We’ve already heard that the French publisher has to tighten its spending, but it can’t be that bad for Ubisoft!
Ubisoft is in a bit of a pickle, which is perhaps why it’s not so surprising that several of their games have been postponed (Skull & Bones, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake), and Beyond Good & Evil 2’s situation is also disappointing. Yves Guillemot, the company’s CEO, has already set the course: fewer games, but with continued support, cutting costs wherever possible. One aspect of this has not yet been mentioned.
A letter has surfaced on the ResetEra forum, purportedly from Ubisoft: “As we all know, the market is constantly evolving, and as an organization, we need to keep up with it. At this time, Ubisoft is facing several challenges due to external factors, such as the decline in sales volume of physical games in favor of digital sales, the centralization of marketing by digitizing all our communication channels, the shift from major retail releases to F2P, mobile and seasonal games, and less major physical shows.
To meet future challenges, Ubisoft’s management has decided to close several subsidiaries in Europe. Unfortunately, the Ubisoft Benelux entity is subject to the intended closure, with most employees departing as of April 1st, 2023. Due to the closure, Ubisoft BV will fully outsource the current distribution of physical games in the Benelux to a distributor to be announced later,” Ubisoft said in the alleged message.
It seems that developers will not be affected by the cuts, but there will be closures among the teams that distribute the physical releases of games. It will include Ubisoft Benelux, which is essentially next door (to France), and the reasoning stated that the physical sales have recently shrunk. The pandemic in recent years has indeed tipped the scales towards the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, and Ubisoft Store/Epic Games Store (especially on PC, as the trend these days is not to release disc versions…), but it might seem like a strong move.
Of course, it is not confirmed yet, but RTL Luxembourg writes it as a done deal…