By Jack Coleman
Ubisoft has reportedly delayed the release of the next Assassin’s Creed, codenamed Rift, to a release date in the middle of 2023.
During Ubisoft’s quarterly earnings call, the company announced a delay to the upcoming Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora along with a “smaller unannounced premium game.” This game is reportedly the smaller stealth-focused Assassin’s Creed Rift which, although unannounced, has been widely reported to be set in Baghdad (via Bloomberg).
Rift was originally intended to be an expansion for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla but was eventually spun out into its own project. According to Bloomberg’s sources, Rift is being developed by Ubisoft Bordeaux who has asked for more time as the project is running behind schedule.
As for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, it was originally meant to release alongside James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water in December but it will instead be released in either 2023 or 2024.
Also announced during Ubisoft’s quarterly earnings call was the cancellation of Ghost Recon: Frontline and Splinter Cell VR. This was reportedly done as Ubisoft undergoes “sizeable cost optimisation” so the company can redirect resources towards its “biggest development opportunities.”
This delay has resulted in Ubisoft’s release schedule being quite thin for the winter months, with only Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope and Skull & Bones releasing in October and November respectively. Other Ubisoft titles such as the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time remake have been delayed. Prince of Persia has undergone a developer change as Ubisoft Montreal has taken over from Ubisoft Pune and Ubisoft Mumbai.
In other news, Diablo Immortal’s release was reportedly delayed in China due to a Weibo post from NetEase which compared president Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh, a practice that’s been banned in China since 2017.