Amid major challenges the industry faces, Ubisoft has decided to make considerable changes to its strategies. Since recent games are severely underperforming, Ubisoft has decided to cancel three unannounced games and to delay Skull and Bones in hopes that they can release it when everything is settled.
In a press release, the company outlined its new strategy for the remainder of the fiscal year. They also revealed that they had lowered their expectations for the last fiscal quarter keeping the circumstances in mind. They explained that the industry’s shift towards mega-brands and long-lasting tiles that can reach players globally through various platforms has proven to be a considerable challenge.
Ubisoft notes that its goal was to build an overarching and global brand and that its recent launches did not perform well. The press release specifically mentioned Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, which was underperforming at the end of 2022 and early 2023. The company had an ambitious marketing plan for the game, but clearly, the game simply fell short. Just Dance 2023 also underperformed, according to the company.
Due to this, the games in the recent investment phase have not yet been released. Additionally, they also delayed Skull and Bones for the sixth time, and now the game is expected to be released in either 2023 or 2024. Assuming that these new dates refer to the fiscal year, gamers will have to wait till April 2023 for this game to be released. It may be released as late as December 2023.
To make up for the gaming industry’s disappointing reception and overall condition, Ubisoft is also depreciating €500m of development and research on upcoming free-to-play premium games. Their plans suggest that the company is looking to focus on fewer games going forward.
They may also restructure and reduce their spending for the new year unless things pick up. The net bookings target for Ubisoft for the end of December has also been reduced to €725m from its previous and ambitious target of €830m.
There has also been an emergency investor call. The news of games underperforming is a cause of concern for all the investors who are now questioning what Ubisoft will do to compensate for all the delays and cancellations.