In a new quarterly earnings call, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has discussed the future trajectory of the company, and spoken out about the decision behind the cancellations of no less than seven games in the last few months. While these cancellations were initially announced as results of economic pressure, Guillemot has now described an untenable studio situation which would have stretched staff too thinly to inspire success.
‘We cancelled a few games because we needed to make space for other games that are in devleopment in the company,’ Guillemot reportedly said, per IGN, in reference to the raft of recent scraps. ‘That’s really helping all the other games that are progressing well. Now we feel we have the right number of games, knowing that we will launch a lot of games in FY24 that will also give space for the other games that are on the way in the company.’
‘If we look at 24 months, the number of games in the company in work in the company will go down quite a lot, and that will give more space to all the games we have on the way. Having said that, we know that many of those games are also going to have post-launch content, and this will take a certain number of teams and talents to actually create that content.’
As Guillemot makes clear, Ubisoft has plans to support its new releases in post-launch cycles – and this requires dedicated staff. With too many projects, there would be no free capacity for this support, leading to an inferior product, or some games falling by the wayside. With a stronger focus, Guillemot hopes Ubisoft will be able to launch a smaller, stronger raft of games in the coming two years.
Given games included in the company’s future pipeline are of the ‘major blockbuster’ variety – Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Skull and Bones – this decision is fairly sound. Those games require intensive work, massive teams working co-operatively, and a significant amount of attention.
While their potential success comes at the expense of titles like Splinter Cell VR and Ghost Recon Frontline, as well as a handful of other games never revealed to the public, shedding this weight will likely open up stronger opportunities for the company. There is hope it will also ease the burden on staff, who can now better focus on their current projects – rather than being split across a number of smaller ones.
We’ll likely learn more about Ubisoft’s plans in future, as it gears up for the launches of Mirage, Avatar, Skull and Bones, The Crew Motorfest, and other titles.