Ubisoft made an emergency call to investors on Wednesday, revealing that the company’s 2022 sales are significantly below expectations and that it will take drastic measures, including canceling three more unannounced games. delay skull and bones another few months, and approximately $215 million in cost savings over the next two years. Some of the savings come from headcount reductions at over 20,000 publishers.
“Today, more than ever, we need your full energy and commitment to ensure we are back on the road to success.” Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemotwritten in an email to staff, a copy of which has been viewed Kotaku. “We also ask you to be extra careful and strategic with your spending and initiatives to make them as efficient and lean as possible. ”
Many publishers have faced game delays during the pandemic, but Ubisoft has been hit harder than others. skull and bones, Avatar: Frontiers of PandoraWhen Assassin’s Creed Mirage Both were expected to ship by the end of last year. Guillemot told staff that these delays “were pressured on costs and reduced related revenue.” is predicted.
skull and bonesDevelopment continues to represent this sort of problem at Ubisoft. After a massive reboot, it emerged from radio silence and finally launched last September. Last minute push to March 2023 Last minute to improve and refine gameplay according to tester feedback. in the last few months, Kotaku understands that a strike team has been set up at Ubisoft’s Paris studios to try and bring the game to the finish line. However, the company claims that Ubisoft Singapore remains the project’s lead his studio.
“in the meantime skull and bones A Ubisoft spokesperson said: Kotaku on mail. “To fully realize this launch, we are leveraging the power of co-development studios already involved in the development process, including Ubisoft Paris Studio. Ubisoft Singapore continues to be his lead studio. skull and bones The team is working full speed on developing game experiences and robust post-launch content. ”
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Though Guillemot told investors during today’s call that the project has been making great progress, and will now launch this spring, it has clearly not made enough to finally ship, coming up on six years after it was first revealed. Whether the game ends up being good or not, current and former developers Kotaku has spoken with as recently as last month are skeptical it can be a major seller.
Guillemot told investors a similar issue with Mario + Rabbids Spark of Hope This was one of the reasons the company is now forecasting big losses this year. Despite a hefty marketing budget and critical acclaim, the game failed to meet holiday sales expectations.did neither Just Dance 2023the company’s only other major release, last fall, when it would have normally boasted another giant. Assassin’s Creed big hit.
To deal with the loss, Ubisoft has canceled three more unannounced games. 4 canceled last yearIt will also write off approximately $537 million in research and development costs related to upcoming and canceled games. The company plans to cut approximately $215 million in costs from its operating budget over the next two years. “This will be achieved through targeted restructuring, the sale of some non-core assets and the usual natural decline,” the company told investors. We will continue to consider hiring top talent for our live service.”
Three current and former Ubisoft developers, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak about the company’s plans, recently said: Kotaku They are already seeing cuts, with fewer backfills for recently retired colleagues and fewer contract renewals for temporary employees. A Ubisoft spokesperson said only 27 positions were removed as part of this “restructuring.”
Ubisoft said it plans to release at least one additional unannounced big game in the next fiscal year, which runs through March 2024. skull and bones, AvatarWhen Assassin’s Creed MirageIn an email to staff, the CEO called it “Ubisoft’s biggest pipeline ever,” and said he’s looking forward to sharing more at this year’s E3 conference in June.
But to do that, you have to work around a few things. Pitfalls that have plagued current and future projects Even if you cut your spending. Putting this responsibility at the feet of his staff, Guillemot said, “the ball is in your court, delivering this line-up on time and at the level of quality expected and showing everyone what we can achieve.” I wrote.