Ubisoft Delays Skull and Bones Again, Cancels 3 Games as Mario + Rabbids and Just Dance Disappoint

Ubisoft has announced today a rather major overhaul of its upcoming releases, with a renewed focus on its major brands. As a consequence, other games are being sidelined. 

To be precise, three unannounced projects have been canceled on top of the four that were already mentioned in July 2022. This decision was taken to “Ensure all energy is focused on building brands and live services into some of the most powerful within the industry.”

On top of that, the multi-delayed pirate game Skull and Bones has been delayed just again from its March 9, 2023 release date, this time to “early 2023-24.” While that may sound a bit scary to those who aren’t familiar with how Ubisoft calendarizes, it’s not a massive delay. “2023-24” is the publisher’s next fiscal year, which starts on March 31, 2023, which means that Skull and Bones has likely been delayed between a month and a few months. 

We also learn that the company is planning to invest €500 million less in R&D due to “increased cautiousness related to the current challenging videogame market and macroeconomic environment as well as the necessary increased focus on fewer titles.”

Ubisoft is also looking to drop its costs base by more than €200 million over the next two years via targeted restructuring and divesting some non-core assets. That being said, the company pledges to “continue to look at hiring highly talented people for its biggest brands and live services.”

The announcement was accompanied by a comment from CEO Yves Guillemot. Guillemot mentioned disappointment in the company’s financial performance and surprise due to Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope and Just Dance 2023’s underperformance. 

“We are clearly disappointed by our recent performance. We are facing contrasted market dynamics as the industry continues to shift towards mega-brands and everlasting live games, in the context of worsening economic conditions affecting consumer spending. Despite excellent ratings and players’ reception as well as an ambitious marketing plan, we were surprised by Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope underperformance in the final weeks of 2022 and early January. Just Dance 2023 underperformed as well. Therefore, with the approval of the Board of Directors, we are taking additional important strategic and operational decisions today. It is key to continue adapting our organization, to further strengthen our execution and to ensure we both deliver amazing games to players as well as great value creation.

The industry’s long-term prospects remain promising, and I am convinced Ubisoft is well positioned to benefit from this momentum thanks to the strength of our teams, brands, production capacity, technology and balance-sheet. Our back-catalogue remains very healthy with notably robust activity on Rainbow Six Siege, great momentum for our Assassin’s Creed games, and generally solid performance from our live games. We expect our strategy to build long-lasting live games and transform our biggest brands into truly global phenomenon with multiple offerings across platforms and business models, to ultimately generate significant value creation, with strong topline and operating income growth over the coming years.”

This news is republished from another source. You can check the original article here

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