Ubisoft announced on October 9 it was indefinitely delaying Call of Duty-like XDefiant’s preseason, adding to the ever-growing list of issues standing between the free-to-play arena shooter and a release date.
In September, Ubisoft was forced to push back the cyberpunk-ish multiplayer shooter, first announced in 2021 as an incongruous Tom Clancy title, because of failed console quality control checks.
“At the end of July, we started [the compliance testing] process, and we got our first results back by mid-August which was a Not Pass,” game director Mark Rubin said in a September 11 update blog. “There is however a likely scenario where we get a conditional Pass meaning we have to do a Day 1 patch with some final fixes to ensure compliance. If we do need to do a Day 1 patch, then that pushes our date out to early/mid-October.”
That release window is no longer viable after XDefiant’s public test sessions, which were carried out from September 28 to 29. They ended with Ubisoft delaying the game’s planned six-weeks-long preseason, which should have debuted maps, weapons, and “faction” teams grounded in other Ubisoft universes, like The Division.
In its October 9 post, Ubisoft said that XDefiant’s test sessions “surfaced some inconsistencies in the game experience that we need to address prior to launching our Preseason. So we’ve made the hard decision to delay the Preseason of XDefiant.”
“The team will continue working to address these issues and testing them to make sure we deliver on our goal of being a best-in-class arcade shooter,” Ubisoft continued. The developer did not give an updated release window estimate, but it promised to share information “as it comes.” An example of the issues identified in the public test, Rubin shared in an October 9 Twitter post, is “around movement feeling off,” including a slide developers ultimately found “was being interrupted by frame spikes.”
There is a world in which XDefiant, which still has “summer 2023” listed as its release date on its website, is worth the unlimited wait. During the game’s open beta in June, Kotaku’s Zack Zwiezen found that XDefiant is “tailor-made for people who once enjoyed the simpler and faster era of Call of Duty,” tapping into mid-2000’s reliance on quick combat with an array of items. That might be a compelling FPS formula decades later, but XDefiant has more pressing issues to figure out first.
Update 10/12/23 10:20 a.m. ET: Post updated to add Mark Rubin’s public comments on XDefiant’s delay.