An unfortunate reality of the video game industry is that projects get cancelled fairly often. Sometimes, it's very early in the development process, and other times, it's when a project is nearly finished. Take, for example, Star Fox 2, a finished Super Nintendo game that finally saw the light of day in 2017. The reality is, publishers often have to make difficult decisions about what games to release when, and that seems to be the case for a game that was in development for three years at Ubisoft Montreal. According to a series of now-deleted tweets from graphics programmer Louis de Carufel, an unannounced project that he was working on has been internally canceled by the publisher.
While the news is certainly disheartening, Carufel was quick to point out that the team working on the game was not fired, but rather reassigned to other Ubisoft games. According to Carufel, more than 200 people were working on the game, and those developers will now be working on other current projects from the publisher, of which there are more than 15. Further details about the game are slim, but Kotaku's Jason Schreier briefly talked about the cancelled game in a post at ResetEra.
"Yeah just a canceled new IP by the Watch Dogs team - I heard it was Destiny-like. Lots of big changes at Ubisoft."
Schreier is, of course, referring to Bungie's online-only first-person shooter franchise. The Destiny series combines FPS gameplay with some MMO and RPG elements added in, for good measure.
It's an interesting time for the publisher. Ubisoft is responsible for the best-selling third party game on Nintendo Switch at the moment, and Ubisoft Film & Television, a subsidiary of the publisher, has a comedy series based on video game development coming to Apple TV+ in early 2020. However, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint and The Division 2 were both financial disappointments for Ubisoft. As some projects succeed and others fail, it's no surprise when a game gets quietly cancelled. It will be interesting to see if Ubisoft's Destiny-like game is completely dead, or if it will be repurposed down the line. Video game development is costly, and publishers often re-use assets when they can. Three years is a pretty significant development cycle, and many titles have found new life later on as something completely different. Perhaps that will be the case with this project, or maybe Ubisoft will come back to it later on down the line.
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