It was Ubisoft’s turn yesterday to report to their investors, and they laid out their release plans between now and March 2017. Those plans include the arrival of four games we know about – Watch_Dogs 2, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, For Honor – and, perhaps more excitingly, one we do not. That new game won’t be a sequel but a “new AAA IP”.
So says this slide from the report, anyway. If all these games are coming before March 2017 – or at least planning to, since these things often change – then it suggests Ubisoft will have a lot to show at next month’s E3.
I have difficulty these days of keeping track of what “AAA” actually means. Presumably that excludes games like Rayman Legends and Child of Light, but does it include games like For Honor, which is pretty and action-y but perhaps less content rich than your typical Ubisoft open-world map cleaner?
To be clear, I like Ubisoft’s map cleaners, but I do hope whatever they’re making doesn’t involve climbing towers to reveal parts of the map and a series of side quests on which your character involuntarily ingests drugs that make the game’s colours go wibbly.
The same image contains another interesting titbit: Ubisoft’s back catalogue of games now accounts for 30% of their total revenue. That’s an obvious consequence of the rise of digital distribution, through which games are available direct from source in perpetuity instead of being replaced on shelves with second-hand copies, but I’m still slightly surprised it accounts for so much of the money they’re making.