XDefiant is Ubisoft’s next Tom Clancy franchise arena shooter

    
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Ubisoft is not having the best couple of years. It’s been wrecked by a wide-ranging sexual harassment scandal and lawsuit, it’s losing staff left and right, it’s had to delay Skull and Bones so many times that nobody remembers what it is, and it even suffered a hoax bomb threat last year. The company has nevertheless been attempting to revitalize the Division franchise, and last month, we got a rumor that it was working on a free-to-play multiplayer shooter that was meant to include elements from several of its games, including The Division 2.

Yesterday, the company finally revealed the game: XDefiant. “Tom Clancy’s XDefiant is a free-to-play, fast-paced arena shooter that combines intense gunplay with personalized loadouts and specialized factions, as teams of gunfighters – called Defiants – battle for domination,” the official site says. It’s not an MMO, mind you; it’s merely a 6v6 arena shooter with heavy customization and a “diverse cast,” set for release on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and X|S. Tester signups are live on the official site; the first test for North America is set for August 5th.

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Vanquesse V

shout out to @schillingc on twitter for the best take I’ve seen so far:
“Tom Clancy’s How Do You Do, Fellow Kids”

EmberStar
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EmberStar

For anyone who doesn’t know the context:

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Bruno Brito

XDefiant is an abomination of a name and represents well how off the deep end Ubisoft went.

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rk70534

It’s a meh name, but hardly worse than PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

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Bruno Brito

RaiderZ.

Leo
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Leo

So that’s really the name they are going with…

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Greaterdivinity

Part of me digs the setup for this, kinda neat seeing some factions from the Division and what not but…

Holy shit that’s one of the worst names I’ve ever heard. XDefiant just doesn’t roll off the tongue, it’s a fucking war crime in your mouth as you try to pronounce it.

Reveal video was amusing with them juxtaposing the buttoned up guy on the white background and the more alt/rocker dude with the graffiti background…BUT THEY’RE IN THE SAME ROOM! HOLY SHIT! (/s)

But real, this feels like Hyperscape…but worse, because they’re even later to the “hero shooter” party than they were to the battle royal party. Also, at this point I think the Tom Clancy “brand” is just, “Dudes with guns, shooting other dudes with guns, and maybe a few tech gizmos.” But really, this feels INSANELY late to the party and like they think their franchises have way more draw than they do (Division 2 already saw less interest than D1, and the last few Ghost Recon games have been…pretty meh apparently).

Between this announcement and the Kotaku report (glad they’re still doing deep dives!) on the mess that is Skull & Bones, it really feels like Ubi has been making a lot of poor decisions over the years that have been compounded by panic and disarray following the internal harassment coming to light.

And they’ve got more Division 2 content and Heartland coming. Man, Ubisoft’s kinda a bloody mess. They’re competing against themselves.

Edit: THAT SAID…it looks nice and there are some neat mechanics in the video. Shame it’s entering a crowded marketplace so late, but it’s got some good talent behind it so maybe it’ll compete based on how well it plays.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

The name could be worse. They could have gone Full Edgelord. (Never go Full Edgelord.) xX_Defiant_Xx or DefianX or XD3fi4nt

It can always be worse. Never underestimate mid-30s marketing types trying to make something look “cool” to teenagers who think “cool” is a Boomer word.

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Greaterdivinity

I’m just thankful they don’t takes cues from Japan, or we’d have more games like – Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r]

(yes, that’s the actual name of a game, and that’s not even the wildest.)

EmberStar
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EmberStar

My understanding there is that nearly everyone in Japan has at least a tiny level of familiarity with English. Not to the level of “can actually speak it,” but they can sort of read it without necessarily knowing what the words mean. As a result, they’ll pick English words that “sound exotic” for the title. Which is how you get an sci-fi anime series about an all-female vigilante team wearing power armor and fighting sentient war cyborgs who go berserk and start killing people at random, and end up with the title “Bubblegum Crisis.” o.O

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Bruno Brito

Em-8er

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Which my brain consistently tries to translate as “Em-mate-er.” Which probably does not conjure exactly the same mental image that they were going for. OnO

EmberStar
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EmberStar

“Man, Ubisoft’s kinda a bloody mess. They’re competing against themselves.”

I’ve thought that for a while now. And it’s only going to get worse if they keep trying to convert every other IP they own into an “always online Live Service,” which they seem to plan to do with Assassin’s Creed: The Next One and a couple of other games. There might be a little variation around the edges due to genre… but it feels to me like “always online Open World RPG” titles all draw from the same pool of audience. And every game Ubisoft puts out either is one, or is going to be one soon. They’re cannibalizing their own audience, and forcing all their games to compete against *each other.*

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Greaterdivinity

Honestly, I’m super down with the move for AC to be a live-service game. It makes a lot of sense (you’re just reliving memories) for the series and allows for a lot of cool things. More interplay between titles, a bigger variety of types of titles (not just huge games every other year, but smaller games in between and smaller stories), the potential to pick a “IRL” character that they can do a lot more with in terms of focusing on building them out as a fleshed out character etc. It sounds like it’s kicking off as a giant mess of poor internal communication, and I imagine the development changes will be brutal, but I’m optimistic about it.

Though I agree. Ubi’s current strategy/trajectory is just weird as heck, and I think a lot of bad decisions of old are biting them in the butt. I genuinely think it’s time for Yves to give up the reigns, even after valiantly battling to avoid a Vivendi takeover. Props to him to a point (not so much because of the culture that was fostered under his leadership and the harassment that’s still not been properly addressed), but it’s time to pass the baton. And to someone outside the Guillemot family, passing it to your shitty kid or your brother who owned Gameloft isn’t going to improve things.

Karma_Mule
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Karma_Mule

“fast-paced arena shooter”

Well that made my curiosity evaporate quickly…

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Danny Smith

That sound you can hear is Tom Clancys spinning coffin being used as a perpetual motion machines core.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I was going to ask about that. So I guess he sold his name as an IP somehow, kind of like Walt Disney did?

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Danny Smith

Yeah i want to say around the time Rainbow Six 3 came out though i could be wrong. Basically Ubisoft can fart out any old shit with the clancy name on as long as it involves conflict the US military take part in or something like that.

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bobfish

He sold his name and studio, and didn’t care about any of it. The guy was a good writer, but his views were a solid mix of conservatism, patriotism and capitalism.

Whilst I suspect he might have required them to have more realistic military representation, he would have loved the idea of making money from shooting people in the face.