Ubisoft Cancels Three Unannounced Games, Delays Skull and Bones for the Sixth Time
Ubisoft has announced that, for the sixth time, it has delayed Skull & Bones, as well as canceling three other unannounced games amid “huge challenges” in the industry, the poor performance of Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope and Just Dance 2023 , and a future “restructuring”.
In a press release today, Ubisoft outlined a new strategy for the remainder of the fiscal year, as well as lowered expectations for the final fiscal quarter. Ubisoft explains the move as a result of the company “facing huge challenges as the industry continues to shift towards mega-brands and long-running titles rather than [sic] can reach players across the globe, across platforms and business models.”
While Ubisoft notes that its goal has been to build large, comprehensive, global brands, the release adds that “games from this investment phase have not yet been released, and our recent launches have not performed as well as expected.” Specifically, the press release later calls out Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope as underperforming in the final weeks of 2022 and early January, despite “an ambitious marketing plan.” Just Dance 2023 also underperformed.
In response to these issues, Ubisoft is delaying Skull & Bones for the sixth time, and is also canceling three unannounced projects on top of the four it already canceled last year. For Skull & Bones specifically, the new target appears to be “early 2023-24”. Assuming that means fiscal year, the soonest we’ll see Skull & Bones now will be April 2023, and it could be as late as December.
Ubisoft is also shedding €500 million in research and development for future premium and free-to-play games and the games it’s canceling, and is looking to focus on fewer games going forward and potentially restructure and cut costs next year. It has reduced its net bookings target for the quarter ending in December to 725 million euros from a previous target of 830 million euros.
Ubisoft Forward: Skull & Bones Slideshow
During an urgent investor call today, the news certainly worried some investors, who questioned what Ubisoft had left in store with all these delays and cancellations. They assured that for the next fiscal year (the one that starts in April), Ubisoft has Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora (which was already delayed once), Assassin’s Creed: Mirage (revealed last September) and “other premium games unannounced, including a major one.” Oh, and Skull & Bones…if it’s not delayed for the seventh time before then.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.