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Ubisoft delays ‘Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora’ to 2023… 2024

We hope you weren’t expecting to play Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora before the next movie arrives. Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment have delayed the Avatar game to 2023 or 2024. The developers pinned the setback on “ongoing constraints” affecting game production across the industry. Ubisoft said it was still “committed” to creating a next-gen game and saw James Cameron’s franchise as a “multi-year opportunity.”

Other projects are facing delays or even cancellations. Axios‘ Stephen Totilo noted that Ubisoft has cancelled its battle royale brawler Ghost Recon Frontline and Splinter Cell VR. The company also dropped two unannounced games, and has pushed back a lower-profile “premium” game from a 2022-2023 release window to 2023-2024.

The decisions come as Ubisoft tries to turn around its fortunes. While it did see “better than expected” sales from the Assassin’s Creed series and Rainbow Six Siege in the first quarter, its net bookings dipped 10 percent compared to a year earlier. Ubisoft’s business isn’t booming, and the delays for games like Frontiers of Pandora only increase the pressure to cut costs.

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No, Ubisoft won’t stop you from playing ‘Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD’ on Steam

Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD owners on Steam won’t lose access to the game on September 1st, Ubisoft clarified today after a notice on Valve’s storefront suggested the title would become unplayable later this year. “Current owners of those games will still be able to access, play or redownload them,” a spokesperson for the company told .

The confusion around Liberation HD’s playability stems from an announcement Ubisoft made earlier this month. In a move designed to free up resources for its newer and more popular titles, the company said it planned to , including Liberation HD. As a result of the decision, online features and downloadable content would become unavailable in most of the affected titles. However, the only game Ubisoft said would be completely unplayable was Spade Junkies due to it being a multiplayer-only experience.

Many thought Ubisoft planned to take things a step further when a Twitter user named Nors3 shared a screenshot on Monday of Liberation HD’s Steam page. “Please note this title will not be accessible following September 1st, 2022,” said one of the notices on the game’s storefront listing. The warning prompted many to accuse Ubisoft of dropping to a new low.

Ubisoft told Eurogamer it’s working with Valve and other platform owners to provide more accurate information on the future of the 15 games affected by its decision. “It has always been our intention to do everything in our power to allow those legacy titles to remain available in the best possible conditions for players, and this is what we are working towards,” the company said.

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Ubisoft will reveal updated ‘Skull and Bones’ gameplay this week

After years of delays, Ubisoft is finally ready to offer a fresh look at Skull and Bones. The publisher on Tuesday it plans to host a showcase dedicated to the open-world multiplayer pirate game on July 7th at 2PM ET. Ubisoft will livestream the event on and .

The company is widely expected to announce a new release date then. If you haven’t kept track of Skull and Bones’ troubled development, we don’t blame you. Ubisoft first announced the title at , with an original release window planned for 2018. It then pushed the game back to , , 2021 and then finally its fiscal .

In 2020, Elisabeth Pellen, the game’s creative director, the delays to a change of vision. The original premise of Skull and Bones was simple. It was supposed to adapt the sailing mechanics from 2013’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and strip all the narrative threads and stealth mechanics that made that game unapproachable for some.

“The answer is that we simply needed more time. We dreamt something bigger for Skull and Bones, and these ambitions naturally came with bigger challenges,” Pellen said at the time. “As Skull and Bones evolved from its original idea to what it is now, it was also necessary to have some fresh eyes join the team.” Ubisoft also announced today it plans to hold a separate event on September 10th that will feature multiple games and projects from the company’s teams.

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Ubisoft will drop details on Assassin’s Creed and more games in a September stream

Ubisoft will share updates and announcements about its roster of projects in a showcase on September 10th at 3PM ET. The event will be streamed on Ubisoft channels on YouTube, Twitch and the studio’s official website, and it’ll include news on “multiple games and projects from Ubisoft teams around the world,” according to spokesperson Youssef Maguid.

Back in June, Ubisoft confirmed plans to share information about the future of Assassin’s Creed during a special event in September, and this appears to be that. Ubisoft is currently working on two Assassin’s Creed projects: one is a live multiplayer experience spanning multiple time periods codenamed Infinity, and the other is a standalone series installment codenamed Rift. Early reports indicate Rift started out as an expansion to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and it stars Basim Ibn Ishaq from that title.

