Bad news for Ubisoft: There’s a lot more than meets the eye behind yesterday’s delays and cancellations – Skull & Bones

Ubisoft is a very important company to me in many ways. I have always felt a huge affinity for action and adventure video games, and the French company has often focused its production of releases in the same direction. That makes your current situation I worry doubly.

Last night we learned about the new delay of Skull & Bones, which beyond being a meme on the internet for months now due to its continuous changes in plans for its launch, sends a very delicate message to the industry. Ubisoft, at this time, is suffering noticeably to take your projects forward.

Since December 2018 we have not seen anything from Beyond Good & Evil 2

And it is that the pirate game is making much more noise for its turbulent development that because of the interest that it is really raising among the fans… and that seems to be reduced. Thus, it joins a long list of video games that are in production but have not yet seen the light of day. The remake of Prince of Persia, without going any further, has suffered several delays and has forced spokesmen for the French giant to come to the fore to guarantee that “it has not been cancelled” something that, at this point, more than reassures the fans it seems like the classic message from the president of a soccer team to try to ratify a coach who is questioned and who only needs one more setback the following Sunday to be ousted. Another example is my long-awaited Beyond Good & Evil 2, which seemed like a truly advanced thing when it was shown all too many years ago at E3. Since December 2018, keep an eye on the data, we haven’t seen anything new from him. Like these, three other canceled video games that were not even announced.

Will the old Ubisoft ever come back?

If you remember, in the past Ubisoft was characterized by releasing a large number of video games every year. Some worked better and others worse, but all had some interesting artistic intentions and it was a company that, no matter how much it is said, really took risks and drew the line in various genres. In fact, a good part of what the open world is today is due to a series of tics, playable parameters and conditions that they themselves have been imposing with their releases.

As of today, with Ubi focused on clone military shooters and with a strong emphasis on multiplayer (The Division, R6 Siege, XDefiant, the latest Ghost Recon…), we can consider that 2020 is its last interesting year in terms of a concept. of “multi-release”: in those 12 months they released video games as powerful as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs: Legion (failed, but a blockbuster) or the phenomenal and unfairly overlooked Immortals Fenyx Rising. Likewise, it also put more food products on sale such as Just Dance 2021, the free-to-play Hyper Scape or a new installment of the always great Trackmania. Since then, in 2021 and 2022, we have only seen Far Cry 6 and Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope as relevant releases. change is a alarming messageof course.

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Ubisoft Logo

Ubisoft is increasingly attractive for a possible purchase.

Right now the value of the shares of the distributor, at this very moment, is set at €19.62somewhat lower than yesterday before the news of the problems that the French giant is going through to carry out its projects was announced: €26.94 and definitely much lower than its summer stock value; since in August they were around 47 euros. We are a long way from the peak that I remember for Ubisoft, back in 2018, when his shares were worth a whopping 103 euros. We are talking about a devaluation of more than 80%, a real outrage. What I mean by this? That it has less and less value for shareholders and that, among many other reasons, makes it a corporation very attractive for the purchase by a third party… no matter how hard they are in the Guillemot family to ensure that Ubisoft is not sold.

Of course, despite these messages, there have been no shortage of rumors in recent months about this possibility, especially in the case of Tencent, and seeing the movements that companies such as Microsoft, sony either embrace It should not surprise us that someone as succulent as Ubisoft ends up under the umbrella of some megacorporation. Not by chance, under its coat there are names as succulent and current as the Assassin’s Creed saga, the benchmark for multiplayer shooters that is the Rainbow Six brand or Far Cry, but also other forgotten and succulent ones such as the Splinter Cell series, Beyond Good & Evil or the Prince of Persia, among many others. It will be by IPs! And the truth is that, beyond the wear and tear of launching so many Far Cry in such a short time, or the loss of interest of the general public for big-budget stealth adventures, their marks really They are not franchises that have lost too much value… It seems that what is being devalued is the brand, and not so much its assets.

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Ubisoft offices in Spain

Ubisoft Spain has significantly reduced its team

To this we must add several other things, of course. For one thing, Ubisoft is dismantling some of its local headquarters in different parts of Europe. In fact, it is well known that in Spain they have significantly reduced their teams and that they have left a minimum structure designed to be able to assimilate the distribution and localization of their video games, and the minimum contact with the press that allows them not to have to resort to a communication agency as other companies have already done.

Are they “dressing up” at Ubisoft to attract new investors or even buyers?

With a series of cancellations behind him in recent months for reduce investment in developmentswith a strong cut in the local European market for reduce expenses and with the intention of focus only on your great intellectual properties after the sales stumbles of some games like Sparks of Hope that has sold below expectations despite its indisputable quality… It’s easy to see a common pattern, right? They are, all of them, measures to cut spending that make me think that at Ubisoft, perhaps, they are “getting handsome“. For what? Difficult to know. Perhaps it is a mere question of profitability to satisfy some shareholders who, without a doubt, should be concerned; or perhaps they want to do well in the photo of the balance of income and expenses for attract potential investors or, as I commented a few lines aboveeven buyers.

Who knows, even though there are strong indicators, going into that is speculating. What I can tell you with total certainty is that, as a fan, I need a strong Ubisoft: one that releases the games I love with the conditions and production values ​​I love. And, beyond my personal tastes, what as a professional I need and you should also hope that Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, 2K and other publishers are strong, that there is a deck of robust third-parties that are capable of overcoming crises and recessions like the one that is coming, and that they guarantee that we do not fall into a scenario where three or four mega-corporations share the cake of traditional triple A software exclusively. Whether they are Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Tencent or Embracer. So, yes, bad news for Ubisoft… But also bad news for everyone.