The Crew 2 might be struggling to garner praise on Steam, where its beta ratings were poor and its post-launch reviews are merely mixed, but Ubisoft is projecting contentedness with it all the same.
“Its activity is trending in line with The Crew 1, which had benefited from a Christmas launch. Its digital performance is outperforming,” the company CFO said during Ubisoft’s investor conference call yesterday, as quoted by GIbiz. “What we can say is the game is performing in line with the activity of the prior one. It’s really on par from where we stood with the prior one. We know also the prior one had a kind of slow start and started to pick up as we built up more content and activity in the game. So if we do that, I think there would still be significant part of the sales of that game in the next three quarters” – that’s because the first Crew game had a second year almost as strong as its first.
Overall, Ubisoft reported earnings far outperforming expectations, at $444.8 million net bookings, leading to a record first quarter, with the rest of 2018 projected to look sweet indeed thanks to the new Assassin’s Creed title and The Division 2.
It’s important in an MMO to feel like you own the bundle of stats and spells that you lovingly refer to as a character. Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen has taken a step toward improving that feeling with the first version of its character creator, just patched into the game’s test client. Hooray for making characters!
Meanwhile, Defiance 2050 has moved out of its test phase and into full-on relaunch territory. Hooray for launches!
There has been some other beta movement, too. Some of it is rather silly. Cases in point:
So, somewhat silly, but rather quiet. Not a bad week! We’ve got our usual list of games in development just below, and as always we appreciate anyone letting us know if something swapped phases without us noticing down in the comments. It’s very kind of you.
With The Division 2 on the way for next year, fans of the series are trying to get a handle on just how much grouping they will be expected to do when it arrives. It turns out that the answer to that is, “As much or as little as you please, just give us your money.”
Ubisoft confirmed that it will be entirely possible to solo through the whole game: “You can play through the entire story campaign into endgame and [then the] endgame [content], alone… [But] you can also do the same content [in] two, three, or four player co-op. Or eight-player co-op, two full groups in the raid if you opt into the challenge that we’re adding. So it’s very important for us that you get to pick.”
We got an early look at The Division 2 last month at E3, including mentions of the franchise’s first-ever eight-player raids. Right now, players in the first Division can earn shields that will unlock rewards for the March 2019 sequel.
When people know the sequel to their current MMO is coming out, they tend to be less inclined to complete in-game challenges in the current game. After all, why take part in The Division content now when the next game is on its way? The newest patch for the game has an answer for that: you want to earn shields. No, not the pieces of equipment that you tend to wear in various other MMOs, the unique collectibles that allow you to unlock rewards in The Division 2 for obtaining them.
Players can earn four shields right now, and more will be rolled out over time to give players new things to chase after. The patch also brings in new audio logs and various balance tweaks, so while you prepare yourself for the follow-up game you’ll still have plenty to do in the existing game. And, you know, hopefully you’re having fun anyway.
There’s no pretense that The Division 2 is not going to build on what worked for the original The Division. You can watch the story trailer just below and see that yes, it’s going to be adhering to a similar formula. It’s just that now, instead of dealing with the remnants of society in New York City, you’re cleaning things up in Washington, DC. And it turns out the best way to clean things up in the wake of the pandemic that has struck the city is by shooting a whole lot of insurgents.
Of course, if the new setting doesn’t captivate you, perhaps you’ll be more interested by the gameplay trailer just below showing off the first shots of actual group gameplay in action. Obviously, it involves a fair bit of shooting things, but you knew that going in. It’s a lengthy demonstration, but it seems to confirm that the heart of the first game is still present in the upcoming sequel. It’s all launching on March 15th.
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.”
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.