With Assassin’s Creed now officially placed on a one-year hiatus and Watch Dogs 2 confirmed, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has reflected on the company’s third-quarter financial report and the news it heralds.
Firstly, the Chief Executive began by shedding more light on Ubisoft’s decision to forego a new Assassin’s Creed in 2016 — a decision that is not only seen as a long-term investment, but to also lend Justin Kurzel’s upcoming movie adaptation some breathing space.
As for the video game franchise, Guillemot revealed that the publisher began hosting conversations about AC‘s status as an annualized franchise.
“We started to question the yearly release with the AC Unity launch. Looking at our strategy, we thought it would be good to take more time to make sure that the next iteration would be taking advantage of all of the new tech we have and all of the new engines. We can to the conclusion that it would be best for the franchise to take an additional year to create the best possible product.”
On the other hand, Kurzel’s feature film, which thrusts Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard back into 15th Century Spain, has been afforded the “marketing space” in the absence of a new installment.
“The movie guys are extremely happy we don’t have a new game because they will have the full-year marketing space and they feel they will be able to do a better job at promoting the movie. With the great production expertise of New Regency and the fantastic marketing and distribution power of 20th Century Fox, the Assassin’s Creed movie has the potential to be one of the biggest blockbusters of 2016.”
Watch Dogs 2, meanwhile, was one of the four new releases to be tethered to a release window, meaning that Ubisoft Montreal’s hacking sequel, Ghost Recon Wildlands, South Park: The Fractured But Whole and For Honor will all debut before March 31, 2017.
When quizzed about the latter, medieval actioner, Ubisoft CFO Alain Martinez noted that “For Honor is more of a core game” when compared to the studio’s more “mass market” franchises such as Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed.
Finally, RPG sequel South Park: The Fractured But Whole is setting out to beat the surprising sales of its predecessor, The Stick of Truth. According to Ubisoft, sales of the 2014 sleeper hit have now passed 5 million units, though it’s unclear if this number represents the number of copies shipped to retailers, or sold-through to consumers.
In light of yesterday’s financial report, Watch Dogs 2, Ghost Recon Wildlands, For Honor and South Park: The Fracturted But Whole will launch before March 31, 2017. But of the foursome, which do you think will arrive first?