Alongside Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft is the caretaker of Far Cry, Rabbids, Beyond Good & Evil, Just Dance, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, Rayman and Prince of Persia. A remake of the original Prince of Persia has been bouncing around Ubisoft’s studios for a few years and is now in development in Montreal, due out some time after April 2023.

Ubisoft is also hosting a broadcast for its open-world, online pirate simulator Skull and Bones on July 7th at 2PM ET. Skull and Bones has been kicking around since 2017 and it was even playable in 2018, but updates since then have been few and far between.

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Ubisoft will reveal ‘the future of Assassin’s Creed’ this September

Ubisoft will reveal what’s next for its long-running Assassin’s Creed franchise later this year. The publisher announced today it will host a special event in September to discuss the future of the series. While we didn’t get many hints from the company during its recent AC 15th Anniversary Celebration livestream, we have a good idea of what to expect. We know from reporting by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier that Ubisoft is working on two new Assassin’s Creed projects.

The first is a live service experience codenamed Infinity that will encompass multiple time periods and settings and allow fans to play together. After confirming it was working on the game in July 2021, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said this past October that Infinity wouldn’t be a free-to-play game. The company is also working on a new standalone title codenamed Rift. According to Schreier, Rift began life as an Assassin’s Creed Valhalla expansion, but was later repurposed by Ubisoft into a standalone game to bolster its near-term release schedule. The new game will reportedly steer the series back to its stealth roots and star Valhalla’s Basim Ibn Ishaq.

Of the two projects, we’re more likely to see Ubisoft share information about Rift given its more limited scope and the fact Schreier said the company plans to release it before Infinity. Of course, Ubisoft could also surprise us, and we’ll have to wait until September to find out what the company has in store for fans.

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Ubisoft keeps up Assassin’s Creed education trend with Discovery Tour: Viking Age

Ubisoft released the educational iteration of their latest big Assassin’s Creed title Valhalla this week. Like each of the other Assassin’s Creed games that’ve been released over the past half-decade, Ubisoft put a significant amount of work in research into the history of our world and humanity to create an authentic experience with their game. The title Discovery Tour: Viking Age takes the work done for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, and puts it in an entirely educational package.

Below you’ll see an official trailer for Discovery Tour: Viking Age. Per Ubisoft, this title allows the user to “plunge into a unique interactive experience where you learn about history, traditions, and famous characters of the Viking era.” This title runs from Norway to England, from England to “the mythological Viking realms.”

For those users that already own Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, this Discovery Tour is entirely free. You’ll just need to hit the update button for the game you already have downloaded.

The game Discovery Tour: Viking Age will also be available for download separate from the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla game. You’ll find this title as a PC Standalone version right now, and it’ll be available on other platforms in the year 2022. We’ll know more about exact release dates soon!

At this moment in our real world history, Ubisoft has released three “Discovery Tour” titles. There is one for Ancient Egypt, one for Ancient Greece, and another for the Viking Age. The Viking Age title comes from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Greece from AC Odyssey, and Egypt from AC Origins.

In addition to appearing as standalone titles, each Discovery Tour is available as a game mode within its related Assassin’s Creed game. Now, if only we could go back and get the same sort of thing for titles like Assassin’s Creed: Unity for the French Revolution in Paris – that’d make our day.

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Watch Ubisoft reveal a new Tom Clancy game at 2PM ET

Ubisoft isn’t pinning all its Tom Clancy game strategy on Rainbow Six Extraction. The company is revealing a new Tom Clancy game at 2PM Eastern, and you can watch the premiere here through the video below. The company didn’t say much in advance beyond calling it a “wild” experience, but a brief clip (also below) has already spoke volumes about what to expect.

For a start, this doesn’t appear to be The Division Heartland. Instead, this would be a competitive team multiplayer shooter that looks like it’s set in The Division‘s take on New York City, complete with killstreaks and an escort objective. It’s not necessarily piggybacking on existing hot games like Valorant, but we also wouldn’t count on a completely original take. This is the company that belatedly hopped on the battle royale bandwagon with Hyper Scape, after all.

Ubisoft had hinted that multiple The Division-related games were in the pipeline. In that regard, this mystery title is just one part of a much larger planned wave. It’s just a question of whether or not these early projects will be popular enough to justify the rest.

