Ubisoft has announced that, for the sixth time, has pushed back the release date of Skull & Bonesas well as canceling three other unannounced games amid “major challenges” in the industry, the underperformance of Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope and Just Dance 2023, and an upcoming “restructure.”
In a press release, Ubisoft outlined a new strategy for the rest of your fiscal year, as well as reduced expectations for the last fiscal quarter. Ubisoft explains the move as a result of the company “facing great challenges as the industry continues to shift towards mega-brands and long-running titles that can reach gamers around the world, across platforms and business models.” .”
While Ubisoft notes that its goal has been to build great global brands, the statement adds that “games in this investment phase have yet to be released, while our recent releases have not performed as expected.” Specifically, the press release mentions Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope as underperforming in the last weeks of 2022 and early January despite “an ambitious marketing plan.” Just Dance 2023 also fared poorly.
In response to these issues, Ubisoft is delaying Skull & Bones for the sixth time, and also cancel three unannounced projects that are added to the four that it already canceled last year. For Skull & Bones specifically, the new target appears to be “early 2023-24”. Assuming this refers to the fiscal year, the earliest we’ll see Skull & Bones right now is April 2023, and maybe as late as December.
Ubisoft is also writing off 500 million euros of research and development on upcoming free and premium games, as well as games it’s canceling, and intends to focus on fewer games going forward, and potentially restructure and cut costs next year. It has lowered its net booking target for the quarter ending December to 725 million euros, from the previous target of 830 million.
During an emergency call to investors, this news undoubtedly worried some of them, who were wondering what Ubisoft had left in the warehouse with all these delays and cancellations. They were assured that for the next fiscal year (the one that starts in April), Ubisoft has Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora (which has already been delayed once), Assassin’s Creed: Mirage (revealed last September), and “other premium games without announce, including a big one.” Oh, and Skull & Bones…if it’s not delayed for the seventh time before.