With E3 right around the corner, it’s about time for publishers to show off their big guns for the holiday season. Ubisoft hasn’t been holding anything back in recent years as they’ve launched multiple AAA titles. But their big 2016 holiday release still remains a mystery. Just what is Ubisoft planning?
Ubisoft has a lot of different franchises they can roll out any given year. But a good amount of them have had releases in the last few months alone. Dating back to the holiday 2015 window Rainbow Six Siege, Far Cry Primal, and The Division have all been released. On the other hand Ubisoft hasn’t mentioned anything in regards to a new Splinter Cell game and the publisher also stated that the Assassin’s Creed franchise would be taking a break this year.
While there are some potential titles that could headline this Fall season, none of them have made that impression thus far.
Watch Dogs 2
The most obvious choice for Ubisoft at this point. Watch Dogs was a huge success for the publisher even among all of the criticism. Not only did it have the biggest week 1 for Ubisoft, but it was also the best selling new IP ever (until The Division came out). While Ubisoft hasn’t made an official announcement for the sequel, it’s highly likely that it will release before this time next year. While an E3 appearance is all but certain, will Watch Dogs 2 be ready for a Fall launch? It’s hard to say considering we haven’t even received a trailer yet. Ubisoft typically reveals their games at least a year or two before release, we haven’t seen anything for Watch Dogs 2.
Ghost Recon Wildlands
Ghost Recon Wildlands has the best chance at being Ubisoft’s big Fall title. For one it was already announced with a trailer at E3 2015. Releasing a year after announcing isn’t uncommon assuming the game had been in development before the announcement. Secondly it has the brand recognition. Ubisoft has gotten into the habit of saving one of their larger named franchises for the Fall. Ghost Recon fills those shoes just as good as any other sans Assassin’s Creed. But it’s still to early to be certain. There hasn’t been enough from Wildlands to believe the title is ready for a Fall 2016 release.
For Honor could very well be the next big hit for Ubisoft. What it won’t be is a video game released, by itself, this Fall. If recent history is anything to go by, Ubisoft will likely release For Honor in the Spring or Summer. When it comes to big, new, AAA IP’s Ubisoft tends to avoid the Fall release. The Division and Watch Dogs are two recent examples of this.While For Honor could be their next big hit, the game gives off a very strong “this could easily bomb” vibe. It’s doubtful the title will release in the Fall without the support of a bigger title backing it.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
South Park is in a situation similar to For Honor. It has the benefit of being an established franchise and the sequel to a popular 2014 title, but it simply doesn’t have the AAA draw. Not to mention there has been very little word on this since its reveal.
While there are some other titles Ubisoft could pull from its warchest, (Brothers in Arms Furious 4, Beyond Good & Evil 2) it’s highly unlikely something so unexpected will fill the Fall slot. The smart bet would be on Wildlands but even that is shaky at best. Has Ubisoft overplayed their hand and released too many titles too soon? Will we see a new IP enter the fray this June? Your guess is as good as mine.