Ubisoft is in trouble. And this trouble looks to be dire for the company. The AAA developer’s CEO, Yves Guillemot, recently said the company isn’t doing well financially due to weaker game sales. Thus, the company cut its financial forecast for this year. And to make matters worse, the CEO is looking to the workers to improve the company’s bottom line instead of him and the rest of the executive board. Let’s review the reasons why Ubisoft is in trouble.
Reason #1 Ubisoft Is In Trouble: Poor Game Sales
According to an article by Video Games Chronicle, the developer blames its financial woes on poor sales of its latest releases like Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope and Just Dance 2023. The former truly shocked the company because the first game sold very well. The developer blames gamers, as it believes they are moving “towards mega-brands and long-lasting titles”. However, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope contains many of the major characters from Super Mario Bros. which is already a “mega-brand” and a “long-lasting title.” Yet, I digress.
Reason #2 Ubisoft Is In Trouble: Pivoting To Free-To-Play Games
Back in May 2021 the developer shocked its investors and the gaming industry by announcing its decision to focus on making more free-to-play games. It released games like The Division: Heartland, Hyper Scape, XDefiant, Ghost Recon Frontline, and Roller Champions to name a few. Yet, it appears these games aren’t producing the sales as Ubisoft’s standard single-player and multiplayer games. That’s because some gamers, including myself, aren’t keen on free-to-play games. Oh yes, they are free-to-play but at the start. If players want to progress it’s either grind, grind, grind, or open your wallet. And players can spend more than the standard price on these games than a standard $60 or $70 stand-alone game.
Reason #3: Not Handling Its Sexual Misconduct Issues Promptly Or Properly
Ubisoft has a history of sexual misconduct, some of which its Human Resources department hid or excused. This led to lawsuits, and the developer devoted itself to fixing these issues. Well, they did very little to do so. When these issues came to light many gamers decided to boycott the company until it cleaned up its act. And since that hasn’t happened I believe some of those gamers are sticking to their beliefs and avoid purchasing any of the developer’s future projects. If Ubisoft wants to improve its finances they need needs to fix its fractured work culture.
Final Reason: Burning Money Developing Games Like Skull & Bones
The final reason Ubisoft is in trouble is due to burning money developing games like Skull & Bones, which has been in development for six years now. The game’s concept came about in 2013, however, after the success of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Industry experts think the developer spent over $120 million developing the game, which is way over its budget.
Screen Rant states the reason for the long development is:
- Restarting the game’s development several times to try different directions
- Executives shifting blame among each other
- Unwilling to repay the tax subsidies received from the Singapore government
And what has been the result of these poor decision. Skull & Bones, which was supposed to come out in March 2023, will now release some time between April 2023 and March 2024.
As long as Ubisoft continues to waste money on games that seemingly won’t see the light of day its financial situation won’t improve.