A Chronology of everything that has happened with Ubisoft’s free-to-play shooter, delaying XDefiant multiple times from its launch date.

Approximately 2 years ago, Ubisoft San Francisco revealed XDefiant, a new “6v6 free-to-play shooter” that would contain several of the Tom Clancy’s franchises along with other original franchises belonging to the French developer, like Far Cry, The Division, Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell and Watch Dogs, and it would be launching on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC.

The game, directed by Mark Rubin, former executive producer of the Call of Duty franchise, will feature five factions during launch, with each one featuring their own exclusive abilities.

After its announcement, publicly Ubisoft kept silent regarding this new release until 2023, when it was announced that the game would feature 14 maps, 24 different guns, and 5 factions, and much more by the time it would officially launch.

However, XDefiant would have a rocky road ahead regarding its ability to pinpoint a concrete launch date (at least as of this article being published), which is why here at XDI we will explain through an extensive timeline the reasons why we still cannot play the new Ubisoft free-to-play shooter.

A Successful Closed Beta Test

On last year’s April, XDefiant held it first closed beta test and the players were allowed to experience their first moments with Ubisoft’s new shooter, and it broke several records at the time, reaching almost the 1 million players milestone during it’s the test on all available platforms (PS5, Xbox Series X|S y PC).

With these tests, the players helped the development team by providing valuable feedback.

Open Beta (June) and the problems start for XDefiant

During Ubisoft Forward, the team finally offered the first official release window for XDefiant, placing it somewhere around the summer of that same year, something that, we know, never happened. 

XDefiant’s director, Mark Rubin, walked on stage to talk about their next free-to-play shooter, and there he confirmed that the open beta test would contain the fixes requested by the game’s community. This open beta test would take place between the 21 and the 23 of June, and the PS4 and Xbox One console would be excluded from it.

The open beta arrived at the established date, nevertheless, many players presented multiple issues with the game, such as the infamous error code 17004 which didn’t allow access to PC players, or the 9% bug which would not let you load into game and leave you at a “9% loading screen”.

PlayStation 5 users on the other hand found themselves affected with frame issues, which resulted in the game having a larger latency than expected during the matches. The machine’s CPU was not being accelerated accordingly, which allowed the GPU to work twice as hard, adding another 40 additional milliseconds of unwanted latency.

However, what would affect the performance and XDefiant’s launch date the most would be the party system and secondly the netcode issues that ended up affecting the latency on all platforms, slowing down matchmaking which resulted in long waiting times between matches.

Mark Rubin and his race to meet the embargo date.

When XDefiant was announced, the game was planned for last and current generation consoles, but the inevitable news reached the audience when Ubisoft confirmed that it would come first to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC and that while the PS4 and Xbox One versions were still on the table, they didn’t have any specific date for the release of the game on those consoles.

Mark Rubin stood his ground regarding the launched window dated for summer of 2023, saying that “nothing has changed”, and that they were still waiting for Ubisoft’s approval to give greenlight to the certification process on consoles.

In August, Rubin stated regarding the state of the game that they were still working on polishing last minute issues, assuring that “The team is working hard and is making progress every day to make the game available as soon as it is ready”.

Soon after that statement, Ubisoft would keep insisting that XDefiant would launch sometime in the “summer” and that the date would depend on the previously mentioned certification process.

The team explained that it would present the game to first-parties (PlayStation and Xbox) in less than two weeks. If that presentation worked, then the players could expect a launch towards the middle of September. However, if the game received a “conditional pass” which means it would require more fixes, then it would be probable that the game would launch in the middle of October along with a day one patch.

What happened? The game was approved on consoles. But did not pass an optional submission phase.

Ubisoft finally confirms the XDefiant’s delay

A week after the announcement of the showing to the first-parties, Ubisoft gave in and confirmed that XDefiant was going to be delayed. Mark Rubin then presented a long statement through X (before known as Twitter) assuring the community that they would have to wait until August to play, something that also never happened.

Despite the bad news, XDefiant held an exclusive public test for players on PC that was available for six hours, and that was enough for players to find many more problems with the game, which would extend even more the process of finding a proper release date.

One of the things that many players noticed during the test was the adjusted speed movement that XDefiant was showing, displaying in contrast with previous tests. Despite the players’ comments, Mark Rubin confirmed that the development team didn’t change anything from previous builds of the game.

What nobody wanted to hear: An indefinite delay

Not much time passed before Ubisoft would present a new press release related to the game, but this time going back in time to the moment when it was first announced: there would be no release window. This was posted by the official XDefiant X profile.

“But it also surfaced some inconsistencies in the game experience that we need to address prior to launching our Preseason. So we’ve made the hard decision to delay the Preseason of XDefiant.”

An update on XDefiant- pic.twitter.com/3orSnspmp6
— XDefiant (@PlayXDefiant) October 9, 2023

The main reason for the delay seems to be the surfacing of several problems that would affect the game’s quality of life, issues that would have never been found if it weren’t for the latest PTS (Public Test Session), for example, the previous issue with the speed movement in the game.

Restructuring XDefiant’s vital systems.

Because of all the issues, the XDefiant team had to make the decision to replace the party system completely, as well as discovering that the frame spikes that were messing up with the game’s feeling were caused by anti-cheat software.

The team would also make additional improvements to the netcode, in order to reduce the latency and mismatches between players when the connection between them is not the best.

They also started to work in porting their servers into Linux. This decision would improve the general performance of the servers, and it would also allow the servers to be activated a lot quicker, which would, with some luck, allow a better experience for the players during the launch of the game.

Finally, the team also decided to replace their in-game social system, which didn’t offer the best quality experience when it went live.

Ubisoft delays even more games to the new fiscal year

During Ubisoft’s last financial report, it came the news that many games would move their release window to the months that belong to the last quarter of the 2023-2024 fiscal year (between January and March 2024), and that among those games would be Skull & Bones, Rainbow Six Mobile, The Division Resurgence, and, of course, XDefiant.

For those who are not acquainted with the term, the current fiscal year goes from now until March 2024, which means that XDefiant could see its launch day any day between today and March 31st 2024, which means that it would still be placed inside the current fiscal year.

This doesn’t really give us a proper release date, but at least we know that the game could launch in the incoming months. That is to say that the last official announcement delayed the game indefinitely, but now we have a probable date.

Could we be playing the game in February?

2024 is just starting and XDefiant is still without a release date, but it seems like we will soon know the new Ubisoft shooter will be in our hands. Executive producer Mark Rubin gave the community an update on XDefiant development, and it seems to imply that the game will be released very soon.

On Twitter/X Rubin tackled some of the issues that the team was working on and acknowledged that many members of the team worked over their vacations.

The tweet mentions good news relating to the fixing of the previously mentioned issues and the implementation of new systems, giving the community hope that such an anticipated game will finally have a release date.

So… when do you think XDefiant will be available?

The countdown to XDefiant release has started, so be on alert for more updates, information and exclusive content on our website and social media.

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