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Ubisoft Delays Skull & Bones Yet Again; Cancels 3 Unannounced Games

Is Ubisoft trying to go for a world record of “most-delayed game”? It seems to be doing so with this latest news.

Ubisoft announced that it has delayed Skull & Bones (via IGN), the Ubisoft Singapore-made pirate game that has been in development for 10 years or so, for the sixth time. The game will now arrive “early” in Ubisoft’s next fiscal year -April until March 2024. Previously, the pirate game was slated for March 2023.

In addition, Ubisoft has cancelled three unannounced games. This is due to the company facing major challenges “as the industry continues to shift towards mega-brands and long-lasting titles than can reach players across the globe, across platforms and business models”.

Other key points from the company’s recent press release include:

  • Just Dance 2023 and Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope failing to meet expectations.
  • Plans to release Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, and “other premium titles” during the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

Here’s the full press release quote from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot:

“We are clearly disappointed by our recent performance. We are facing contrasted market dynamics as the industry continues to shift towards mega-brands and everlasting live games, in the context of worsening economic conditions affecting consumer spending.

Despite excellent ratings and players’ reception as well as an ambitious marketing plan, we were surprised by Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope underperformance in the final weeks of 2022 and early January. Just Dance 2023 underperformed as well.

Therefore, with the approval of the Board of Directors, we are taking additional important strategic and operational decisions today. It is key to continue adapting our organization, to further strengthen our execution and to ensure we both deliver amazing games to players as well as great value creation.

The industry’s long-term prospects remain promising, and I am convinced Ubisoft is well positioned to benefit from this momentum thanks to the strength of our teams, brands, production capacity, technology and balance-sheet. Our back-catalogue remains very healthy with notably robust activity on Rainbow Six Siege, great momentum for our Assassin’s Creed games, and generally solid performance from our live games.

We expect our strategy to build long-lasting live games and transform our biggest brands into truly global phenomenon with multiple offerings across platforms and business models, to ultimately generate significant value creation, with strong topline and operating income growth over the coming years.”

One does wonder if the Singaporean government and its Media Development Authority body have anything to say about this delay, considering that Ubisoft Singapore has been getting grants solely for the production and release of the pirate game.

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