Uncertainty at Ubisoft
E107: Ubisoft is struggling and Xbox announced a new game showcase.
Ubisoft made headlines for all the wrong reasons last week with some disappointing announcements. The French video game developer announced the cancellation of several projects and lowered estimated operating income for the current year.
Ubisoft has once again delayed Skull & Bones. The game is now expected to release sometime in April or May, and a beta phase is coming soon.
Ubisoft’s Q3 revenue target was lowered to €725m from €830m due to the underwhelming sales of Mario+Rabbids Sparks of Hope and Just Dance 2023. They also canceled three unannounced games in addition to the four they cancelled back in July 2022. In 2023 and 2024, Ubisoft is expected to release Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora and a few other games.
According to video game industry insider Jeff Grubb, Ubisoft has tried to look for different mergers and acquisitions solutions but have been unsuccessful. Grubb says that Ubisoft's strength used to be their distributed development structure, which is no longer the case. Ubisoft is considering all options according to Grubb, including laying off employees to slim down their workforce.
Creative Director Stéphane Boudon spoke with GamesRadar about Ubisoft’s upcoming Assassin’s Creed Mirage game and he re-emphasized that Mirage marks the return of a more traditional Assassin’s Creed game, a “love letter” to the original Assassin’s Creed released in 2007. They focused on what fans wanted most, a “character driven story, focused on the core pillars of the first Assassin’s Creed in a more intimate scale”.
Xbox & Bethesda Developer_Direct
Xbox and Bethesda have announced a Developer_Direct game showcase scheduled for January 25th. The showcase will be presented by the game studios themselves, and will focus on big features, extended gameplay and the latest details for games coming to Xbox, GamePass and PC over the next few months. Here’s everything expected,
Important Note: Starfield, Xbox’s biggest title of the year will not be featured at the showcase because the game will get its own standalone show later this year. It is still expected to release sometime in 2023.
Redfall: Arkane Austin will showcase several minutes of both single-player and multiplayer gameplay covering general combat, boss fights, customization features and an overview of the open-world.
Forza Motorsport: Turn 10 Studios will share more details about the upcoming Forza title which is built from the ground up to specifically take advantage of the Xbox Series X|S. New gameplay and a deep-dive is expected.
Minecraft Legends: Mojang will present an exclusive gameplay first-look at the multiplayer PvP experience coming with their new action-strategy Minecraft game.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Zenimax will cover 2023’s major update, including the newest playable regions of Tamriel and a brand-new major feature. There will be an in-depth ESO Chapter Reveal Event after the Developer_Direct.
Riot Games are finally shaking up the competitive League of Legends scene by introducing major format changes to the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) and the 2023 World Championships. The MSI (taking place in London) is expanding to 13 teams where both the play-in and bracket stages will feature a double-elimination format. The 2023 World championships (taking place in South Korea) will replace the play-in stage with a double-elimination bracket and the group stage with a Swiss-style format. The five round Swiss-style format will guarantee that teams with similar records face each other, where teams who win three matches advance to the final knockout stage and teams who lose three matches get eliminated.
ESL Gaming announced the Intel Extreme Masters Brazil (IEM) 2023, a brand-new tournament added to the Intel Grand Slam. The event will feature 16 CS:GO teams and a total prize pool of $250,000. Qualifiers for IEM Brazil 2023 will take place in January (open qualifiers) and February (closed qualifiers) for teams based in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. Brazil was chosen by the ESL thanks to the incredible success of the IEM Rio Major, the third most-watched Major in CS:GO history.
The Fortnite Championship Series is back for the 2023 season with a $10 million total prize pool, three FNCS Majors and an in-person Global Championship event taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Majors 1, 2 and 3 will focus on a duos format where the top performing teams across five weeks of competitions will earn part of the $2m prize pool (for each Major) and qualification to the FNCS Global Championship. The 2023 Fortnite Global Championships will be a three day event where 75 of the world’s best duos will compete for the $4m grand prize.
Redfall, the next title from Arkane Studios will be released on May 2nd for PC and Xbox Series X|S according to a new report.
Dead Space reportedly has a movie in the works according to Halloween director John Carpenter, who says he was never attached to the project.
The Callisto Protocol will reportedly only sell 2 million copies this year. Krafton, the games publisher, was initially expecting to sell 5 million copies.
Gears of War Remastered is reportedly still in the works. The release version could contain the original trilogy.
Square Enix says a big announcement is coming in 2023. Square Enix fans are hoping it's a remake of Final Fantasy 9.
Maverick Games is a new AAA studio from the leaders of Playground Games. The studio is working on an open-world AAA game for consoles and PC.
Microsoft and Oreo have released Xbox-themed Oreo cookie packs that will have exclusive Xbox skins for Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5 and Sea of Thieves.
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