With a strong fiscal year under its belt, Ubisoft’s future looks bright indeed. The studio posted its earnings report this week, stating that it made $2.04 billion in revenue and $164.7 million in net income — both a sizable increase from the year previous.
The earnings call gave us some indication as to the release windows of two of its future online games. The Division 2 is expected to come out before April 2019, which means that at the worst, we have slightly less than a year wait to go. The studio revealed that the first Division title racked up over 20 million players to date.
Players will have to wait longer than expected for Skull and Bones, however. Ubisoft announced that it will delay the launch of the multiplayer pirate game to April 2019 at the earliest “to offer players an even more engaging experience.”
Patch 1.8.1 has arrived in The Division, bringing with it the “Xbox One X Enhancement Patch” that adds 4K rendering and other shiny, purdy visual improvements.
Players will get to experience a pair of new global events for experienced fighters. In the Blackout event, players will run around shocking people and trying to perform one-hit-kill melee attacks. In Onslaught, there are many different types of damage that have to be juggled depending on the enemy faced.
The update also includes 40 new commendations, two legendary difficulty missions, division tech increases, a global events vendor, and plenty of bug fixes.
According to a report on Gamereactor, Ubisoft would like a piece o’ that PUBG and Fortnite action.
The publication claims to have an “anonymous source inside the studio” who’s told it that Massive is building a quick-turnaround battle royale clone following an Ubisoft directive in January. As VG247 pointed out, this isn’t much of a surprise; not only do game companies like money and trends, but Ubisoft in particular namedropped PUBG in an investor call last year, suggesting Ubisoft might add the mode to its existing games via DLC.
Ubisoft answered the rumors by saying, “We don’t comment on rumors or speculation,” which you’ll notice is not a denial.
As we’ve previously covered, Massive is also working on The Division 2.
The next update for The Division is arriving on the game’s live servers on April 12th, and aside from graphical enhancements for Xbox One X players, it also brings in two new global events. The Blackout event allows players to build up charge by shooting or running, with more charge meaning more damage. Meanwhile, next month’s Onslaught event adds extra damage types to gunplay, with reloading changing the effect and offering a chance at better damage.
Players can also look forward to higher Classified drop rates across the board and a 20% drop rate from Legendary missions; the patch, not coincidentally, is also adding two more Legendary missions for players. It’s all enough stuff to make both the content more rewarding and offer more content to be done at the same time; get ready to lock and reload when it’s live on April 12th.
SpatialOS: You’ve probably been seeing this name pop up more and more in the MMO sphere. Worlds Adrift, Mavericks, Fractured, Seed, MetaWorld, and Identity are just some of the titles we’ve mentioned that have sprung up to use Improbable’s platform. The company picked up more than half a billion dollars from Japanese company SoftBank, roped in MMO veteran Bill Roper, and got Jagex to announce its intention to use it in a future project. However Chronicles of Elyria recently noted it’s dropping Improbable’s baby, and both on and off the record, developers I spoke to at GDC 2018 had mixed reactions – assuming they’d even heard about SpatialOS at all.
What’s the big deal about the platform? What does it do? Why should developers care? Why should MMO players care? I attended a panel by Improbable and briefly sat down with CCO Bill Roper to try to figure it all out.
Winners never quit, we’re told. So what does that mean in light of Vivendi divesting itself of Ubisoft shares? The investment in Ubisoft (well-known for The Crew, The Division, and other titles we don’t really cover here) was long seen as the start of a hostile takeover attempt, which means that selling the 27 percent that Vivdeni (well-known for formerly owning Blizzard) owned represents the company, well, giving up on that plan.
It’s not entirely clear why Vivendi abandoned the hostile takeover attempt, but as part of the sales agreement Vivendi cannot buy any stock in Ubisoft for the next five years, which means that it appears to be well and truly ended. So, good news if you don’t want Vivendi to be in charge of Ubisoft, bad news if… you did want that? Corporate antics are always a thrill a minute.
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin roll up their sleeves and take on projects left and right. It’s a look at the announcement of Project C and the imminent early access launch of Project Gorgon, among many other exciting developments this week!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
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Did you see this one coming? Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment are apparently working on a sequel to The Division. The news comes via what appears to be a press release posted to German-language website 4-Traders.
