While many games get announced and released, there are still many more left behind the curtain, canceled before the public ever learns of their existence. One game we may not know the story behind, at least not for quite some time, is of an unannounced Ubisoft Montreal game that has been canceled after three years in development. The news was broken by Louis de Carufel on Twitter, a graphics programmer for Ubisoft Montreal. Louis, who worked on both Watch Dogs and its sequel, said the project had been in the works for three years. He also did share some good news: while 200+ employees were working on the mystery game, absolutely none of them were laid off. Instead all 200 were assigned to one of 15+ other active projects at Ubisoft, with the employees even choosing which ones they wanted to work on.
I just learned that the project I’ve been working on for the past 3 years has been cancelled. This is tough news because I’ve been working with all these people for around 7 years, during which we have shipped both Watch_Dogs and Watch_Dogs 2.
— Louis de Carufel (@SpaceTangent) December 20, 2019
So what do we know about the unannounced game? Louis hasn’t shared many details and even admits on Twitter he’s not allowed to talk about it much. However, Kotaku journalist Jason Schreier took to ResetEra to share a little bit about what he knew of the game. According to Schreier, it was an original IP that was best described as “Destiny-like.” He also said it wasn’t related at all to Pioneer, the canceled Ubisoft title who’s trailer was a focal point for one of the side quests in Watch Dogs 2. Finally, he noted that it likely wasn’t a Splinter Cell game, if only because he’s pretty sure there isn’t one in the works at Ubisoft right now. While Schreier has been known to have insider information, all of his comments are secondhand, so take them with a grain of salt.
While we don’t know about the game itself, we may know why it was canceled. After the failure of Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and to a lesser extent The Division 2, Ubisoft has taken a step back to reassess their current projects. One of the reasons they believed those games failed was because they were too similar to one another (and other games). As such, they’ve recently been having developers pitch why they felt their games were unique. Considering “Destiny-like” is a term that can loosely describe both Breakpoint and The Division 2 (in regards to the looter aspect), perhaps Ubisoft didn’t think another open-world looter-shooter was a good idea at the time.