French publishing giant Ubisoft has had to cut its financial forecasts as well as making changes to its release slate.
In a release to investors, the company has axed three unannounced games projects, which has resulted in the firm writing off writing off €500 million ($537 million) in R&D costs. Pirate romp Skull and Bones has also been delayed once again into the coming financial year. The title was previously set to come out on March 9th.
Ubisoft now reckons it will make €725 million ($780 million) in net bookings rather than €830m ($893 million).
“We are clearly disappointed by our recent performance," Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot said.
"We are facing contrasted market dynamics as the industry continues to shift towards mega-brands and everlasting live games, in the context of worsening economic conditions affecting consumer spending. Despite excellent ratings and players’ reception as well as an ambitious marketing plan, we were surprised by Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope underperformance in the final weeks of 2022 and early January. Just Dance 2023 underperformed as well. Therefore, with the approval of the Board of Directors, we are taking additional important strategic and operational decisions today. It is key to continue adapting our organization, to further strengthen our execution and to ensure we both deliver amazing games to players as well as great value creation.
"The industry’s long-term prospects remain promising, and I am convinced Ubisoft is well positioned to benefit from this momentum thanks to the strength of our teams, brands, production capacity, technology and balance-sheet. Our back-catalogue remains very healthy with notably robust activity on Rainbow Six Siege, great momentum for our Assassin’s Creed games, and generally solid performance from our live games. We expect our strategy to build long-lasting live games and transform our biggest brands into truly global phenomenon with multiple offerings across platforms and business models, to ultimately generate significant value creation, with strong topline and operating income growth over the coming years."
Disclaimer: Alex Calvin is a freelance writer and journalist who has worked with Ubisoft in the past on The Making of Assassin's Creed: 15th Anniversary Edition