Well well well, Ubisoft is in the news once again, and once again showing their hand of running out of money.
In an unexpected turn of events, video game giant Ubisoft has put a full stop to its plans for the continuation of Immortals Fenyx Rising, the mythological open-world adventure game that debuted in 2020. The news, originally brought to light by Andy Robinson of Video Games Chronicle (VGC), highlights the volatile nature of the gaming industry where even promising IPs face challenges in establishing themselves.
Ubisoft Quietly Cancels Immortals Fenyx Rising Sequel.
Multiple sources associated with the development process, who preferred to remain anonymous, shared with VGC that the sequel was in its early stages at Ubisoft Quebec, the studio responsible for the original game as well as the Assassin's Creed Odyssey. The decision to abandon the project was reportedly made by the company's upper echelon due to difficulties in fortifying the Immortals brand. Despite receiving a generally favorable reception, the sequel could not survive the axe.
In response to the emerging news, Ubisoft issued an official statement.
"We are redirecting and reallocating some creative teams and resources within the Quebec studio to other unannounced projects"
It is clear that Ubisoft is refocusing its efforts on core properties, leveraging the skills and technologies developed by these teams to fast-track the development of these central projects.
The Immortals franchise was initially conceptualized as an exploration of different mythologies, with a desire to branch out from the Greek lore as per the (now deleted tweets) report by journalist Jeff Grubb. The first game allowed players to step into the shoes of a forgotten hero on a mission to rescue the Greek gods. The later released DLC delved into Chinese mythology featuring a new hero, the martial artist Ku. However, with the recent cancellation, the future of the franchise remains uncertain.
This decision mirrors Ubisoft's strategic move towards prioritizing its flagship IPs and live services. Earlier this year, the company disclosed the cancellation of three unannounced titles, not including the Immortals sequel, citing the need to bolster its key franchises following sub-par software sales during the holiday season.
One key indication of this strategy in action is this year's Mirage, one among the six Assassin's Creed games in the pipeline at Ubisoft. In May, the company also revealed plans to amplify the workforce on the series by 40% over the upcoming years, reallocating staff from other franchises.
Immortals Fenyx Rising managed to garner a modest audience, albeit primarily through discounting strategies. In comparison to the sales performance of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Immortals trailed by around 70% in Europe over a similar time span. Given Ubisoft's stated strategy and the tepid sales performance of the game, the decision to terminate the series, while unfortunate, is not entirely surprising.
When I bought the game it was already 60% off only weeks after launch. Classic Ubisoft and their predictable desperation ultimately hurting their brand.