Ubisoft boss explains the firm’s raft of cancelled and delayed games

“We needed to make space for other games in development,” says Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot.

Skull & Bones

The global pandemic was tough on everyone, even multi-billion dollar gaming giants like Ubisoft. Like so many other publishers, Ubisoft was forced to delay a number of games from 2020 onwards, creating a logistical ripple effect that is still being felt in 2023. In January, the firm cancelled three unannounced games, and once again delayed the launch of Skull & Bones.

In a quarterly earnings call to investors reported on by IGN, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot explained the thinking behind all these decisions. “We cancelled a few games because we needed to make space for other games that are in development in the company,” Guillemot said, “and that’s really helping all the other games that are progressing well. Now we feel we have the right number of games, knowing that we will launch a lot of games in financial year ‘24 that will also give space for other games that are on the way in the company.”

In other words, Ubisoft still has plenty of games coming out in the financial year commencing April 2023, but not so many that the company can’t provide marketing or development support for them all.


Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft Co-founder and CEO. Photo: Christian Petersen.

Aside from the long-in-development Skull & Bones, other titles on Ubisoft’s horizon (and potentially out this year or early next) include Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, a Prince of Persia remake, a Splinter Cell refurbishment, and more besides.

January’s cancellations were the latest in a series of corporate axe swings at Ubisoft; Ghost Recon Frontline, Splinter Cell VR and two other untitled projects were also canned in July 2022.

According to Guillemot, all these cancellations now give Ubisoft room for the games it still has on its books – not least because so many of them will require long-term development after they’ve launched. “If we look at 24 months, the number of games in work in the company will go down quite a lot, and that will give more space to all the games we have on the way,” Guillemot told investors. “Having said that, we know that many of those games are also going to have post-launch content, and this will take a certain number of teams and talents to actually create that content.”

As for the oft-delayed Skull & Bones, the pirate simulator’s troubled development was obliquely referred to when an investment analyst noted that its “reviews don’t look particularly strong”. As PC Gamer’s Andy Chalk points out, the analyst is likely referring to reviews from internal playtesters here. Ubisoft CFO Frederick Duguet took a reassuring tone, saying that a new build shown to playtesters in January was a “very strong, improved version” of the game. Tellingly, there was still no mention of a precise launch date.

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