MMO Business Roundup: Ubisoft’s stock drop, Skull & Bones’ delay, Google games

    
18
MMO Business Roundup: Ubisoft’s stock drop, Skull & Bones’ delay, Google games

Welcome back to another depressing super fun roundup of business news from the MMO industry and adjacent climes.

Ubisoft

We don’t cover a lot of Ubisoft titles here on MOP, save The Division 2, but it’s not having a great week. In the release of its updated financial target doc yesterday, the company says it’s delaying multiple titles, including Skull and Bones yet again (hey remember Skull and Bones, which we demoed in 2017?), given the disappointing sales performance of both Ghost Recon Breakpoint and to a lesser extent The Division 2. The studio essentially blames player fatigue with live-service titles and the fact that Breakpoint is kinda grindy, something “strongly rejected by a significant portion of the community.” The company’s stock fell as much as 20% on the news.

Google

Remember back when Google announced Stadia and said it would be opening up its own games studio? The first one is now open for business in Montreal under the leadership of Jade Raymond. It’s not clear just yet what type of games exactly they’ll be making.

SWG Emu

Finally, a strange bit of news from the world of rogue servers: The original SWG Emu team has open-sourced the code underpinning the core3 engine. “As we prepare for a post-SWGEmu 1.0 world, we need to find ways to embrace and collaborate with more developers,” the player team writes. “We are starting a Special Interest Group (SIG) for JTL development, and that team will need to refactor/extend the underlying engine to support space-related gameplay. We are hopeful that open-sourcing engine3 will also encourage new developers to join our post 1.0 effort and create the version of SWG we all wish to build and enjoy together.”

Thanks, Danny and Steve!

No posts to display

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Anstalt

I’m actually quite a fan of Ubisoft, they’re definitely one of the best AAA games companies out there. Still risk adverse, but nowhere near as bad as the other big studios. The Division 2 was a pretty good game, I enjoyed my time in it but it’s not as if it was designed to be a long term game. You could hit the top of the gear grind pretty easily and it was fun getting there, but after that point there wasn’t really anything.

Maybe if they’d put in more pvp modes I might have stuck with it longer but could never get on with 4v4 (too small) or the darkzone (basically pve where I can be killed and lose my shit).

I’d have loved something like the control points where one team can defend, the other attack. Or perhaps just giving us one of the PvE zones and letting us do large team deathmatch. In the best case scenario, each of the PvE factions would have a PvP equivalent and then they’d let us fight over the whole map in a pure PvP mode. So, players could join Black Tusk, for example, and then take control of CPs from other player factions and let us have a good old territory fight.

Will never happen, but if they had that sort of mode at endgame, I’d probably still be playing it :P

Mewmew
Reader
Mewmew

The Division 2 is actually fairly decent. I’m surprised it didn’t sell better. From all I’ve heard about Breakpoint, it’s pretty much a disaster, so no surprise there. I wonder why The Division 2 didn’t do better though? I wonder if it will be like The Division and pick up steam later on in its life?

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
mysecretid

I can only speak for myself — and I do play The Division 2 off and on — but Div 2 just feels like an inferior sequel to me, particularly where things like engaging atmosphere, compelling story-telling and interesting NPC characters are concerned.

I’m not saying The Division 2 is bad — it’s not a bad game, and some of its mechanics are better than the original game — but I think it suffers in comparison to the first game, overall.

All I can tell you is that the setting, some of the storylines, and a number of the NPC characters from the first Division game still live in my memory, while a lot of the time, I forget I even own The Division 2 until I see it. That’s not a burn, it’s just true.

My opinions, anyway,

Cheers,

Reader
zaber

I remember when Divison 2 moved to Epic game store. Then Ubsoft even Epic games was telling us it solded really well.

rafael12104
Reader
rafael12104

Poor Ubi. Ghost Recon was just generic. There was nothing new to catch players attention. It’s like Madden Football 2017 released in 2020.

I feel bad for Ubi because the CEO is taking it on the chin, head on. He isn’t ducking it or blaming any one of a number of different things. He is doing the right thing.

And he claims no loot boxes will be used to save it or them from the bad quarter and potentially bad year.

Heh. They are taking the L. LOL! I love those guys… *sniff*

Reader
Raimo Kangasniemi

Pity about Skull & Bones.

Reader
3dom

> Breakpoint is kinda grindy

People got a season pass for free – and whine about it. How about you just don’t grind if you don’t like it? Especially considering there is nothing terribly interesting in the rewards (and of course people also whine about them as well).

This “grind” (i.e. free season pass) is exactly that I find much better in Breakpoint than Wildlands – which I simply uninstalled soon after finishing campaign because daily/weekly challenges there were irritating at best (“headshot 3 bosses from 80m+ using pistol”, “hit a boss with a car in the middle of forest or in mountains”). While present system consist of normal missions.

Apparently this is the curse of older franchises: over time they accumulate ageing auditory which loses its ability to adapt to changes even when they are obviously great (like multiplayer hub). They just want that obsolete gameplay from good ol’ times.

oldandgrumpy
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
oldandgrumpy

Just goes to show what happens when you don’t properly think through the concept and reality of live service.

Reader
McGuffn

If only there was some way to know players don’t like grind before you developed the grind and put it into the game.

Reader
3dom

The funny part: the “grind” – i.e. free season pass – is completely optional and doesn’t have anything even remotely interesting. Nobody should listen to people who hurt themselves deliberately by playing the part they don’t like. It’s like trying to please psycho ward patients without medication.

If anything this situation made me wonder if Ubi will dump both The Division and Ghost Recon “military” franchises – like they did with Splinter Cell – to focus on successful fantasy Assassin’s Creed where nobody whine about lack of weapon barrel length customization.

Godnaz
Reader
Godnaz

Wake up call for Ubisoft. Maybe half baked games with post launch monetization is showing true results. Bethesda is ‘learning’ this the hard way.

oldandgrumpy
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
oldandgrumpy

Nah, Bethesda is whale farming and probably making good money out of it IMO.

Reader
TJ French

I would point the Division 2 issues towards dropping the game off steam for epic after advertising it to release there first. It’s not fatigue, it’s shady company practices. I loved the first one and I was pumped for the second, but I’ll skip it now after those shenanigans.

Stop doing these pointless restricted releases. It only hurts your company.

Reader
losludvig

Repeat after me: “competetion is healthy” just look at how much stuff has happened on steam’s client after epic started going after exclusives bigtime.
And it’s just another launcher, not like you need to get new hardware.

Reader
TJ French

I’m fine with the competition. I’m not fine with taking down the store randomly, no two factor authentication, and trying for pointless exclusives to falsely pump up a customer base.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

It has worked perfectly so far.

Reader
TJ French
Reader
zaber

Anyone say competetion is healthy but still use windows making no good compettion number to make it healthy. The Steam vs Epic fight was more about people hating steam as there was other store then just Epic but never got much of the light.