Ubisoft Undergoes Major Restructuring Following Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Division 2 Failures

Tsing

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Ubisoft is making sweeping changes to one of its most influential teams due to the disappointing financials of last year's Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Breakpoint and The Division 2 titles. According to an exclusive report from Video Games Chronicle, the poor performance of these sequels has forced the publisher to shake up its entire editorial division.

This is the creative body responsible for deciding what type of games Ubisoft should be making. While the idea might have sounded good on paper, granting that level of oversight to a single team has turned out terribly, resulting in a dry catalog that lacks any real differentiation. Practically all of Ubisoft's major franchises (e.g., Assassin's Creed, The Division, Far Cry, Ghost Recon, Watch Dogs) have doubled down on open-world concepts with a sprinkling of online hooks, for instance.

Thanks to the terrible display of Ghost Recon Breakpoint and The Division 2, all of that is changing. In a statement to VGC, Ubisoft said that it would be expanding and reorganizing the editorial team.

“We are reinforcing our editorial team to be more agile and better accompany our development teams around the world as they create the best gaming experiences for players.”

Back in October, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot admitted that Ghost Recon Breakpoint underperformed in a note to investors. The executive blamed the failure on its lack of "differentiation factors," the introduction of new gameplay innovations (which most players hated), and how difficult it was to "generate interest for a sequel to a Live multiplayer game."

"…we have not capitalized on the potential of our latest two AAA releases. For Ghost Recon Breakpoint, while the game’s quality appeared on track – based on E3, Gamescom, previews and our latest internal playtests –, critical reception and sales during the game’s first weeks were very disappointing. As we have done with past titles, we will continue to support the game and listen to the community in order to deliver the necessary improvements."
 

{NG}Fidel

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I liked how they were trying different things but yeah its time for a shake up.
The Map in The Division 2 was amazing though.
 

Peter_Brosdahl

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It's a hypocritical response from me but their totally unnecessary and unwanted launcher doesn't help things either. I quit playing Assasin's Creed because of it. What's the point of buying it on steam is I still have to use that stupid thing? I've already got about a half dozen of them and needing theirs just to launch one or two games keeps me from playing them. Companies that only focus on games shouldn't make their games only launch with one proprietary launcher. At least Rock Star doesn't require you to loop back to them if you have something from steam or GOG.

Have to say that UbiSoft is a sinking ship at this point. From EA selling off their interest to the various power plays that ensued the company has really had some rough times. I appreciate they're trying different things but it will likely need to be something radical and focused for anything to take hold. They simply, probably, do not have the resources for more lost $$$ in revenue or development. Whatever comes next needs to be at a good quality level and appease their fan base or else the final nails are all but getting put in.
 

Grimlakin

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They need their upcoming watchogs, and the new assissins creed games to really catch hold. But both of those take a lot of investment. Time will tell. I personally wish them success.
 

Brian_B

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I would hate to see Ubisoft go, but I have to admit I don't exactly play any of their titles. I think the last Ubisoft game I played was From Dust. But I would hate to see the South Park titles go away, even though I haven't gotten around to playing either of them yet.
 
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Burticus

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I don't think I've enjoyed an Ubisoft game since.............. I cannot remember. So sick of open world BS that is Assassin's Creed XYZ, Farcry XYZ, Just Cause XYZ, now Rainbow 6 etc. They need to regroup, restructure, maybe kill some stuff off.

And yeah I agree about their silly game launcher. Uplay is a POS and has caused me some grief in the past.
 

Grimlakin

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Meh... u play and overseas game codes in use with a nice proxy have gotten me some great deals on games! ;)
 

Dan_D

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I don't play most of those games so I can't really comment on them. I can say that as far as Ghost Recon goes, it's better in a handful of areas, but worse than Wildlands in just about every way. There are three major problems with Breakpoint as I see it.

1.) The looter shooter mechanics.

Looter shooter mechanics are fine in a game like Destiny which was built that way from the ground up and sits in a realm where its a hybrid shooter / MMO type game. It's story, structure and systems are all designed to facilitate this and even have it make sense to a degree. The chase for weapons and gear are one of the ways that the game stays fresh and this is why Ubisoft went that route. Unfortunately, for a somewhat tactical shooter game set in the modern world, it just didn't work.

