Wild Arena Survivors, a 40-person battle royale game released by Ubisoft with zero fanfare last week, is actually an abandoned Far Cry game, mobilegamer.biz understands.
A well-placed source told us Wild Arena Survivors was once known as Far Cry: Wild Call. It is developed by Ubisoft Paris’ mobile team and its origins are still referenced in the live game, as players compete in the game’s ‘Wild Call Festival’. Its setting is also clearly reminiscent of Far Cry 6’s Cuban-inspired environments, with arenas featuring roaming wildlife which can attack or be used to the player’s advantage.
We understand that the isometric battle royale was put into soft launch without Far Cry branding as a test. When the game failed to gain enough organic traction to earn a rebrand under the Far Cry IP, it was quietly released worldwide in an attempt to claw back some of the development costs.
“Knowing Ubisoft like I do, I’d imagine they spent more money than they should have on development, and this is an attempt to recoup what they can and also learn from pushing a fully realtime multiplayer game out,” said our source.
“Even if games are bloated, expensive and showing poor metrics, if there are learnings from releasing it there’s value in doing it,” continued our source. “It feeds the larger organisation.”
At the time of writing the game has not been announced or publicised by Ubisoft at all. Though Wild Arena Survivors does have Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and a Discord server, none of these channels have been supported by any of Ubisoft’s ‘main’ accounts. There is a ‘reveal’ trailer on Ubisoft’s YouTube channel and some information on the Ubisoft website, if you look hard enough.
Wild Arena Survivors’ strange launch is indicative of a wider mobile malaise at Ubisoft, says our source. “You’ve got the publisher that we all know – Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy – and you’ve got mobile, which is the forgotten child,” they said.
“Mobile has very little oversight, support or financing from the larger parent company. But obviously they’ve got some big games coming and we’ll see what happens next.”
Those big mobile games have been teased by Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot several times in recent earnings calls, and one in particular has been positioned as a major growth driver for the company. That game, while unannounced, involves a partner studio and the licensing out of a Ubisoft IP – likely Assassin’s Creed. That’s alongside the announced mobile editions of The Division Mobile and Rainbow Six Mobile, which are coming soon. Ubisoft has said it’ll be announcing the ‘the future of the Assassin’s Creed franchise’ this Saturday, as part of its Ubisoft Forward event.
Wild Arena Survivors is not the first example of Ubisoft quietly releasing underperforming mobile games worldwide. Clash of Beasts: Tower Defence suffered a similar fate, our source says, though it was never intended to be based on another major Ubisoft IP.
The monster battler with builder elements was released in most countries, minus China, Japan and Korea, in January. It has also received close to zero support from Ubisoft’s marketing and PR teams. Appmagic data says it has racked up just over 300k downloads and earned Ubisoft just over $400k to date.