Sands of Time has now been delayed indefinitely, with no sign of a release date.
Fans also have a very rocky relationship with Ubisoft, with some games becoming instant classics and some being hated by the general gaming community.
Ubisoft shifting directions
In an earnings call, Ubisoft detailed its plans for fiscal 2022, which will include three AAA releases, which are said to be Far Cry 6, Rainbow Six Quarantine, and likely a new Assassin’s Creed game.
But after this, Ubisoft will be scaling AAA games back in favour of free to play games and remasters.
Ubisoft said in the call,
"We said for a number of years that our normal template is to come with either three or four AAA games, so we'll stick to that plan for fiscal 2022. But we see that we are progressively, continuously moving from a model that used to be only focused on AAA releases to a model where we have a combination of strong releases from AAA and strong back catalog dynamics, but also complimenting our program of new releases with free-to-play and other premium experiences."
Ubisoft tried their hand at a free to play battle royale, Hyper Scape, but it immediately flopped at launch and is currently undergoing a complete overhaul.
It seems odd that Ubisoft is shifting their focus to free to play games when their latest attempt immediately flopped, despite a large marketing budget where they targeted influencers to play and promote the title.
They also said that they will be focusing on remastering older titles, such as Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, rather than creating new IPs and games.
Also in the call, CEO Yves Guillemot noted that they will be continuing to support older titles, such as Rainbow Six Siege that, despite being six years old, is still a growing title, adding 15 million new players in the last 12 months, which brought the total player count to 70 million since launch.
This makes Rainbow Six Siege a big revenue driver for the company and may influence Ubisoft’s future plans.
Ubisoft could be looking at making a free to play a game similar to Siege, perhaps using an aspect of the Tom Clancy franchise, but instead focusing on microtransactions to drive revenue, similar to how Activision released Call of Duty: Warzone, reviving the struggling IP.
It makes sense that Ubisoft is looking to try to recreate that magic with their own IPs.