It didn't work for a couple of reasons. The first of which is that this isn't something the player base wanted or expected. The Division was always structured to have this, but Wildlands and Ghost Recon in general weren't. The Ghost Recon player base doesn't necessarily cross over into the Division or games like Destiny 2. Even if they did, it seemed out of place and not done particularly well in Breakpoints case. In Destiny 2, if I like a weapon I can always raise its power level through infusion. In Breakpoint, if I get a rare weapon with good perks or stats, I'm SOL when I get weapons with higher power levels. I'll have to move to those higher levels at some point in order to do the content.

This forces people to play with weapons they don't necessarily want to use. It defies the purpose of the customization that the previous game offered. In Wildlands you could make your soldier look how you wanted and then pick the weapons you liked best and then customize them. While you can customize weapons in Breakpoint, it's largely pointless as you change them out so often before hitting the power cap.

The next major issue with it being a looter shooter is that there are power levels for things. While the game does allow for headshots to kill at any level, essentially your forced to chase higher gear levels to do content as this isn't as head shots won't change the fact that you'll get nearly insta-killed by the higher level enemies. This is a time gate more than anything, but you can still do it pretty fast if you want to. However, as long as you are at or above the required level, the game is absolutely a cake walk. The Tier One mode of Ghost Recon Wildlands that made it challenging at times is completely gone.

2.) The Setting

The next problem is the game's setting. What made Ghost Recon Wildlands work is its setting. It was full of life and things to do and vehicles to steal. Going through this vast open world filled with potential hostiles and innocent civilians alike made for an interesting dynamic. Moving through its world with friends often gave the game a "Third World GTA V" vibe which really worked in the game's favor.

In contrast, Breakpoint is nothing like this. Aside from the occasional Skelltech research complexes and associated factories, processing centers, etc. there isn't much to the world in terms of its setting. Villages are largely deserted and there are no civilians to be had except the annoying Skelltech employees who tell you to quit pointing guns at them or scaring them. As if that's the reasonable response to a guy who came in and saved them from Skelltech martial law, or who came in and annihilated 15 guys by themselves. That's the person you want to run your mouth at in a heated situation.

The area is vast as was Wildland's version of Bolivia, but it isn't as diverse a landscape in terms of geography, climate and population. Most non-Skelltech areas are villages which are deserted.

Another horrible problem with the game's setting is the social hub. I have no idea how to spell the name of it off the top of my head and frankly don't care enough to look it up. The main social hub and quest area shows tons of players running around with their gamertags which are often stupid names. All of whom are running around doing what your doing. You have quest givers, stores and other things. This is essentially like Destiny 2's Tower or any social hub in an MMO, and it's completely immersion breaking in a game like Ghost Recon. It's also a lazy design as all your quest givers are in one place rather than being people and missions you get into out in the game's world.

Thankfully, you no longer spawn here and have to deal with it quite as much with the game's launch. Back in the early beta, we started off here and I hated even seeing the environment.


3.) If it ain't broke, fix it anyway.

This one is harder to quantify, and is more of a catch all for everything that was changed in the game since Wildlands which didn't work. Vehicle summoning is such a pain in the ***, you don't really want to bother with it. In Wildlands you could spawn them almost anywhere as they were dropped off by your allies. In Breakpoint you have to go to the camp site spots or whatever and spawn them there. Unfortunately, this is a clear afterthought as well because many if not most of these sites aren't in spots where getting a vehicle in or out of there makes much sense. The while crafting thing, while interesting at first is tedious, and shows the ugliness of the almost MMO like systems that weren't so much thoughtfully integrated as much as tacked on as an after-thought to make the game more like an MMO.

The game makes it so you can't really customize your character the way you did in Wildlands. In Wildlands, there were things that had to be earned or bought through the cash shop, but for the most part you could simply choose what you wanted for your appearance and that was that. You could change it at any time and the systems worked well. This was true of the guns in most game modes as well. In Breakpoint, you can only customize your character with whatever gear you've acquired thus far. If you like a particular chest rig or body armor, too bad. Until you've received it as a random drop or bought it in the store, you can't have it. You also have to set a separate appearance up or you'll take on the look of whatever gear you've equipped at the time. You'll change this allot too. More of the color schemes and customizations are hidden behind the cash shop or RNG in this game than in Wildlands too.

4.) Bonus Round

The game takes itself too seriously. That's one of its most fundamental problems. The game thinks its a serious tactical shooter, but its really not in the game's DNA. It's Wildlands underneath which while challenging at times, didn't take itself too seriously despite its subject matter. This game in turn thinks its a serious tactical shooter, but that conflicts with the low difficulty and looter shooter / MMO mechanics. It's a game that can't figure out what the hell it wants to be. It's as though the game was designed around the cash shop and player retention, without knowing what kept players coming back to Wildlands for so long.

