E3 Predictions: Ubisoft

by Sage Ashford

My controversial opinion about this generation is somewhere along the way, Ubisoft turned into the best AAA publisher working in the West. The company manages to be prolific even in this era of high definition games which can often take as long as an entire console generation to develop, and their games are often good to great, even if they aren’t necessarily genre-defining. Moreover, they’ve figured out microtransactions and DLC in a way many other publishers (*coughs* EA, Warner Bros *coughs*) are still struggling with–offering lengthy DLC expansions for single-player games and supporting their big multiplayer games as a service titles by constantly tweaking and improving on them.

The big turning point for them arrived in the fall of 2016 when they launched Watch Dogs 2, a complete turn-around (for most people) from the dreary Watch Dogs 1 with it’s boring protagonist. Since then, they’ve followed up with one of the best E3s ever with their 2017 appearance, remaking Assassin’s Creed into a AAA RPG franchise, and releasing solid title after solid title. So what’s on the list for this year?

The Crew 2 Expansion: It’s way too soon for Ubisoft to consider working on a sequel to the racing franchise they’ve established with this year, especially since The Crew 2 isn’t exactly thought of as a top tier game for them just yet.  There are some rumors they want to tank this whole franchise, but as mentioned in my opening, that’s really not who they are. So with that in mind and the first year of the game done and dusted, this is the part where they start putting lots of polish and new content into the game to entice potential players. A second year of content will likely carry the game into 2020 and give them plenty of time to start working on the eventual The Crew 3 for next-gen consoles.

Ghost Recon: Breakpoint: Announced a month prior at it’s own show, this will give them a chance to reveal a bit more about Breakpoint. However, I suspect most of the show won’t be devoted to this, because they already gave this game an hour long presentation and plenty of press. There’s a lengthy gameplay video, we have a release date, we know what the “Ultimate Edition” looks like. This might contain a surprise but being the centerpiece of the show when they could focus on other games feels unlikely.

The Division 2: With this game released and having gotten decent reviews, sales, and overall fan reception, they’ll spend a bit of time here outlining the first big episode, D.C. Outskirts Expedition. Stated to release sometime in the summer, the episode was meant to have both free new story content and a new game mode. They’ll want to remind everyone about this, possibly even offering an actual release date.

Beyond Good and Evil 2: Ahhh yes, the Scooby Doo game–people keep claiming it’s a ghost, even though Ubisoft doesn’t go six months without pulling the sheet off it and showing what’s underneath. First it was just a cinematic, then it was some flight gameplay, then it was back to cinematics, now we’ve got combat and exploration. I suspect they’re edging closer to that so-called demo we were meant to get last year, and this will give us the most complete look we’ve seen of the game so far. It’s doubtful this will come out before the following Fall, but perhaps we can finally see if this game is actually any good?

Watch Dogs 3: It’s past time. We’ve known this game was a thing for a couple years now, and Ubisoft has remained surprisingly mum on it. All we know is that it’s set in London. But will it use a new cast? The characters from the previous game? Have they finally gone crazy and removed the gunplay, or will that remain? How much have they leaned into the cyberpunk aspect? Are they going to give this game RPG elements like they have Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry? So many questions, and hopefully this will be the crown jewel of their show, giving us a nice, lengthy gameplay trailer.  It’s not the big fall game, as Ubisoft has already informed us that Breakpoint will be taking that role.  Still, occupying early Winter isn’t the worst spot it could have.

Other than that, Ubisoft has three major games they intend to launch in FY Q4 2020, meaning from January to March. If Watch Dogs 3 is one of them, that leaves two other AAA titles. Will they be new IP?  We know for certain they’ve got a space game they’ve been working on since before Watch Dogs 2 came out. But what else?  A follow up to For Honor?  Some kind of deal with Marvel Games?  It seems like Ubisoft should’ve had a superhero game already.  Whatever it is, this will definitely be one of the weirdest shows on June 10th, at 1PM Pacific, 4PM Eastern.

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