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Ubisoft delays XDefiant after public tests

The free-to-play arena shooter needs more time
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Ubisoft has announced that the planned preseason for XDefiant is being delayed. In a statement posted on social media, the developer and publisher wrote: “The PTS [Public Test Session] once again showed us your appreciation for our fast-paced gunplay, uniquely crafted maps, objective-driven modes, and iconic Faction roster. But it also surfaced some inconsistencies in the game experience that we need to address prior to launching our Preseason.”

This is why, the statement continued, Ubisoft decided 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,” the statement said. “We will share more information about Preseason and testing as it comes.”

Artwork for XDefiant showing a masked soldier.

XDefiant has been delayed indefinitely.

Developed by Ubisoft San Francisco for PC (via Ubisoft Connect), PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S, XDefiant was supposed to launch in October 2023. The first-person shooter contains characters from other Ubisoft titles such as Ghost Recon, The Division, and Splinter Cell and was announced back in 2021.

Closed testing earlier this year actually created lots of positive buzz around the title with Twitch numbers being especially encouraging – XDefiant beat the combined numbers of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.0 at that point.

Public testing on PC happened in late September 2023, which generated the criticism Ubisoft itself mentioned in the statement. It seems like the publisher doesn’t want to repeat the mistakes it made with Hyperscape, a battle royale shooter by Ubisoft Montreal it released prematurely and then shut down 18 months later. XDefiant’s developers are given all the time they need to ensure a good player experience.

Not releasing the game in the initially targeted October window seems like the right move from another angle as well: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is coming out on November 10, 2023, and would likely divert attention and players from Ubisoft’s title.