Ubisoft’s 2012: ACIII and Far Cry 3 lead the charge

By Brenna Hillier, Wednesday, 16 May 2012 09:28 GMT

Ubisoft is making a serious push in the social, free-to-play and digital spheres, but the French publisher hasn’t forgotten the core, fronting a small but solid line up clustered around the 2012-2013 transition.

In terms of new reveals and detailing, we’re expecting a glimpse of the next Splinter Cell game soon; although it’s yet to be unveiled, most recent bets have it down for a late 2012 to early 2013 release, as teams at Ubisoft Montreal and Toronto have been plugging away at it for some time.

From a traditional gaming perspective, Ubisoft is kicking off the new financial year with a whimper rather than a bang. The publisher had four 3DS games due in the first three months, the most interesting of which was Rayman Origins, with the others falling into the bargain bin category. Much of its recent financials briefing was lovingly focused on a prolific line up of mobile and social titles; it sounds a bit grim for those without Facebook and iDevice.

Things are starting to warm up though: Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is looking more and more solid ahead of its launch this month – a good closing note before going into hibernation over the summer.

Waking in the autumn, we find some heavy hitters in place. Far Cry 3 is due in September, and Gearbox’s Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 should drop around the same time, so expect marketing for both to hype up shortly.

In October, Ubisoft’s big gun comes out; Assassin’s Creed III releases at the end of the month and is almost guaranteed to be massive. On the opposite end of the genre spectrum, strategy sim Anno 2070 will receive an expansion called Deep Ocean around the same time.

The newly announced Avengers: Battle for Earth is undated, but is likely to arrive near the Wii U’s launch, knowing Ubisoft’s fondness for new hardware. The publishers is said to have seven Wii U titles in the works in total, including an Assassin’s Creed game, Ghost Recon, Killer Freaks from Outer Space and Rayman Legends.

During 2012, we should see the new Might & Magic card game come out of beta, and Trackmania developer Nadeo is expected to debut two new UGC-focussed titles, ShootMania and QuestMania, during 2012. We can expect ongoing support for the successful Trials: Evolution, and Ghost Recon: Online will surface at some point. Rocksmith seems to be doing well, and Ubisoft may reiterate – or simply ramp up downloadable content. Some time in 2013, we’ll finally see the odd breathing title Innergy, too.

In terms of new reveals and detailing, we’re expecting a glimpse of the next Splinter Cell game soon; although it’s yet to be unveiled, most recent bets have it down for a late 2012 to early 2013 release, as teams at Ubisoft Montreal and Toronto have been plugging away at it for some time. Both studios, in conjunction with Red Storm, have also been working on Rainbow 6: Patriots, which seems to have stymied slightly so may appear at a later date.

Speaking of Ubisoft Toronto, Jade Raymond’s new team will debut a new IP sometime this year, possibly as early as E3 – but it’s likely to be in the very early stages of production right now, and probably won’t surface until 2014.

Ubisoft Massive is working on a “next-gen project”, which may see reveal, but possibly not until 2013 when the hardware its expected to run on is unveiled.

The suspected MMO is just one of a number of unannounced next-gen projects the publisher has vaguely admitted to fielding. Don’t expect to see Beyond Good & Evil 2 until new consoles go formal, either.

Lick your finger and hold it in the wind; feel that? It’s the passing of a console generation. Ubisoft is waiting for platforms holders to drop their bombshells before it rushes into marketing mode for its usual massive line up of new-hardware launches, and by all indications, is going to have some fancy offerings this go-around. Keep an eye on Ubi; the next 18 months are going to be quite exciting.

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