Thursday brought UBISOFT’s earnings call for the first half of their 2020-2021 fiscal year. Financially, UBISOFT had a lot of positive results, and beat expectations in a number of measures, within the earnings report were some big, though not entirely surprising, disappointments. Those are connected to the anticipated release of the next installment in two of UBISOFT’s biggest franchises, which were both slated to be out soon. Of course, we are talking about Far Cry 6 (one of our absolute FAVORITE franchises) and Rainbow Six Quarantine.
We initially caught the news from Kotaku and grabbed the earnings report to have a read for ourselves. As has been the case in recent months, hardware and software makers have been unable to avoid delays, from the long-anticipated Intellivision Amico to more recently CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077, and others, having experienced delays and production setbacks due to elements related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Pointing out that it has been a banner year for the gaming industry in general, with growth in the gaming sector being stronger than in just about any other area of entertainment, Frédérick Duguet, UBISOFT’s CFO referenced production challenges due to COVID-19 as a source of the delay in the release of these titles but noted that they do basically don’t expect an impact on the company’s performance.
Of course, pre-orders have been available for Far Cry 6 for some time now, so many gamers who have already ponied up for a copy will likely be disappointed at having laid out any money for a game that is now not due out for at least a good 6 months, with the target for both Far Cry 6 and Rainbow Six Quarantine being during the company’s 2021-22 fiscal year. Note that Sept 30th was the end of UBISOFT’s first half 2020-2021, placing the end of their second half as March 30, 2021. Extrapolating from that, the soonest we could expect a release of either title is April 2021, with no guarantees, since the 2021-2022 fiscal year starts April 1st and is, well, 1 year long.
As with any announcement like this, the fans of the series’ had a mixed bag of reactions on Twitter from the dismissive to the supportive, as would be typical to expect. It’s probably fair to say that, especially in the current environment with various production challenges and the difficulties associated with having large sections of the workforce moved to a work-from-home situation, none of the delays we have seen recently are particularly surprising. In “normal” times, game delays are accepted as pretty standard. Additionally, when game developers do rush their products to market with bugs, developers have been known to be skewered by gamers relentlessly. Between the desire to deliver a top-notch product and avoid large day zero patches, it only makes sense that games are going to see these sorts of delays.
UBISOFT was at least able to match this disappointing news with the release of its newest title today, Watch Dogs: Legion, the anticipation of which has been building for several months.
What do you think of these latest game delays, and game delays in general? Let us know in the comments below!