“When we released our game in 2016, it was clear to us that it was just the opening chapter of a much bigger saga, so we’re excited to share more with you today about what awaits you in The Division Universe next,” Massive Entertainment’s Julian Gerighty reportedly says. “We are very pleased to announce that we are currently working on Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. […] The Division 2 will be based on an updated version of the Snowdrop Engine that will help us realize our ambitions for this title.”
For the original game, the companies also promise new global events, a Xbox One X update, and pre-Division 2-launch-tie-in events and achievements.
Let’s keep the anniversary articles coming, shall we? Ubisoft is celebrating two years since The Division’s launch as well. The company now counts 20 million players (twice the population of Sweden, sorry Sweden), with an average of three hours played daily over just the past three months. Seems high, yeah?
And all 20 million of those players should probably hop in again over the next month, as the game will be dishing out weekly global events (starting with Outbreak this week), handing out a free sneeze emote (yes really) and offering classified gear sets. Also, some dude on PS4 is obsessed with resistance waves, having done almost 8000 of them since update 1.8 (what the what?).
According to last night’s state-of-the-game Twitch stream – also recapped on Reddit if you can’t stand live videos – all you’ve gotta do to get the free emote is log in during the month of March and hit up the reward claim vendor. All the shiny goodies are tucked down below.
Have you wondered why it is Ubisoft is so dedicated to putting out a continual string of games as a service, even its ostensibly single-player offerings? Actually, as an MMO fan you probably haven’t wondered, but the latest investor presentation for the company makes it absolutely clear why this model is favored by the company. Specifically? Because it means money. So much money, for such a long time.
Ubisoft has found that games like The Division and The Crew wind up generating much more revenue over the long term, meaning that a yearly game released as a service makes a lot more money over the long term than simple single-player launches. Of course, long-time MMO fans are probably familiar with this principle, and it doesn’t exactly address the question of whether or not it produces better games. But if you needed confirmation, here it is.
When the toxicity topics just keep piling up in the news room and nobody wants to cover them, you get the Toxicity Roundup, your weekly report on who’s being a jerk in gaming this week! (We’re kidding. This is not really a thing. We don’t really want this to be a thing. Please don’t make this a thing.)
Let’s start with Overwatch. Kotaku has a report out on a stream sniper who was hassling popular streamer TimTheTatMan. The troll would show up in the streamer’s matches, refuse to play anything but Symmetra, and proceed to suck – meaning the team always lost. Apparently, TimTheTatMan wasn’t the only person this jerk had griefed. “To be clear this player is being banned, not for their hero choice, but rather for systematically ruining Overwatch games for thousands of players,” Blizzard wrote on Reddit. “We recognize that not finding this player faster is an unfortunate failure of our ever-developing reporting system and we’ve already taken steps to quickly eliminate outliers like this in the future.” So one down, how many more to go?
What else have we got here…
Need a stylish gas mask to cover that thing on your neck that could be charitably called a mug? Jump in to The Division next week for its Ambush global event to earn a new mask while pulling the world out of an apocalyptic disaster.
It’s interesting that several outlets are starting to tout this two-year-old game as getting its second wind. PC Gamer said that the recent 1.8 update “made it worth playing again,” pointing to the numerous activities that players can enjoy at the endgame. “In broad terms, The Division is in the best position it’s ever been, and it’s well worth easily sinking triple-digit hours into it if loot-shooters intrigue you,” the outlet said.
Echoing these thoughts is YouTuber Cleanprincegaming, who made the case that The Division has made an incredible comeback in terms of its quality and content from its messy and unfocused launch. Perhaps it’s time to check back in with this multiplayer shooter in 2018?
With 2017 officially over and done, Steam’s taking a moment to report on its best-selling games over the course of the whole year. While there are no specifics shared as to which title sold how many copies, Valve does roughly rank games according to overall sales.
In the “platinum” category are several familiar online titles, including ARK: Survival Evolved, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, H1Z1, Warframe, and Dota 2.
Moving down into “gold,” we find Elder Scrolls Online crowing happily. “Silver” sellers mark Conan Exiles, Black Desert Online, War Thunder, and Path of Exile among the third-tier titles. The list is rounded out with other MMOs and MOBAs like Paladins, Elite: Dangerous, and The Division.
Steam’s Winter Sale, which contains many of these games and more, is ending on January 4th.