Ubisoft Forward: The 4 biggest announcements from the game showcase

Ubisoft, like many other video game companies, was unable to host its typical in-person press conference at E3 in June due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, it hosted a digital event on Sunday called “Ubisoft Forward,” revealing more about its biggest upcoming games. Those included Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs: Legion, its newly-announced battle royale shooter Hyper Scape, Far Cry 6, and more. The company says it also plans to hold another Ubisoft Forward showcase later this year.

Ubisoft Forward comes at a difficult time for the company: Reports of a pervasive toxic culture at Ubisoft have recently come to light amid multiple allegations of misconduct levied against Ubisoft employees. Just yesterday, three prominent executives left Ubisoft, bringing the total to four departures (and one additional suspension) since the allegations were made public.

In a tweet posted just a few hours before the event kicked off, Ubisoft acknowledged the challenges facing the company, but said that it wouldn’t discuss them during the digital event. “Because all the content has been pre-recorded, we wanted to recognize that the issues we’re currently dealing with won’t be addressed directly in the show,” Ubisoft said. CEO Yves Guillemot already promised sweeping company changes in a letter sent to employees on July 2nd, including appointing a head of workplace culture and creating a position for a head of diversity.

Here’s our roundup of the biggest announcements from the show.

After a tease on Friday, Ubisoft officially announced Far Cry 6, the next game in the hugely-popular series. Far Cry 6 takes place on the tropical island of Yara, and the role of the villain will be played by Giancarlo Esposito, who you might know as Gus Fring from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. The series is known for focusing on its villains rather than protagonists, but Esposito is the first actor widely known for playing a strong villain to take on the video game role.

Ubisoft says Far Cry 6 will be available on February 18th, 2021 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC, and Google’s Stadia cloud gaming service.

Ubisoft announced that its Norse-inspired Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which it first showed off in April, will launch on November 17th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Google Stadia. The company also shared a new gameplay trailer for the Viking-themed game, which you can watch above. My colleague Chaim Gartenberg recently got to spend three hours with the title, and he says it should feel very familiar to fans of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Assassin’s Creed Origins. You can read his impressions right here.

At the end of today’s trailer, Ubisoft noted that the game is “coming soon” to next-gen consoles.

Ubisoft announced that its upcoming battle royale shooter Hyper Scape will enter open beta starting today. Ubisoft also shared a trailer for the beta and a new cinematic story trailer, which you can watch above.

My colleague Nick Statt got to go hands-on with the technical test when it launched earlier this month, and you can check out his thoughts here.

Ubisoft announced that Watch Dogs Legion will launch on October 29th on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Google Stadia, and shared some footage from the game in a new gameplay trailer. The game takes place in London, and the big change from previous Watch Dogs titles is that you can recruit any NPC in the game as a playable character. My colleague Chaim also got to spend three hours with Watch Dogs Legion recently, and he said that despite the huge number of NPCs you can play as, many of them feel the same.

Similarly to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Ubisoft said the game is “coming soon” to next-gen consoles.