Ubisoft bets big on Assassin’s Creed after declaring €495 million loss

A drowning Ubisoft reaching for the life ring of Assassin's Creed Mirage

Ubisoft plans to raise the developer headcount on Assassin’s Creed titles by 40% as it searches for a much-needed hit game.


Ubisoft has just published its financial results for the past year, and they hardly make for rosy reading. The publisher declared a €495 million ($538 million) loss for the past year, compared with an €80 million profit for the year before. Yowch.

Ubisoft’s report presentation admitted the past year had been “challenging for the industry and for Ubisoft”, and highlighted that the firm had spent time reinforcing “our strategic focus on our biggest opportunities” and initiating “a meaningful cost reduction plan”. Part of that cost reduction plan has involved shrinking the company’s workforce. The report noted that the company’s headcount had been reduced by 700 since September 2022, and just last week the firm announced 60 job cuts in Newcastle and North Carolina.

At the same time, Ubisoft is piling developers into its upcoming Assassin’s Creed games, betting that the well-established franchise will yank the company out of the financial doldrums. Chief executive Yves Guillemot said that Ubisoft plans to increase the number of people working on Assassin’s Creed titles by 40% in the coming years. As reported by Kotaku, the company confirmed there are currently around 2,000 people working on Assassin’s Creed games, so that figure looks set to rise to around 2,800.

And we certainly won’t be short of Assassin’s Creed titles in the near future. The next major entry in the series, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, is set in Baghdad and is due to launch sometime this year. But thanks to last year’s Assassin’s Creed Showcase, we also know that Ubisoft is working on Assassin’s Creed Hexe (a ‘flagship’ title seemingly focused on witchcraft), Assassin’s Creed Red (set in Japan), Assassin’s Creed Nexus (a virtual reality game), Assassin’s Creed Jade (a mobile title) and Assassin’s Creed Invictus (a multiplayer game).

Ubisoft has had a rough few years, facing reports of sexual harassment and a toxic working culture that led to the departure of several department heads, as well as delays to some key titles and the underperformance of others. Back in January, the firm cancelled three unannounced games and pushed back the much-delayed Skull and Bones yet again. It’s clear from this latest news that Ubisoft is hoping that Assassin’s Creed is a safe bet that might pull the firm from the financial mire it finds itself in.

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