In terms of public opinion, Ubisoft didn't have a great 2014. Whilst many players liked Ubi's creative IP Child of Light, made by developers who wanted a break from the publisher's blockbuster franchises, the company's big-name games didn't go down so well. Players were unhappy with gameplay design, bugs and monetization methods across several existing and newly established Ubisoft series.
With all that going on, Ubisoft share prices dropped and some players may have grown reluctant to trust the publisher, with further controversy surrounding the AC Unity apology DLC only made matters worse. And, as highly anticipated titles The Division and Rainbow Six: Siege weren't ready for a 2014 release, there wasn't much that could be done to get more games into the hands of Ubisoft fans. In a financial call, however, the company confirmed that gamers won't have to wait much longer for either title because both games will be out in 2015.
The Division in particular, is one that many players are excited for. While a similar title like Destiny is a persistent MMO set in a sci-fi world, The Division looks to offer a similar style of play in a real-world setting. The game will take players to New York City following a pandemic during the holiday season that has ravaged an urban population and left survivors scrambling for resources and fighting to restore order. Gameplay demos and trailers have only increased the anticipation for the game, though some do fear that in light of Ubisoft's recent problems The Division won't be able to deliver. It has already been delayed though, so hopefully any major problems will have been worked out ahead of its release later this year.
Meanwhile, Rainbow Six: Siege is looking to revive the series after Rainbow Six: Patriots was quietly killed off last year – apparently due to the Xbox One and PS4's imminent arrival. Designed for multiplayer, Rainbow Six: Siege will pit criminals and rescuers against each other as they look to hold onto or save a hostage, respectively. There'll be a whole lot of strategy in this one that will require ample amounts of teamwork, so players will have to work together effectively – thanks largely to the game's 'no respawn' rule.
During the financial call, Ubisoft also confirmed that another Assassin's Creed game will be released this year, to no one's surprise. Last year, various screens and info about a Victorian-era AC game called Assassin's' Creed Victory leaked in the midst of the Unity scandal, with Ubisoft soon confirming that the leak was indeed the real deal.
Slightly more surprising info from the financial call is that, despite all of the mishaps that happened with Ubisoft's games during 2014, their units shipped numbers were still incredibly strong. Assassin's Creed Unity and Assassin's Creed Rogue shipped 10 million units between them, Watch Dogs shipped 10 million, party favorite Just Dance shipped 4 million, Far Cry 4 shipped 7 million and The Crew made a strong case for a sequel with 2 million units shipped. For Q3 of its fiscal year (which ended on December 31, 2014) revenues were actually up by a staggering 56% over the previous year.
Furthermore, CEO Yves Guillemot said that the PS4 and Xbox One's "strong install base should offer a nice tail-wind" and that they "expect software growth to come back" this year. We'll be able to see just how correct that prediction is, as well as gather more info on those aforementioned and upcoming Ubisoft titles when the publisher has its next financial call in April.
Rainbow Six Siege will release in 2015 for the PC, PS4, Xbox One.
The Division will release in 2015 for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One.