Today, Ubisoft hosted its not-E3 event, “Ubisoft Forward.” Though the event was ostensibly about games, it was impossible to ignore some recent upheaval surrounding the French publisher.
Last night, three high-profile figures — Serge Hascoët, Ubisoft’s chief creative officer; Cécile Cornet, the global head of human resources; and Yannis Mallat, the head of Ubisoft Canada — departed the company in the wake of widespread allegations of sexual misconduct, something Kotaku has previously reported on. Before that, on June 24, Ashraf Ismail, citing “personal issues,” resigned his post as the creative director of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Ubisoft declined to address any of this in today’s hour-long stream. Prior to the showcase, the company posted a statement to Twitter that read, in part, “Because all of the content has been pre-recorded, we want to recognise that the issues we’re currently dealing with won’t be addressed directly in the show.” (Allegations of sexual misconduct have been publicly discussed for nearly a month.)
And yet, the show went on. Here’s everything Ubisoft announced.
Ubisoft Forward warmed up with a pre-pre-show.
Those who missed it missed 30 minutes of Ubisoft staffers playing Trackmania. Ubisoft also peppered the stream with UPlay codes for marquee games, including Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and The Division 2.
The pre-show featured some news about currently out and already announced games.
We got another look at Curious Expedition 2. Ubisoft developers shed light on their partnership with Mythic Quest, Apple TV+’s game development show starring Rob McElhenny (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia). The Crew 2 is getting some ‘80s-themed vanity items. Several minutes were dedicated to showing off rubber ducks in The Division 2.
We also got a brief preview of the very pretty Spiritfarer, a “cosy management game about dying.” It’s out later this year. Trials Rising is getting something called the “gigatrack” — the longest track in Trials history — on Thursday. It’ll be available free to all players.
AI teammates are back in Ghost Recon Breakpoint starting July 15. They’re fully customisable.
You can test them during Breakpoint‘s upcoming free weekend: July 16 through 20.
The real show kicked off with a look at Watch Dogs Legion.
Following a cinematic trailer (which, curiously, centered on a spin of Martin Niemöller’s iconic post-Holocaust quote), Ubisoft dove right into showing off the game’s “play as literally anyone you see” mechanic. Here’s a peek:
It’s out on October 29 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Next-gen release “coming soon.” Xbox’s Phil Spencer popped up later in the show to confirm that Watch Dogs Legion will support Smart Delivery. For a deeper look at the game, don’t miss Nathan’s preview:
Bands of protesters begging apathetic passersby to rise up. Officers detaining and brutalizing people, seemingly without cause. Fresh graffiti alluding to a dizzying array of injustices: xenophobia, the surveillance state, war. The first thing that struck me about Watch Dogs: Legion is that, despite a multi-year development cycle and a...Read more
Brawlhalla is getting crossplay with “everyone.”
The 2D fighter comes out on mobile August 6.
Elite Squad is “coming soon.” Still.
Hey, at least we got to see Sam Fisher on-screen again.
Hyperscape is a battle royale with a paranoid take on the future.
The powers look sweet, and the environment smacks of all that shiny, requisite future-chic sci-fi fare (glistening skyscrapers, orange nylon body suits, a city called “New Arcadia”). But c’mon, how many more of these do we need? We’re fast-approaching a battle royale bubble, if it hasn’t popped already.
There’s an open beta on July 12.
We saw gameplay from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla — for real this time.
It all looks very much like Assassin’s Creed, or at least the recent entries. But in addition to the assassinating and sword-fighting we all know so well, there’s a modicum of silliness here. You can fistfight bear-sized wolves. You can wield two shields. See for yourself:
It’s out on November 17 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Next-gen consoles “coming soon.” For a more in-depth look, don’t miss Ethan’s preview:
Far Cry 6 was announced with a long and dramatic trailer.
Giancarloe Esposito (Breaking Bad) showed up as a dictator figure. That kid everyone thought was Vaas? His name is Diego. You’ll be able play it on February 18, 2021.
And that’s it.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot popped up near the end of the show to mention that another Ubisoft Forward will occur later this summer. Hopefully, some of the games that weren’t show today — Gods and Monsters, Beyond Good and Evil 2 — will show up.