Starting in 2020 as a pandemic response to the lack of press conferences, Ubisoft Forward events have been traditionally annual in the last two years. This year, with no E3 to align with, the company skipped the usual June timing in favor of a September show. It’s a bit of an odd year altogether for the company, which is seeing investment attempts from Tencent (Fanbyte’s parent company, see the disclaimer at the bottom of this article) and a serious lack of major wins and successes in recent memory.
With the company having to essentially clean house after multiple reports of major culture and harassment issues, going up to the head of HR and at least in some way or another involving the top of the organization, it’s been a few years of being lost in the woods for Ubisoft. Does this Ubisoft Forward change their fortunes on the software front any? Let’s go over what they showed and see.
- Zero bones are being made about how the show has multiple Assassin’s Creed announcements at the end of the show.
- Castlevania characters Simon Belmont and Alucard are coming to Brawlhalla. That makes Richter the only Castlevania character exclusive to Smash Bros., though Alucard is only an assist trophy in that.
- The Crew 2, a game that I definitely knew was still getting content, is getting Winter tracks with icy road conditions.
- We get another pre-release look at Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope. The gameplay this time focuses on a quest from the final game, which looks a lot more elaborate than the first title’s simple explanation. They also show off a battle with a giant Wiggler alongside a train, which seems cool as hell. We finish off with our first actual look at the previously announced DLC, the third of which features a special guest star – Rayman.
- Ubisoft is so fucking excited about their big virtual set this year.
- We get another look at Skull and Bones, previously known as Skull & Bones, which is going fully crossplay on its release on November 8.
- Vans, the shoe guys, are doing a collaboration with Riders Republic, with season 4 and a BMX add-on. The game is also going free-to-play.
- Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is getting more new content. Aren’t we all kind of lucky this game was not still being marketed on January 6th, 2020? It feels like Ubisoft would have tried to send a bad PR headline out around that. Ubisoft recommits to the game through Year 5 and says it is being supported by “Ubisoft studios across the globe.”
- Next is The Division: Heartland, a new Division game, a F2P multiplayer shooter. There’s no date yet, but people can register now for upcoming tests.
- More The Division, with The Division: Resurgence, a mobile title. They should call this segment Long Division. Beta test coming this fall for the game, my jokes do not go through beta.
- More mobile! This time in the form of Rainbow Six, which gets a CGish trailer. Closed Beta Fall 2022.
- Wow, they’re spending…a lot of time on this Rainbow Six mobile game.
- We have emerged from the Rainbow Six mines with a partnership with Netflix. There will be three exclusive Ubisoft games on Netflix over the next few years.
- This is Valiant Hearts 2, Mighty Quest, and an original Assassin’s Creed mobile game and a live-action TV show.
- Speaking of the weird intersection of games and TV, we get a trailer for season 3 of Mythic Quest, the Apple TV show.
- Ubisoft+ has a free month trial. I feel like I had to write this or they’d keep mentioning it in the show.
- Trackmania is coming to consoles and cloud services (like Stadia and Luna) in early 2023.
- Rocksmith+ is shown again. This is probably a thing I’d be into if I played guitar instead of just thinking about it once a year for the last 20 years.
- Next is Just Dance 2023, which similar to Rocksmith is going to be a platform. There is a weird blue man. I hate him. There’s also a new multiplayer mode where you dance on camera with your friends. None of them are blue, so this is fine.
- We go into the Assassin’s Creed segment. They said there will be several surprises shown. They might not be all that surprising.
- Yves Guillemot is introducing the segment, introducing “what’s next for Assassin’s Creed.” It then transitions to a seemingly live-action trailer of various AC heroes and scenarios. Hey, remember that movie? That’s what I’d describe as a fun piece of shit.
- First is Assassin’s Creed Mirage, which was revealed earlier in the week. It stars a younger Bassim, whom we’re introduced to in a CG trailer, before his older appearance in Valhalla. They still cut off fingers to use the hidden blade back in this day.
- The game is purportedly a return to the first couple of Assassin’s Creed games in tone and mechanics. The trailer seems to reinforce this a bit because Bassim is just murking dudes easily and they’re doing the death scenes again. Also there was a zombie?
- No, really, what was up with the zombie. I am guessing it’s a mirage.
- Mirage comes out in 2023. You have to preorder for a Forty Thieves sidequest.
- Next is some navel-gazing about the series as a whole. I remember when I was at a press demo for the first game and they weren’t talking about the future aspect of the games yet, so they’d write off all the glitchy UI elements as a mistake as if people didn’t already known.
- In terms of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, there’s more DLC on the way. They’re showing off “the final chapter” of Valhalla as DLC. It will release in the next few months.
- Moving on to an Assassin’s Creed mobile, which is separate from the Netflix Assassin’s Creed mobile game. It takes place in China and is titled Codename Jade. The game is create-a-character.
- The AC team is co-developing the Netflix live-action series with the show team.
- Finally, we’re closing on Assassin’s Creed Infinity. They’ve finally hit the emergency button and are doing an Assassin’s Creed in Japan, titled Codename Red. Red is being developed by the Odyssey team at Ubisoft Quebec.
- Meanwhile, Ubisoft Montreal is working on another flagship Assassin’s Creed game titled Codename Hexe which is about the Holy Roman Empire according to the rumors.
- Both games are within Assassin’s Creed Infinity, which itself is not a game, but a hub/platform for things like Codename Red and Codename Hexe.
- Ubisoft is also looking at multiplayer, which was pretty fun and I’ve been bummed that they never brought back.
That’s it! That’s the end of the show. There were definitely some high points in there, but it remains to be seen how much of it will really raise Ubisoft out of its current vicious cycle of delays and critical failures. Perhaps it doesn’t matter. Maybe as long as the sales are there and the casual fan are happy, there’s not actually any problem. I suppose it all remains to be seen.
[Disclaimer: As mentioned above, Fanbyte’s parent company Tencent owns some percentage of Ubisoft at this point that ethically demands a disclaimer. The amount actually probably doesn’t by standard ethical guidelines, but we want you to know anyway. Tencent doesn’t tell us what to write and if they do I don’t actually listen, but be aware of it.]