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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Ubisoft’s Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is delayed

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We said last year that we’re gonna be really mad if Ubisoft’s Avatar game, Frontiers of Pandora, is good. The world is a confusing place already and the last thing we need is to be thrown for a loop by a game based on a flash-in-the-pan popcorn flick that turns out to be well-constructed, interesting, and engaging.

Alas, we’re going to have to keep our potential upset on the back burner for a while longer than expected. Ubisoft announced today that Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora has been delayed, and is now slated to show up sometime in 2023-24. Assuming that’s a reference to Ubisoft’s fiscal year (the announcement didn’t specify), that puts it somewhere between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024.

“We are committed to delivering a cutting-edge immersive experience that takes full advantage of next-gen technology, as this amazing global entertainment brand represents a major multi-year opportunity for Ubisoft,” Ubisoft said.

“While this additional development time is a reflection of the current ongoing constraints on productions across the industry, we are hard at work to design the most efficient working conditions to ensure both flexibility for our teams as well as strong productivity while delivering the best experiences to players.”

CEO Yves Guillemot said he expects Avatar to play a large role in Ubisoft’s future, which is part of why it opted to push back the release.

“What we feel is the Avatar brand can become a videogame brand,” Guillemot said during the Q&A portion of Ubisoft’s financial call. “So because the potential is just enormous, because there are also movies coming and lots of activity on that brand in the next few years, we are treating that brand like a videogame brand. So we are putting all the energy of the team to make sure it is a fantastic game.”

“As we want to make it a videogame industry brand, it is important to us that we come with something that is perfect,” he added later in the call.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora was formally unveiled in 2021, but it’s actually been in development for much longer: The Avatar Project, as it was then known, was originally announced in early 2017. While the delay is very non-specific, it does mean that Ubisoft will miss the opportunity to meaningfully tie it in with the next Avatar film, The Way of Water, which is set to hit screens in December.

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