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How Ubisoft is repeatedly failing to make a successful live-service game

Roller Champions and Ghost Recon Frontlines are two of the several failed live-service projects (Images via Ubisoft)
Roller Champions and Ghost Recon Frontlines are two of the several failed live-service projects (Images via Ubisoft)
Arka "Biasedguy" Sarkar

Ubisoft does not seem to be in a blooming love story with live-service games. The company's latest attempt, titled Roller Champions, will reportedly be shut down following the end of the third season. This is as per Jeff Grub, and if it turns out to be true, it will be yet another name in the company's history of failed attempts at establishing a successful live-service game.

Ubisoft isn't in a particularly great spot, and it appears that 2022 keeps getting worse for them. Roller Champions was a recent release, to begin with, so news of its closure coming so soon does not bode well.

As the number of failed projects continues to pile up, Ubisoft finds itself in an even harsher future. There have already been rumors that it is looking for a potential buyout that has not yet materialized. The main reason has been stated to be poor financials, and the weak performance of another game is sure to make matters worse.


Ubisoft's sorry ordeal with live-service games continues with rumors of Roller Champions being shut down

The latest news has come from the Xbox Era Podcast, where Jeff Grub gave the sad news. It appears that the release isn't doing as well as expected by its publishers.

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Ubisoft's sorry saga started with Hyper Scape, which was released at a peak time for battle royale games. It was supposed to be a live-service game, and Ubisoft was quite ambitious.

Unfortunately, the game never really gained popularity following the beta testing phase. While games like Apex Legends, PUBG, and Fall Guys thrived, Hyper Scape lost all popularity and was ultimately shut down in April 2022.

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The problem isn't just with the released products, as some of the other live-service games that are coming up already seem to be in rough waters. Skull and Bones have reportedly been in development for nine years. It could be an amazing game, given the genre and the relatively lesser competition.

However, every glimpse of the game has looked extremely shallow. It is still too soon to rule out the game yet, but in modern gaming, first impressions are quite important. Sea of Thieves has already made space for itself, and dethroning it will not be as easy.

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The Division became the biggest video game IP in 2016 when the first game was released. The second game continued on the first path when Ubisoft announced The Division Heartland. While the core universe will be the same, Heartland will be a free-to-play experience.

Unfortunately, it will also compete in a market saturated with competition. The first two might have been premium options, but players were happy with them. There are players to date who actively play The Division 2, which can qualify as a live-service title.

Most fans feel that Heartland will not be good enough to compete with the likes of popular products like Destiny 2.

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The story of xDefiant is an entire saga in itself. For some bizarre reason, the company decided to associate Tom Clancy's name with it, only to drop it later. This decision did not sit well with fans.

xDefiant continues to be in development, but it has already gathered a lot of poor PR from fans. The decision to include and remove the Tom Clancy name smells of indecision and could be restrictive for its live-service performance. There is still a lot of confusion about what the game will ultimately look and play like.

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While the website for Ghost Recon Frontlines is still up, there have been rumors about the game being another one of the canceled projects. This will be another disaster for the company in its long list of live-service games.

It is uncertain as to what exactly the problem is. Each of these projects has had its share of faults, but the big finger will be pointed towards Ubisoft and its execution. While some of the projects mentioned above are yet to be released, fans will hope that their apprehensions are proven wrong.


Edited by Saman

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