Many traditional Ghost Recon fans don't much care for Wildlands either. And that's OK, but it worked for many players like myself who kept coming back to the game to play with friends and to check out the new content. Crap like the Predator mission was incredibly fun and entertaining despite it's sci-fi origins and being so far removed from a story driven tactical shooter. In contrast, Breakpoint tries everything it can to retain players and to make money without doing the one thing that every game needs to do in order to get people to play it and that's simply to be a good game first. You make a good game, throw a cash shop on it and continue to generate interesting content and people will keep coming back and they'll bring friends.

Conclusion

Ghost Recon Breakpoint tries too **** hard and takes itself too **** seriously and ultimately, it fails miserably to do anything that Wildlands did so well. It improves on virtually nothing and even takes several steps back as a game. The game wasn't born out of creativity or a desire to be a good game, but rather out of pure greed.
 

DejaWiz

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While I agree that Ubisoft needs to restructure in this fashion in order to boost customer interest and sales performance for future titles of these franchises, I am rather happy with UPlay and the Far Cry franchise.

What I wish they would delve into is a single-player open world space sim, closely mimicking my beloved Freelancer from 2003. Yeah, yeah...I know that Chris Roberts/RSI is working on Star Citizen as something along those lines, but I think that SC it way too much of an undertaking to be a realistic game dev project just due to its sheer size and scale...and all the hangups and hiccups that has thrown it into a perpetual delay cycle.

Anyway, to get back to the focus of the topic: I hope that Ubisoft gets things cleaned up and has success in the future going forward.
 

Grimlakin

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Deja it could fit well with their design method as well.

Ships are super huge and require docking stations and or orbital refueling facilities so it's just TOO big to land. But there are landing craft it can launch that are able to return to the ship.

Part 1 of the game begins with you scouting and exploring all of the ship and taking it over. Part 2 of the game is exploring your solar system and launching yourself on a lander to the various planets to scout them (smaller scale than a full game) with plot elements and such. Maybe even using your ship for some bombardment or other travel on the planet.

Part 3 is expanding to the larger universe with perhaps a few systems around that you can go and do your planetside work on.

Ship to ship combat can happen. Boarding it would switch to your ship and you running around to defend/help your defenders and such. Think like the assassins temples in whichever assassins creed that was.

Expansions can be additional systems and such to explore. Perhaps a singularity based transport event where you go somewhere distant to establish yourself then return. DLC packs would be 20-50 bucks depending on level of effort to produce.

What do you think?
 

DejaWiz

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Deja it could fit well with their design method as well.

Ships are super huge and require docking stations and or orbital refueling facilities so it's just TOO big to land. But there are landing craft it can launch that are able to return to the ship.

Part 1 of the game begins with you scouting and exploring all of the ship and taking it over. Part 2 of the game is exploring your solar system and launching yourself on a lander to the various planets to scout them (smaller scale than a full game) with plot elements and such. Maybe even using your ship for some bombardment or other travel on the planet.

Part 3 is expanding to the larger universe with perhaps a few systems around that you can go and do your planetside work on.

Ship to ship combat can happen. Boarding it would switch to your ship and you running around to defend/help your defenders and such. Think like the assassins temples in whichever assassins creed that was.

Expansions can be additional systems and such to explore. Perhaps a singularity based transport event where you go somewhere distant to establish yourself then return. DLC packs would be 20-50 bucks depending on level of effort to produce.

What do you think?
Hmmm, I like the way you think: like combining elements of the Space Quest series, Freelancer, Starfleet I/EGA Trek, Dark Forces/Jedi Knight/Force Unleashed, X-Wing/Tie Fighter, and the very old classic Sundog Frozen Legacy.
 

Grimlakin

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And doing it that way means you don't need seemless transition from ship to fighter/lander, to ground and back. you can have loading screens and not worry about mixed environments and such all having to be rendered on the fly. Shiny reflective windows keep you from peering in other than on cut scenes with special steal fighters and such. Some ally NCP's to manage your ship. Hell it could be a future based Assassins creed really. (WEll you know like watchdogs and Far Cry have turned into.)
 

Grimlakin

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Probably too big for a studio to do right mind you. But just a thought and with a constant revenue stream with expansion packs and such. I think people would really embrace a great Spaced based computer RPG/Adventure game with different elements.
 
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