Ubisoft Denies Call of Duty Influence on XDefiant Delay

Amidst swirling rumours and speculation, Ubisoft has stepped forward to refute claims that their upcoming free-to-play shooter, XDefiant, is facing delays due to efforts to emulate elements from the Call of Duty franchise. The denial comes in response to a report from Insider Gaming’s Tom Henderson, which alleged that Ubisoft’s insistence on integrating Call of Duty features was contributing to the game’s troubled development.

XDefiant, initially announced in July 2021 under the title “Tom Clancy’s XDefiant,” has encountered numerous setbacks despite undergoing multiple beta tests. The game’s rebranding to simply “XDefiant” in May 2022 was accompanied by heightened anticipation, yet release dates have been consistently missed. With the current fiscal year concluding on March 31 and no concrete news on the horizon, the likelihood of meeting this deadline appears increasingly slim.

The report from Insider Gaming, based on insights from individuals purportedly familiar with the matter, suggested that Ubisoft’s efforts to emulate Call of Duty were causing significant disruption to XDefiant’s development process. One source claimed that the pursuit of Call of Duty elements frequently led to the destabilisation of the game’s build. However, Mark Rubin, XDefiant’s director and producer, swiftly dismissed these assertions, labelling them with a “major eyeroll.”

Despite Rubin’s rebuttal, Henderson reiterated his claims, cautioning fans against taking official status updates at face value. Concerns over XDefiant’s perceived emulation of Call of Duty have been voiced by fans previously, particularly as new features reminiscent of the Activision franchise were unveiled.

In response to mounting questions from fans, Rubin clarified that the recent silence from developers stemmed from a lack of substantial updates rather than concealing significant issues. He emphasised that the latest delay was primarily focused on rectifying critical bugs and enhancing the game’s social system, rather than integrating new features inspired by Call of Duty. Rubin assured the community that Ubisoft San Francisco would provide a comprehensive update on the game’s status imminently, likely within the final week of March.

The reaction to Henderson’s report and Rubin’s subsequent comments has been mixed within the gaming community. While some express frustration at the repeated delays plaguing XDefiant’s development, others maintain that patience is preferable to the premature release of an unfinished product. Despite the challenges faced, XDefiant continues to generate significant anticipation as one of the most eagerly awaited free-to-play titles on the horizon.

As the gaming community eagerly awaits further developments, Ubisoft’s denial of Call of Duty influence on XDefiant’s delays raises questions about the game’s future trajectory. Whether the impending update will assuage concerns or exacerbate uncertainties remains to be seen.

Sam Allcock
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