With the massive announcement of an open world Star Wars project, has this killed the long-awaited Ubisoft Avatar game from Machine Games?
It's been a wild week for gaming. We've had new announcements from both Bethesda and Ubisoft as they move forward with their respective Indiana Jones and Star Wars games. These once-forgotten gaming franchises have been given a new lease of life alongside the resurrection of Lucasfilm Games.
The acclaimed developer had been working on the much-hyped Star Wars 1313 when Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm led to the rebranded LucasArts shuttering its development doors back in 2013. As the galaxy far, far away continues to grow, and Lucasfilm Games rises from the ashes, Ubisoft's open world Star Wars game is already giving us high hopes that the light side of the Force is shining through.
However, following the Sith rule of there always being a master and an apprentice, the idea of Ubisoft's open world Star Wars has cast doubt over another major gaming franchise that's supposed to be in the works. Although it's easy to forget, Massive Games (which is developing the Star Wars game) also has a huge open world Avatar game in the pipeline. With fans rightly asking whether the time can be split between both or The Avatar Project has been given the boot, those at the top are here to clear up the confusion.
Ubisoft Avatar game: Is it cancelled?
Machine Games Managing Director David Polfeldt reassuring gamers that The Avatar Project and The Star Wars Project (that's all we have to go on for now) can work side-by-side. Shortly after the announcement of the Star Wars game, Polfeldt posted on the official Ubisoft site and told the world, "We have been preparing the studio for a long time to handle all our projects with equal attention and love."
Further confirming The Avatar Project is ticking along, Polfeldt continued, "Since all our teams work on the Snowdrop engine, all projects benefit from each other's progress and successes. And obviously, with such an amazing collection of triple-A projects under one roof, we are continuously recruiting, and we’re currently looking for experienced developers from all over the world to join us on our future adventures".
Even though Polfeldt didn't directly mention Avatar in the spiel, he later addressed the game when talking about The Star Wars Project. Putting the two together, Polfeldt concluded, "We are always looking to collaborate with fellow creators to bring players memorable experiences and immerse them in incredible worlds, as shown by the amazing collaborations we have with Lightstorm, Lucasfilm, and Disney. Together, we are focused on projects that push the boundaries of open-worlds and player immersion to the limit, and that direction suits the rich universes of Avatar and Star Wars extremely well".
When will we see the Ubisoft Avatar game?
Late last year, Ubisoft confirmed that its Avatar game had been delayed. As well as Far Cry 6 being pushed from its original release date, The Avatar Project is now set to land in 2022 - which should put it in-line with the release of James Cameron's Avatar 2 in cinemas. Although we thankfully aren't at Cyberpunk 2077 levels of lengthy development, The Avatar Project was first announced in 2017 as a collaboration between Machine Games and Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment. Since then, there's been very little in terms of news on development, let alone plot, graphics, or gameplay.
The idea of diving into an open world Avatar game that explores the skies and oceans of Pandora might appeal to some, but place it next to the long-awaited promise of an open world Star Wars game and there's no real competition. Let's also remember the release of James Cameron's Avatar: The Game, which came from Ubisoft and didn't exactly set the gaming charts alight in 2009. Here's hoping the publisher has learned something new from the mistakes of the past and can offer up a truly open world Avatar game for next-gen systems.
We know we keep banging on about it, but way back when, Star Wars 1313 was a pretty big deal and deserves a revisit. The ambitious game would've tasked players with suiting up in beskar as Boba Fett and navigating the seedy underworld of Coruscant's Level 1313. It's important to remember this was long before the character and expanded universe were finding a new home in Disney's The Mandalorian. The announcement of Lucasfilm Games' rebirth has already sent the internet into overdrive that 1313 will go full Anakin and be rescued from a fiery grave on Mustafar.
Details on both IPs are sketchy, however, it's important to remember Avatar and Star Wars have a jam-packed slate on the silver and small screen to keep drumming up interest in the games. Much like the high expectations surrounding Avatar 2 at the box office, the Ubisoft Avatar game could be the victim of its own success. Then again so could a long-awaited open world Star Wars game. At least we have Ubisoft at the helm to hopefully deliver two epic titles based on the box office-busting franchises
Images via Disney