Ubisoft CEO, Yves Guillemot, admitted that Ghost Recon: Breakpoint and The Division 2 were sales disappointments despite launching across multiple platforms and being laced from top to bottom with microtransactions. This came via disclosure via a statement to investors following the latest reports about the company’s quarterly performance and fiscal outlook for 2020 through 2021.
According to Reuters, Ubisoft said…
“[The profit warning resulted from a] “sharp downward revision in the revenues expected from Ghost Recon Breakpoint and, to a lesser extent, The Division 2,”
The profit guidance was reduced by 93% by Jefferies analysts, and that there’s going to be a severe market reaction to the news on Friday morning on October 25th, 2019.
This spawns from the fact that multiple AAA Ubisoft titles have been delayed, including Rainbow Six Quarantine and Watch Dogs Legion.
Their exact release windows weren’t revealed, but Ubisoft sees the writing on the wall that gamers are getting fed up with their over-abundance of propaganda and live-service-laced software for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Guillemot issued a statement to investors, saying…
“We have not capitalized on the potential of our latest two AAA releases. For Ghost Recon Breakpoint (…) critical reception and sales during the game’s first weeks were very disappointing,”
Reuters would go on to paraphrase Guillemot’s indications as to why the games underperformed, and specifically why Ghost Recon: Breakpoint was neither a critical nor a sales success, writing…
“He cited too short a time between the releases of live multiplayer games, too few ‘differentiation factors’ in Breakpoint, and players’ rejection of game play innovations as reasons for the reduced targets. “
This is an interesting collection of thoughts.
First of all, Guillemot claims there were far too “few” “differentiation factors” in Breakpoint compared to Wildlands, while also claiming at the same that gamers rejected the “game play innovations”.
So the game was both too unique and yet too similar to Wildlands? That’s complete and utter BS.
The reality is that no one liked the gameplay loop, which was based around a looter-shooter grind. Guillemot couldn’t admit that Ubisoft had a golden ticket on their hand and screwed the pooch royally.
YouTuber AlltimeGaming covered the controversy, and how the game’s promoted survival gimmick was actually just a marketing ploy to lure gamers in toward its looter-shooter mechanics.
When word spread that Ghost Recon: Breakpoint was just another Ubisoft microtransaction-riddled cash-in, gamers cashed out.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint suffered from the same tired looter loops as Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, and before that, Assassin’s Creed: Origins.
Gamers were expecting something more gritty, original, and hardcore based on the promotional clips leading up to the release of Breakpoint. What they got was another exhausting exercise in an open-world Ubisoft formula that was a far cry (pun intended) from the original Ghost Recon series of old.
This tried and flaccid formula also affected The Division 2, which is also a looter-shooter. The game got off to a hot start on the charts, but then quickly began to fade from the consciousness of gamers, thus resulting in a downturn in revenues.
It was ultimately just more of the same.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint was basically The Division 2.2.0 with a slathering of Ghost Recon: Wildlands, thus gamers were not compelled to pick up this latest outing when it was still just more of the same. And worse yet, what “innovations” they did include were not innovative enough to separate it from the two previously released third-person shooters that came out before it.
Now Ubisoft is in a pickle. All their properties are over-saturated, over-monetized, over-utilized, and lacking creativity, fun, replay values, and originality.
Their delay of multiple properties is a clear sign of panic.
I doubt that they’ll strip out the live-services, get back to basics, and Nintendo-the-crap out of their games by attempting to make them fun, long-lasting, and enjoyable. Expect them to do the bare minimum to recoup interests. They’ll likely reduce some of the looter elements in some of the upcoming titles, scale back on some of the live-services, and attempt to implement a few more original concepts to bolster the market value of the games by a smidgen, but not by much.
They’ll portray the titles as having been “repackaged” to court back investors and gamers, and most dullards and normies will bite the bait and fall for it once again, toeing the corporate tout of “innovative new features” and “reworked mechanics” only to be lured into the oscillating cycle of the hype machine all over again, but wise gamers will sit out these worthless rehashes and recycled concepts, and laugh at all the people silly enough to pay $60 – $120 on launch day for more broken promises, broken products, and barely playable games with perfunctory features.
We’ve been through this rodeo before, and the only way they’ll learn is when you stop playing the game.
(Thanks for the news tip Richard Pell)