Avatar game

The big day for delays and cancellations at Ubisoft: The open-world Avatar game will be out in FY24.

The French company that makes games hopes you will like Rabbids, Skull & Bones until then.

Fans of Ubisoft, a company that makes a lot of games, might have been hoping that an upcoming presentation, which will be streamed online in September, would reveal some surprises or confirm that more big games are coming in 2022. The company’s most recent financial disclosure presentation, on the other hand, popped that balloon in a huge way.

The CEO of Ubisoft, Yves Guillemot, gave an audio presentation to investors on Thursday. The first nine minutes of the presentation were mostly bad news. After confirming plans to release a Mario + Rabbids sequel and the long-delayed pirate-fighting game Skull & Bones, Guillemot confirmed two long delays and four-game cancellations. However, he didn’t say anything about at least two games that seem to be stuck in development limbo.

Similar to “The Way of Waiting”
The delay of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, an open-world adventure game based on James Cameron’s Avatar movie series, maybe the most important news. The game will now come out in “fiscal year 24” for Ubisoft, which could be anytime between April 2023 and March 2024. That’s a big change from its original “2022” launch window, which could have put it close to the December 16 release of Avatar: The Way of the Water, the first sequel to that movie series in 13 years.

During that September video presentation, we might get a better idea of when that game will come out, or at least something that looks like actual gameplay. So far, the only hint of an Avatar game is a “in-engine” reveal, which may or may not be how the game will look in real-time. Still, the game seems to be made for current-generation consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. This could mean that the game will make big technological leaps that were not possible on older console families.

Guillemot used the chance to confirm that A: FoP is a “major, multi-year opportunity for Ubisoft.” He suggested that it could have online game-as-a-service hooks or “expansion pack” add-ons to keep players interested over time, just like Ubisoft has done with almost every open-world game it has released in the past eight years.

A VR game that will never happen in real life
Guillemot also confirmed that Ubisoft has moved a “smaller, unannounced, premium game” from its FY23 to its FY24. Without more information about what this project might be, we have to trust reporters like Jason Schreier of Bloomberg, who has said that the game in question is an Assassin’s Creed expansion pack that can be played on its own. This game, known as “Project Rift,” is said to have started out as an add-on for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 2020, but it was changed into a bigger stopgap release instead. According to the same reports, this was done to keep fans interested while an unannounced Assassin’s Creed project was still being made. This project was supposed to be an online hub of Assassin’s Creed environments and timelines that would change over time.

After hearing that two games would be delayed, Guillemot confirmed that a total of four games would be canceled. Two of these games had already been announced: Ghost Recon Frontline, a battle royale concept that had already gone through early playtesting, and Splinter Cell VR, a new entry in the long-running stealth-action series that would only be available on Meta Quest. The latter was announced at an Oculus event in 2020, along with something called Assassin’s Creed VR (not to be confused with the series’ VR “escape room” installations). Earlier this year, a Reddit post showed a video mock-up of a possible new VR game called Assassin’s Creed Nexus. The post’s author said that the final game will be a more linear version of the AC series formula for VR, but this is far from confirmed.

During the call, they told everyone that “two other unannounced titles” were also being canceled. ACVR has already been announced, so it might still be on Ubisoft’s list of games to make, but the company didn’t have any more information about it today. ACVR was not directly mentioned during today’s presentation, and neither were two of Ubisoft’s most elusive games in development: Beyond Good & Evil 2, which was announced to a lot of fanfare at E3 2017, and Prince of Persia Remake, which was announced in 2020 but has been delayed multiple times.