By Jason Collins | Published
Following recent reports about the removal of its titles from Steam, at the behest of the publisher, Ubisoft just canceled a whole slew of unannounced and previously announced gaming titles, including Ghost Recon Frontline and Splinter Cell VR. The news about the cancellations came on the same day that Ubisoft delayed Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora video game for the next fiscal year, along with a smaller, premium title.
As reported by Game Informer, Ubisoft canceled Ghost Recon Frontline, Splinter Cell VR, and two other unannounced games — four games in total — in an investor call, part of the same earnings report that shifted Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora and another game for the next fiscal year. The developer didn’t offer any reasons for the cancellation of these four titles, which isn’t all that surprising since games get canceled all the time. For example, Activision Blizzard, which was the biggest gaming publisher between May 2020 and May 2022, cancels approximately 50% of its games mid-development.
The previously mentioned Ghost Recon Frontline was supposed to be Ubisoft’s battle royale take on the shooter franchise and quite possible Ubisoft’s next big live-service gaming title, revealed last October. Ubisoft boasted that the game would push more than 100 simultaneous players onto a massive battlefield, where they’d fight, secure intel, and attempt to survive until they’re extracted while employing an advanced combat system, unbound tactical freedom, and strategic gameplay.
The cancellation of this game isn’t all that unexpected, to be honest, considering the negative first impression of the game, which is probably why Ubisoft decided to cancel the Alpha and postpone the game indefinitely — though no official reason was revealed. The company launched a closed beta under NDAs in January, but details about the game leaked, and fans heavily criticized the game as a Call of Duty: Warzone clone, though admittedly, GR Frontline had no killer robots. Maybe that’s the problem.
Splinter Cell VR game was previously announced at Facebook Connect as an Oculus VR exclusive, developed by Red Storm Entertainment as a first-ever Splinter Cell game made from the ground up for virtual reality. However, there wasn’t much talk about it since the original announcement, and Ubisoft decided to pull the plug for undisclosed reasons. Assassin’s Creed VR, which was revealed alongside it, is still under development at Ubisoft, and it still seems to be happening. It’s worth noting that the cancellation doesn’t pertain to the previously announced Splinter Cell remake.
Ubisoft’s Chief Executive Officer, Frederick Duguet, told investors that canceled projects were a cost-cutting measure that would allow the company to reallocate its resources on its biggest development opportunities. Previously released titles, including Rainbow Six Siege and a whole slow of Assassin’s Creed games — particularly Odyssey, Origins, and Valhalla — all perform better than expected.
Not bad, considering that Ubisoft launched Rainbow Six Siege seven years ago. The previously mentioned Assassin’s Creed titles saw a massive uptick in overall engagement, with double-digit active player growth. There’s also an upcoming Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope and Skull and Bones — a highly anticipated piracy and naval battles game that revives all the scallywaging, pillaging, looting, and cannon shooting — though you still have to wait for the November 8 launch date.