Ubisoft delays Avatar due to “production constraints,” but Q1 financials beat expectations
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora has been delayed by Ubisoft and will now release in 2023-2024, having originally been slated to launch in 2022.
The French publisher broke the news in its fiscal report for the first quarter of the 2023 fiscal year, and noted it has also decided to push back another “smaller unannounced premium title” to 2023-24.
Ubisoft noted those delays are a “reflection of the current ongoing constraints on productions across the industry,” but said it’s working hard to create “efficient working conditions to ensure both flexibility for our teams as well as strong productivity.”
Digging into the financials, Ubisoft said it delivered better than expected Q1 performance thanks to a strong showing from the Assassin’s Creed and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege franchises.
As a result, net bookings for the quarter totalled €293.2 million ($298.5 million), beating Ubisoft’s internal target of around €280 million. Despite surpassing that goal, net bookings were still down by 10 percent year-on year.
“Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege performed ahead of expectations. The team has been hard at work to deliver very ambitious Year 7 content, translating into a stabilization of PRI thanks to a very strong DARPU and Battle Pass conversion,” said Ubisoft, commenting on its Q1 activity.
“The Assassin’s Creed brand also performed ahead of expectations on the back of a strong quarter from Odyssey, Origins and Valhalla. We saw a significant uptick in overall engagement, with double-digit active player growth versus last year as players were excited by the beginning of the campaign for the 15th Anniversary of the brand.”
Commenting more broadly on Ubisoft’s future, CEO Yves Guillemot — who recently agreed to forgo some pay after Ubisoft missed its financial targets — said the French publisher is “entering a multi-year cycle of significant toppling and operating income growth.”
The company currently developing a mobile version of The Division called The Division: Resurgence and targeting the free-to-play market with projects such as XDefiant, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Mobile, and The Division Heartland.
The publisher said players have already proven “supportive” of those freemium titles, all of which are currently in different testing phases. Later this year, Ubisoft will reveal how it plans to reshape the Assassin’s Creed franchise and launch its much-delayed pirate adventure Skull and Bones.