Ubisoft’s 2016 games lineup could be their best in years if their previously announced titles actually release in that time frame. Tom Clancy's The Division, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, For Honor, Far Cry Primal, and Ghost Recon: Wildlands have all been unveiled but not yet released. Among them, only Far Cry Primal and The Division have launch dates of February and March respectively. And for the first time in 8 years, there will be no mainline Assassin’s Creed title this holiday season.
A game that has not been discussed much as of late is the sequel to 2014’s Watch Dogs. Having never been announced in any official capacity, comments from Ubisoft’s Vice President heavily hinting at a sequel and various rumors flying around – along with the original game shipping 9 million units after 5 months on the market – made it seem obvious that Watch Dogs 2 was going to be a reality. In the publisher’s third-quarter financial report, the sequel has finally been officially confirmed.
Watch Dogs 2 was previously mentioned casually and of course, Ubisoft Motion Pictures is developing a Watch Dogs feature film.
After reporting €561.8 million euros in sales for the quarter and expectations of €1.7 billion euros for the following year, Ubisoft states that in 2016-17 it will “launch a very high-quality line-up, including For Honor, South Park the Fractured but Whole, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon WildLands, the next installment of Watchdogs, and a new high-potential AAA brand with strong digital live services.” The sequel is rumored to be set in San Francisco.
It's possible Ubisoft is planning on alternating between Watch Dogs and Assassins Creed annually as their two flagship open-world third-person titles, and the Watch Dogs 2 might take the place of Assassin's Creed as the publisher's big holiday title in 2016. The report also mentions a brand new triple-A brand that might just be some kind of service for an existing title or a another IP altogether that will surely be revealed at their E3 press conference this summer.
Ubisoft also shared some interesting tidbits about their third-quarter including Assassin’s Creed Syndicate having a “slower launch than expected” and record player engagement for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege. As the digital revolution continues, it is noteworthy to mention digital sales for the third-quarter amounted to 27.0% of total sales for 2015-16, up from 21.2% in 2014-15. It’s refreshing to have game companies reporting any semblance of sales even when their titles don’t meet expectations whereas publishers and the developers under them at Sony and Microsoft only shares these numbers when they surpass expectations for their big titles and exclusives.
Watch Dogs 2 is set to release before April 2017, presumably for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.