French publishing giant Ubisoft has said that the recently-released Ghost Recon Breakpoint underperformed and that its launch was "very disappointing."
In a release to investors, CEO Yves Guillemot broke down why the company felt that the freshly-launched military shooter hadn't met its expectations both commercially and critically, despite the fact that it had previewed well at trade shows like E3 and Gamescom, as well as with media previews and internal playtesting.
Guillemot said that part of the problem is that it's difficult to drive hype for the sequel of a game that has been improved upon for years. Furthermore, the exec said that changes to a gameplay formula need to be rolled out perfectly, while Breakpoint didn't have enough to differentiate it from its predecessor.
"At this stage, we have identified three main reasons behind this underperformance," Guillemot said.
"First, it is harder to generate interest for a sequel to a Live multiplayer game, when prior iterations benefited from years of optimisation. Consequently, we need to make sure there is more time between each iteration of Live games.
"Second, our strategy of introducing gameplay innovations in our games has had a very positive impact on our brands. However, to win over players, these innovations need to be perfectly implemented in order to offer an optimal experience. This has not yet been sufficiently the case with Ghost Recon Breakpoint. While the change of formula has been very well received by some players, with an average daily playtime per player of over three hours, it also has been strongly rejected by a significant portion of the community.
"Finally, Ghost Recon Breakpoint did not come in with enough differentiation factors, which prevented the game’s intrinsic qualities from standing out. We are tackling these issues head-on and already are implementing significant changes to our production processes. We are confident in our capacity to adapt and evolve, as we have done successfully many times in the past."
Breakpoint, along with The Division, underperformed and were a factor in Ubisoft reducing its financial forecast for the 2019/20 fiscal year, alongside Watch Dogs Legion, Rainbow Six Quarantine and new IP Gods and Monsters being delayed into the next financial year.