Today, during its financial conference call for investors and analysts, Ubisoft's executives talked about the upcoming pipeline of games expected for the current year.
Guillemot mentioned that Ubisoft's management is "very happy" with the progress the team is making on Skull and Bones. Currently, regular playtesting via the publisher's insider program and research with external partners is being performed. Development is progressing well and the game will be showcased at the Ubisoft Forward broadcast on June 12.
Douguet added that the company is very pleased with the polishing and balancing work done on the game and feedback from playtesting is "really good."
Regarding XDefiant, Ubisoft is "very happy" with the result of the recent closed beta. The reception from players has been "really good" and while there is still work to be done, now Ubisoft has good enough visibility on the game to formally announce that it'll be released this fiscal year (by March 2024).
Speaking about the number of developers working on Assassin's Creed, we hear that about 2,000 developers are currently allocated to it.
Guillemot also confirmed that the planned 40% headcount increase working on the AC franchise will come from reallocation from other games and not from new hires, albeit Ubisoft continues to seek to hire "top talent."
We then hear that the games coming this fiscal year (Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Rainbow Six Mobile, Skull and Bones, The Crew Motorfest, The Division Resurgence, XDefiant, and an unannounced "large game") have already been given lots of time to make sure they're polished and that the quality is good. As a result, Ubisoft has good visibility on the release windows.
Douguet was asked to clarify which of these games are coming in the fourth quarter (between January and March 2024), but declined to comment, mentioning that more information will be shared at Ubisoft forward. The company has "strong expectations" from Avatar, Assassin's Creed Mirage, and from the unannounced game.