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Tom Clancy’s XDefiant is a New Free-To-Play Ubisoft Shooter

Ubisoft revealed a new entry in the Tom Clancy franchise today, and no, it wasn’t a new Splinter Cell game. Instead, it’s a new free-to-play first-person shooter titled Tom Clancy’s XDefiant. The game is currently still in development, but a closed beta is set to launch in early August.

Developed by Ubisoft San Francisco, Tom Clancy’s XDefiant is “fast-paced firefights meets punk rock mosh pit” according to the game’s executive producer Mark Rubin and its creative director Jason Schroeder.

In Tom Clancy’s XDefiant, players will clash against each other with personalized classes, represented through different factions. Wolves make up the game’s tanks and sport large guns, as well as circular shields that can soak up damage. Cleaners fill the assault role and can wield flamethrowers. Support characters fit into the Echelon faction and come with SMGs and a set of goggles that let them see enemies through walls. Finally, healers are represented by the Outcasts, who can create a healing aura around themselves. Each faction also has its own extra abilities and an ultimate power.

Matches in Tom Clancy’s XDefiant will be 6-v-6, and include both arena style and linear modes, with domination and escort modes being revealed by a press release. The game will also feature “a large pool of uniquely designed maps,” although it doesn’t say how many maps players will be able to expect once the game launches.

A release date for Tom Clancy’s XDefiant hasn’t been revealed yet, but anyone that’s interested can try to get into one of the game’s betas. Players can register for the game’s first beta, slated for August 5, on its website.

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Ubisoft sued in France over alleged ‘institutional harassment’

Ubisoft is facing new legal action over alleged sexual harassment throughout the company. Kotaku and Rock Paper Shotgun report that French workers union Solidaires Informatiques and two former Ubisoft staffers have sued the game developer for allegedly enabling a culture of “institutional sexual harassment.” It was supposedly easier for Ubisoft to tolerate misconduct than to address problems, according to the union.

The lawsuit targets several existing and former Ubisoft workers, including former managers Cecile Cornet (head of human resources), Tommy Francois (editorial VP) and Serge Hascoët (global creative director). Company chief Yves Guillemot is also under scrutiny not for direct involvement, but because he’s inherently “responsible” for what happens at Ubisoft.

Ubisoft told Kotaku it had “no further details to share” in response to the claim against the gaming giant. It previously said that it had investigated all claims and taken an appropriate response.

There were already complaints that Ubisoft hadn’t fully tackled allegations like these. Bloomberg sources said that accused managers remained in senior positions, and that staff were reporting sexist and racist activity that went unaddressed.

There’s no certainty the lawsuit will succeed, let alone force institutional changes at Ubisoft. However, it’s evident the company’s initial efforts weren’t enough to satisfy employees. If the allegations are accurate, Ubi might need to take more drastic steps if it’s going to prevent misconduct and the ensuing fallout.

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Ubisoft smacks Riders Republic and Rainbow Six Extraction with bad news

If you were looking forward to either Riders Republic or Rainbox Six Extraction, then you’ll want to settle in because the wait for both just got longer today. Ubisoft announced delays for both titles today, moving back two of its most anticipated games of the year. Thankfully, the delay for Riders Republic isn’t a huge one, but the same can’t exactly be said for Rainbox Six Extraction.

Ubisoft announced both delays today in separate news posts on its website. First, regarding Riders Republic, Ubisoft said that it’s moving the game’s release date from September 2nd to October 28th. Essentially, Ubisoft is delaying the game by a couple of months, saying that it needs more time to “fine tune the experience and give you another chance to jump in before launch and provide feedback.”

So, in this case, the silver lining is that Ubisoft will host another beta test aside from the upcoming one that was already scheduled. Unfortunately, the Riders Republic development team didn’t announce when that beta would take place but did say that it’ll have more to share soon.

In regards to Rainbow Six Extraction, it seems we have a more severe delay. Originally slated to launch on September 16th, Ubisoft now says that Extraction has been moved to January 2022. We didn’t get a more specific release date than that, but the Rainbox Six Extraction development team does say that the extra time will help ensure the game will be “the immersive, cooperative, and thrilling experience we set out to create.”

Of course, it’s hardly a surprise to see delayed games, as the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed how those games are made. We’ve seen a lot of delays in recent months, with Extraction and Riders Republic simply being the two latest entries on an already long list.

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