Yesterday in a press release obtained by Market Screener, Ubisoft effectively admitted the failure of Ghost Recon Breakpoint thus far while committing to delivering quality games by delaying all future titles.
CEO Yves Guillemont began by recognizing Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s reception,
“However, we have not capitalized on the potential of our latest two AAA releases. For Ghost Recon Breakpoint, while the game’s quality appeared on track – based on E3, Gamescom, previews and our latest internal playtests –, critical reception and sales during the game’s first weeks were very disappointing. As we have done with past titles, we will continue to support the game and listen to the community in order to deliver the necessary improvements.”
He outlined three reasons Ubisoft identified as to the failure of the game,
- First, it is harder to generate interest for a sequel to a Live multiplayer game, when prior iterations benefited from years of optimization. Consequently, we need to make sure there is more time between each iteration of Live games.
- Second, our strategy of introducing gameplay innovations in our games has had a very positive impact on our brands. However, to win over players, these innovations need to be perfectly implemented in order to offer an optimal experience. This has not yet been sufficiently the case with Ghost Recon Breakpoint. While the change of formula has been very well received by some players, with an average daily playtime per player of over three hours, it also has been strongly rejected by a significant portion of the community.
- Finally, Ghost Recon Breakpoint did not come in with enough differentiation factors, which prevented the game’s intrinsic qualities from standing out.
He then stated the steps Ubisoft will take to rectify this with respect to their future titles, while admitting that this will have a negative impact on financial performance, but that this would ensure long-term success for the company, employees, and gamers,
“In this overall context, we have decided to postpone the releases of Gods & Monsters, Rainbow Six Quarantine and Watch_Dogs Legion until 2020-21. While each of these games already has a strong identity and high potential, we want our teams to have more development time to ensure that their respective innovations are perfectly implemented so as to deliver optimal experiences for players. This decision will have a very significant impact on our financial results for this fiscal year and goes against our recent successes in building a more stable development model. However, it is in line with our strategy to maximize the future value of our brands for the long-term benefit of our employees, players and shareholders. We expect it to have a positive impact on our financial performance as from 2020-21.”
It is perhaps significant that a publisher the size of Ubisoft isn’t downplaying or ignoring the headwinds with Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and then committing to improve, going so far as to delay all their future titles with the full knowledge of the financial impact it will have. Time will tell if this bears fruit.