Ubisoft has been having a few bad years; public failures include attempting (and failing) to launch NFTs in games, announcing Splinter Cell & Assassin’s Creed VR (and later cancelling SC), Frontlines and XDefiant’s incredibly tone-deaf announcement, and the latest investors update.
There are 2 recent things in particular I’d like to highlight as a sign that Ubisoft is in a great deal of trouble: The cancellation of 3 unannounced games (one of which I’m betting was an attempt at a Ghost Recon sequel), and something that many may not realize could be a warning sign.. The release of multiple games to Steam in close proximity.
Ubisoft switched away from Steam a while back; they have their own platform, and maintaining a release on Steam with all the headaches that includes just wasn’t worth it to them previously.. Until now.
With each release on Steam comes a large injection of sales. Many gamers only buy games on Steam just because it’s the biggest gaming retailer available, and simplifies the process of buying, playing and returning games.
Ubisoft has released games later on Steam after some time on their own platform plus Epic Games, but we’re seeing 4 titles all coming within close proximity of each other: AC Valhalla, The Division 2, Anno 1800 and Roller Champions.
Finally, Ubisoft’s language when talking to their own developers could be considered a warning: While dev performance is critical to success (as a developer myself I understand this 100%), this language shows that they are concerned about their ability to keep studios open and functioning without some serious wins in the books.. Fast.
Most of this article is conjecture, but I don’t think we can ignore the warning signs. Ubisoft needs some solid injection of success after the past few years of luke-warm to cold releases.