Ubisoft's latest quarterly earning call might not be the most exciting place to discover news, but for expectant fans of the Ghost Recon and Driver franchises, it does at least shed some light on when they'll be playing the latest games in those series. The disappointing news coming out of the report is that the veteran franchises have found themselves being pushed back into the ambiguous "2011-12" release window.
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and Driver: San Francisco were both originally scheduled for a fourth quarter release, which would have seen the games released before the end of March, 2011. Now it appears that strong competition from rival publishers has changed these plans yet again, and we can expect to see the games being released from any point after April 1, 2011. From Ubisoft's earnings report:
"Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier and Driver: San Francisco, which were previously planned for release in the fourth fiscal quarter, will now be included in the 2011-12 line-up."
It's a move that will no doubt disappoint fans of both franchises, especially Ghost Recon fans who have already suffered through a delay to the latest entry in the franchise. Originally scheduled for Christmas release, Ghost Recon Future Soldier was delayed at E3 2010 with the reasons cited including more time for development and a crowded marketplace. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot stated during E3:
"Due to a very competitive environment we've decided to move the game out of the Christmas quarter into the march quarter."
"It will also provide more time to our development teams to realize their ambition"
Ghost Recon Future Soldier looks set to revitalize the franchise and herald in a new era of futuristic combat. A live action video was released last March that revealed some of what players could expect from the game.
Not to be confused with the upcoming 3DS game Driver 3D, Driver: San Fransisco will be the latest entry in the long running Driver series and is scheduled for release on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. The game was announced with a fair degree of fanfare at the opening of E3 2010, accompanied by a live action teaser trailer.
Given the hugely competitive market for shooters lately, particularly considering the massive success of both Halo: Reach and Call of Duty: Black Ops, one can understand taking some extra time to ensure that Ghost Recon: Future Soldier measures up. Driver: San Fransisco, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have any obvious, direct competition. That said, Ubisoft is going to have to overcome the memory of several less-than-stellar installments of the series, and if that takes some extra time, it will likely be time well spent.
Are any Ranters disappointed by these latest developments? Which of these two games are you most looking forward to?
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and Driver: San Fransisco are expected to release sometime after April 1, 2011, for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.