Ubisoft Entertainment SA has postponed the next Assassin’s Creed title, from February to spring, the second setback in recent days for the French video game publisher.
Ubisoft Entertainment SA has postponed the next Assassin’s Creed title, from February to spring, the second setback in recent days for the French video game publisher. The new game, codenamed Rift and set in the Middle East, was originally planned as an expansion into 2020. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, but turned into a standalone game to fill a gap in the thin release schedule. from Ubisoft for this fiscal year.
Ubisoft’s Bordeaux office is leading the game’s development and asked for more time as Rift is way behind schedule, according to a person familiar with the company’s plans. The delay affects Ubisoft’s balance sheet as the game moves from the company’s current fiscal year, which ends in March, to the next. The game is now expected to be released in May-June. A Ubisoft spokesperson did not immediately respond.
On Thursday, as part of its quarterly earnings call, Ubisoft said it had postponed its upcoming Avatar game and a “smaller unannounced premium” title. That was a reference to Rift, said the person familiar with the plans, who asked not to be identified when discussing information that is not public. Ubisoft hasn’t announced the game yet, but has said it will reveal more information about the future of Assassin’s Creed in September. Ubisoft also has big plans for the series in the form of its upcoming live service game Assassin’s Creed Infinity, Bloomberg reports.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, based on the film franchise in collaboration with Disney, is expected to release this fall, but is now delayed until at least 2023, Ubisoft said.
The two setbacks leave the publisher with a weak lineup that only includes two potential blockbusters this fall: a Nintendo Switch exclusive in the Mario + Rabbids franchise, slated for October, and a pirate game called Skull & Bones that has a difficult development process. went through and was delayed several times before finally landing on a November release date.
Shares of Ubisoft are down about 4.5% this year amid concerns about delayed game launches due to the pandemic. Chief Executive Officer Yves Guillemot said working conditions in the sector are still difficult because people “can’t come to the office as often”. But many other video game companies have adapted to remote working and maintained their productivity even as they moved to hybrid or fully virtual schemes.