Ubisoft is pushing back a trio of major releases to the next fiscal year, with Watch Dogs: Legion, Gods & Monsters, and Rainbow Six: Quarantine all being moved to currently undefined dates. Ubisoft’s fiscal year starts on April 1st, 2020, so we at least know it will be after that date, but otherwise, no solid release dates have been given. Gods & Monsters was originally set to launch on February 25th, 2020, with Watch Dogs: Legion on March 6th, and though Rainbow Six: Quarantine didn’t originally have a release date, the goal was to get it out before the end of the fiscal year.
So why the delay? According to Ubisoft, the answer lies with Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint and The Division 2, both of which missed sales expectations. In Breakpoint‘s case, Ubisoft says both the negative critical reception and poor sales have played a large part in reevaluating other IPs. Ultimately they felt there were three major issues at Breakpoint‘s launch:
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.
Interestingly, Ubisoft notes they will not be giving up on Breakpoint and still have plans to work on and improve the game.
Because of these three reasons, they decided to delay their current three AAA projects. The hope is that the games will release in better shape and not suffer from the same three problems that Breakpoint did. The extra development time is going to be used to polish the unique aspects of each game and be sure that they’re up to the quality expected by players.