Ubisoft hasn’t had what I’d call a particularly great last two years. After disappointing sales for Ghost Recon: Breakpoint and The Division 2, the company delayed its entire portfolio including games coming relatively soon. To compound that, multiple exposés about the publisher’s toxic work culture steeped in sexual harassment popped up, which put a damper on their attempts to release and market those games.
Despite that, Ubisoft did manage to hold two Ubisoft Forward presentations — livestreams about Ubisoft games that hew more to Nintendo Direct than Inside Xbox on the gaming presentation scale, created after E3 was cancelled and publishers broke off to do their own thing. After the two back-to-back events, Ubisoft went relatively quiet, and has not really come back to Ubisoft Forward again. With E3 returning this year and Ubisoft on board, it seems like Ubisoft Forward is moving Ubisoft Backward to E3 once again.
Ubisoft tweeted out the announcement today.
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) April 15, 2021
The timing puts earlier than Ubisoft conferences have traditionally taken place during E3, implying that maybe they are no longer beholden to the same slot or that E3 festivities will begin in the weekend beyond EA’s unaffiliated show.
Ubisoft’s 2021 plans have thus far been dashed as delays to games like Far Cry 6 and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time have left their portfolio somewhat bereft of major releases. COVID has affected the company’s productivity greatly, as well as an abundance of caution after Cyberpunk 2077 hurt the stock prices of European colleague CD Projekt Red, a consequence that Ubisoft cannot afford after recently fighting off a Vivendi takeover.
It does seem likely we’ll see at least those two games at the Ubisoft Forward, as well as probably a newly renamed Rainbow Six Quarantine. Maybe, hopefully, there might even be a bit of Ubisoft’s new Star Wars game.