XDefiant, Ubisoft’s upcoming cross-over arena shooter, still does not have a solid release date and now we know why. In a blog post, producer Mark Rubin confirmed that the game failed its console certification with PlayStation and Xbox, and therefore has been delayed from its original American summer window. It is now eyeing a release sometime between mid-September to the middle of October, depending on any required day-one patches. It’s worth mentioning that not passing a certification test is incredibly common for games, but we hardly ever hear about them since it’s taken into consideration by publishers when setting a release date far in advance.
Rubin explained in the blog post that with XDefiant, the team has decided to be transparent about their processes, starting with multiple beta sessions which let players hop into unfinished versions of the game. “These were real tests and not just marketing events. So, when it comes to when we will release the real answer is ‘as soon as we can.’ And we will continue to update you with more info when we have it,” he said. The aforementioned certification and compliance checks are not to be confused with a game’s quality or bugs, but rather to check whether it adheres to a platform’s expectations. For instance, whether trophies are unlocking properly or if the friend list is being updated with the proper game status, name, and activity.
It appears Ubisoft submitted XDefiant for certification at the end of July, hoping to ship it by the end of August. However, it failed and so, the team has spent the last 3–4 weeks fixing those compliance issues and preparing for another submission. Currently, the game is in the stage of the process where the developers are finalising the submission build and hope to send it to first-party platforms within the next two weeks. If it passes ‘cleanly,’ XDefiant will be out sometime in mid to end of September. But if it comes back with a ‘conditional Pass,’ the studio will need to implement a day-one pass to ensure any lingering fixes for compliance. That would push the launch date to anywhere between early to mid-October.
XDefiant is a free-to-play arena shooter set against a vibrant punk rock backdrop, roping in gunmen from Ubisoft’s flagship franchises like Splinter Cell, Far Cry, Watch Dogs, and more, so they can duke it out in 6v6 arena matches. Each class is equipped with a unique set of skills that can help turn the tide on-field, with Echelons as the stealth-based operators who can turn invisible, while the attack-minded Cleaners — from The Division — can send out a flying drone that engulfs its path in flames. In my XDefiant first closed beta impressions, I mentioned that “while its core gameplay is slickly executed, I struggle to see its appeal in the long run,” especially when you consider the FPS multiplayer market that’s already filled to the brim with arcade shooters. Since then, the game also had an open beta session in June.