French games giant Ubisoft has released its FY23 financial report, and stated its intention to focus efforts on its largest properties in the year ahead, including ‘new releases across big brands and long-lasting Live games.’ This includes ambitious plans for Assassin’s Creed, which has seen an increased player base and sales ever since the release of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla in 2020.
In September 2022, Ubisoft announced four new Assassin’s Creed games currently in development: Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Assassin’s Creed: Codename Hexe, Assassin’s Creed: Codename Red, and a mobile game, Assassin’s Creed: Codename Jade. In addition, Ubisoft is working on an Assassin’s Creed mobile game in partnership with Netflix, potentially to coincide with its Assassin’s Creed TV series plans.
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As part of this new strategy, Ubisoft stated it would significantly increase the number of developers working on the franchise by 40% over the next few years, to support the development of all these projects.
According to VGC, Ubisoft chief financial officer Frédérick Duguet suggested the current headcount attached to Assassin’s Creed is around 2,000 people – 10% of Ubisoft’s total global workforce. An increase of 40% suggests that 2,800 people will be working on the franchise in a few years time.
Elsewhere in its latest financial results, Ubisoft reported positive growth in the player bases of its long-running live service games Rainbow Six Siege, and The Division 2. It also reported a positive experience with the closed beta of its free-to-play multiplayer shooter XDefiant, which hosted ‘over 1 million players’.
Ubisoft has several more games on its slate for the near future. These include Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, based on the James Cameron film, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Mobile, Tom Clancy’s The Division Resurgence, The Crew Motorfest, and the embattled Skull and Bones, which has weathered several delays. We can further assume Just Dance remains a key franchise for the company, although the studio behind it recently reported challenging working conditions during the development of the latest title.
Going forward, it appears Ubisoft has even bigger plans. It’s hosting an Ubisoft Forward showcase as part of Summer Games Fest 2023, where it’s likely to reveal more about its upcoming lineup, and potentially reveal some new games, too.
Elsewhere, the company continues to explore ventures in NFTs, despite lacklustre results in the past, with a new line of Assassin’s Creed ‘Smart Collectables’ – physical collectables that come with a unique ‘Digital Soul’.