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Ubisoft learns lesson from Ghost Recon Breakpoint, delays three AAA games

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot admitted that Ghost Recon Breakpoint had its fair share of issues, which resulted in delayed release dates for three games.

In an earnings call and a statement, Guillemot lamented the disappointing reception for Ghost Recon Breakpoint. Our review of the Ghost Recon Wildlands follow-up found that while gunplay was snappy and the story was engaging, the shooter was dragged down by the bugs that plagued it, as well as a microtransactions system that felt out of place in a game that values exploration and discovery.

Ubisoft identified three main reasons for the underperformance of Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the first of which is that it is more difficult to generate interest for a sequel to a live multiplayer game when the previous version — in this case Ghost Recon Wildlands — had years of optimization in development. There needs to be more time in between the releases of live games.

“With so many learnings and built-in confidence from our teams, we wrongly believed that after a 30-36 month gap between releases, players would be ready to enjoy new adventures of our live games. In the end, it proved too short a time frame,” said Guillemot.

Ubisoft also determined that the gameplay innovations in Ghost Recon Breakpoint were not perfectly implemented. While some players appreciated the changes, which include survival elements and a loot grind, a significant portion of the community built by Ghost Recon Wildlands rejected the new mechanics.

Lastly, Ghost Recon Breakpoint did not have enough “differentiation factors,” which prevented it from standing out.

“We are tackling these issues head-on and already are implementing significant changes to our production processes,” Guillemot said. In light of this, Ubisoft has decided to delay Gods & Monsters, Rainbow Six Quarantine, and Watch Dogs Legion to the second and third quarters of its 2020-2021 fiscal year. This places their release dates between July 1 and December 31 next year.

According to Guillemot, the decision to delay the three games was to give its development teams more time to perfectly implement their innovations. The delays hurt Ubisoft’s financial targets for its current fiscal year, but it is apparently willing to take the hit to fulfill the lessons that it learned from Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

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