Ubisoft Delays Three Games Into Fiscal Year 2020-21 Window Header Image

Ubisoft Delays Three Games Into Fiscal Year 2020-21 Window

Written by on | OpenCritic

Games discussed: , Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Tom Clancy's The Division 2, Watch Dogs Legion

Ahead of their earnings call with investors today, Ubisoft has announced a drastic tempering of their revenue expectations for the next fiscal quarter due to two major factors: poor reception for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and more than that, they've delayed three games previously slated for early 2020.

Gods & Monsters, Watch Dogs Legion, and Rainbow Six Quarantine, once intended for February, March and early 2020 respectively, have all been pushed back to fiscal year 2020-21 release windows. Ubisoft's approaching fiscal year runs from April 2020 through March 2021. The publisher's CEO and co-founder, Yves Guillemot, stated the reason for this three-headed delay was wanting to give each team more time to "ensure their respective innovations are perfectly implemented so as to deliver optimal experiences for players."

Additionally, the chilly reception to Breakpoint has contributed to both the lower sales forecasts for the current fiscal year as well as the move to delay some of their upcoming games. Guillemot cited three reasons for the game's shortcomings: difficulty in generating interest in a live multiplayer sequel when its predecessor benefits from years of optimization, a failure to perfectly implement new innovations to keep players engaged, and a lack of "differentiation factors."

Guillemot's honesty with investors echoes the critical consensus of Breakpoint. It's received a weak 58 here on OpenCritic, with many reviewers citing the game's repetitive nature and lack of major changes as compared to 2017's Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands. Guillemot called the company's forecast for the game a "sharp downward revision," and mentioned that, to a lesser extent, Tom Clancy's The Division 2 has also contributed to the company's overall lower forecasts.

Collectively, Ubisoft's fiscal year 2019-20 forecasts fell from net bookings of around €2,185 million and non-IFRS operating income of around €480 million to its new numbers with net bookings of approximately €1,450 million and non-IFRS operating income of between €20 million and €50 million. Subsequently, the company's fiscal year 2020-21 is now loaded with five AAA titles scheduled. This brings the company's fiscal year 2020-21 expectations to net bookings of approximately €2,600 million and non-IFRS operating income of approximately €600 million