COVID-19 is still ongoing and many industries continue to be impacted with work from home orders and other pandemic-related roadblocks. Because of that, two more games have been delayed due to the ongoing virus with Far Cry 6 and Rainbow Six: Quarantine both being pushed back.
For those excited about the next step for Far Cry, Far Cry 6 initially had a February 18, 2021 release date set. Unfortunately, that has been pushed back beyond Q1, which puts the launch window anywhere between April 2021 all the way until March 2022. Rainbow Six Quarantine has also been shifted around, slated for a similar window and Far Cry 6.
In a recent investor's call that GI was a part of, Ubisoft chief financial officer Frederick Duguet offered the below statement:
Despite having moved Far Cry 6 and Rainbow Six Quarantine to 2021-22 to leverage their full potential in the context of production challenges caused by COVID-19, our new non-IFRS operating income targets for 2020-21 remain within the boundaries we set back in May. Being able to maximize the long term value of our IPs while at the same time maintaining solid financial targets highlights the increasing recurring nature of our revenues, the strength of our portfolio of franchises, confidence in our holiday season release slate, and current supportive industry dynamics.
The good news is that revenue is up due to many being stuck at home, so it makes sense, from a business perspective, that the drive to keep the focus on current live-service games is there. With Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Watch Dogs Legion also on the horizon, the decision to delay the aforementioned titles isn't going to have its usual impact.
With a surge in digital game sales due to COVID and digital-focused systems, the industry is riding an odd edge between momentum and uncertainty. CEO Yves Guillemot added:
“The videogame industry is benefitting from very strong momentum. It is by far the fastest-growing segment of entertainment and is driving unprecedented consumer engagement and social interactions. In this context, our strategy and competitive advantages continue to be fully validated by recent industry announcements of consolidation and new platform launches. The value of videogame IPs has never been so strong and these announcements highlight the importance of owning a deep and diversified portfolio of high-quality franchises. Thanks to this major asset, which we have built up organically over more than two decades, Ubisoft has entered into fruitful partnerships with the biggest technological and videogame platforms, who are all thrilled to onboard our content.
At the same time, we continue investing to increasingly leverage our direct-to-player relationship. Over the past ten years, we have built our proprietary online distribution and services ecosystem, our unique identifier across games and platforms, and our unparalleled production capacity. These are formidable assets for strengthening this direct relationship. Through multiple entry points and business models, and with the introduction of Ubisoft Connect, we aim to offer players frictionless access and enriching experiences across our full catalog of games. This will expand discoverability, traffic, and global engagement to ultimately provide meaningful value for our players, our teams, and our shareholders over the coming years.
The ongoing situation, and all of 2020, really, will have a lasting impact on many industries, including gaming. It will be interesting to see how the business and consumer sides of this coin adjust with the new generation.
What do you think about the decision to delay Far Cry 6 and Rainbow Six Quarantine? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below!