French video game publisher Ubisoft has a six month reprieve from worrying about a hostile takeover right now, but the company still has other problems to worry about. Namely, at least two of its biggest upcoming games have been delayed in one fell swoop.
Reported by Eurogamer, Ubisoft delayed “Far Cry 5” and “The Crew 2,” which were both originally slated to release in spring 2018. “Far Cry 5” was supposed to launch on Feb. 27, but was delayed exactly a month, to March 27. “The Crew 2,” meanwhile went from March 16 to the first half of Ubisoft’s 2018-19 fiscal year, which starts in April. Last, and perhaps most intriguing, is that an “unannounced franchise game” originally slated for fiscal 2018-19 has been pushed back to fiscal 2019-20.
In a press release, Ubisoft Worldwide Studios Executive Director Christine Burgress-Quémard likened the situation to its decision to stop releasing “Assassin’s Creed” annually, which led to that series taking 2016 off before “Assassin’s Creed Origins” launched at the end of October. “Assassin’s Creed Origins” received positive reviews and wildly outsold the previous game in the series, “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.”
“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.”
“Far Cry 5” takes the popular and long-running first-person shooter series to Montana, where players will roam through a fictional open-world county in Big Sky Country. The game world has been taken over by a hyper-religious and violent cult that has seeped its way into every local institution in the game’s rural America setting.
“The Crew 2” seeks to improve upon the 2014 original, which was a driving game set in an abbreviated, open-world version of the United States. Players can heavily customize their rides and participate in a variety of races and other activities. The unique hook of “The Crew 2” is the addition of airplanes and boats as distinct vehicle classes that the player can switch between at will, along with ground-based vehicles.
The press release does not divulge any details on the third, unannounced “franchise game” that apparently will not come out until mid-2019 at the earliest now. Ubisoft’s language indicates it is a sequel and not an original game, so the most obvious candidate would probably be “The Division 2.” The original game sold very well for Ubisoft. Another possibility is “Watch Dogs 3,” but it will likely be some time before we find out.
Ubisoft has had a strong 2017, with multiplayer hits like “Rainbow Six: Siege” continuing to hold players’ attention while mostly single-player titles like “Assassin’s Creed Origins” and “Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle” have achieved financial and critical success alike.