oversaw the company during reported periods of turmoil, has stayed on board. Axios’ Stephen Totilo, who has spent years covering and investigating internal affairs at Ubisoft, recently suggested that the resulting executive efforts to change the company’s reputation have been inconsistent and have left company-wide morale generally low.
Between those issues and pandemic-related work disruptions, Ubisoft has come up short on other potential game releases for 2022. A recent assassin’s Creed The announcement event confirmed reports that the series was undergoing a massive shake-up and suggested that three stand-alone console games would be released at some point (no dates). The Middle East scene of Assassin’s Creed Mirage it will be the first to release from this collection (currently pegged at a “2023” release window, but hey, we’ll see). Also, a third-person adventure game based on the James Cameron movie series. Avatar had been set for a late 2022 release, only to be delayed earlier this year until sometime in fiscal 2024. A new free-to-play game Division spin-off, dubbed the heartwas teased in 2021, and its closed beta may start in 2022but we don’t expect this F2P spin-off to be formally launched at the end of the year.
Thus, the 2022 release schedule that Ubisoft has left has little left: a sequel to the popular Mario + Rabbids strategy series (exclusive to Switch and co-produced with Nintendo, which so far it looks promising), an iterative sequel to his long-running casual Just dance series, and this month’s long-delayed release of rock smith+a paid subscription version of his “Guitar Hero on a real guitar”. Other Ubisoft console games came and went earlier this year: Rainbow Six Extractiona January flop, and roller championsa free roller derby game three years late which was ultimately released with very little fanfare or promotion from Ubisoft. The biggest news attached to roller champions in recent memory is a tweet which begins, “Let’s clear it out of the way first, roller champions is not cancelled”, which inspires a lot of confidence coming from an editor with a history of early F2P game closures.