While Far Cry 6 seems to double down on everything that makes the franchise great – iconic villain, exotic open-world, and explosive combat – it also finds itself in a precarious situation. With Rainbow Six Extraction delayed yet again, Far Cry 6 is Ubisoft’s biggest fall title, and it launches alongside plenty of other big games. As such, Far Cry 6 needs to fire on all cylinders to really stand out.
The sixth mainline entry in Ubisoft’s open-world first-person shooter series, Far Cry 6, is set to launch this fall. Officially revealed a year ago, Far Cry 6 takes the franchise back to its tropical island roots, this time around in Yara: a fictional country based on real-life Cuba.
Where Far Cry 6 Stands This Fall
Metroid Dread launches a day after Far Cry 6. As if that wasn’t enough, the newly revealed Nintendo Switch OLED model is also set to release alongside Metroid Dread on October 8. Nintendo Switch OLED has already moved a lot of units in pre-orders, excluding scalpers that are selling the upcoming console at double its original price.
Fall 2021 is brimming with big AAA titles that have been a long-time coming, as well as annual titles that sell incredibly well each year. Far Cry 6 launches October 7, right between some of the most highly anticipated video games of the year. Metroid Dread – a full-fledged Metroid game over a decade in the making – was announced at Nintendo’s E3 2021 showcase. Metroid Dread’s announcement was unexpected, and while it isn’t Metroid Prime 4, Metroid Dread’s pre-order numbers speak for themselves. Of all the E3 2021 reveals, Metroid Dread was the number one best-selling video game on Amazon US and UK in June.
However, this isn’t the only title that poses a threat to Far Cry 6. Turtle Rock Studios’ Back 4 Blood – a spiritual successor to the cult classic Left 4 Dead – launches just days after Far Cry 6. At their core, both Back 4 Blood and Far Cry 6 are first-person shooter games, and while Far Cry 6 has the advantage of being an offline-only game, Back 4 Blood has an even bigger advantage of launching directly on Xbox Game Pass.
Back 4 Blood will move numbers on all platforms, but releasing day one on Game Pass is a major wild card. Recent AAA launches have proven to be quite successful on Game Pass, and Back 4 Blood could be no different. Square Enix’s third-person RPG shooter Outriders had strong sales on Xbox despite being being free on Game Pass. Game Pass boosted Outriders’ player count, eventually leading to higher game sales on all platforms.
Game Pass subscribers are increasing and will presumably increase even more by the time Back 4 Blood launches. Given how popular the game already is, it wouldn’t be surprising if it ends up being one of the most played games of the year. All of this could significantly affect Far Cry 6, which, unlike Back 4 Blood, won’t be available on Game Pass. While the subscription service can be game-changing, it isn’t the only parameter to judge a game’s success. In the case of Back 4 Blood, Game Pass is just a cherry on the top.
While hotly anticipated titles like Metroid Dread and Back 4 Blood pose an imminent threat to Far Cry 6, they are not the only titles that should have Ubisoft concerned. FIFA 22 launches October 1, just a week prior to Far Cry 6. While both these titles do not share any similarities, it’s hard to ignore the sheer popularity of FIFA and how it could easily hinder the sales of any game released in its proximity. Furthermore, there are also chances of other highly anticipated open-world games like Horizon Forbidden West releasing in the same window. Far Cry 6’S Ubisoft Problem
While other big releases may be an obstacle in Far Cry 6’s road to success, it has its own fair share of problems as well. Lately, publisher Ubisoft hasn’t been on the good side of its fans. After a big blowout last year, reports about sexual misconduct at the French company have surfaced yet again. This time around, Ubisoft is being sued for alleged “Institutional Sexual Harassment.” The company has yet to respond to the allegations put forth by French union Solidaires Informatique, but given its past, fans are unlikely to be convinced of any justification it has to make. There is enough evidence that proves a toxic work culture can have massive implications on the quality of the game it makes, though it isn’t the only factor that affects the end product. Game companies and their games can be significantly affected by such controversial and sentimental issues. For instance, author J.K. Rowling’s comments last year led many to boycott Hogwarts Legacy. Whether Far Cry 6 receives such treatment remains to be seen, but it’s something that could adversely affect the game when it launches later this year.
Further raising the stakes for Far Cry 6 is it’s the only major Ubisoft title scheduled to launch this holiday season. Both Rainbow Six Extraction and Riders Republic got delayed recently. Rainbow Six Extraction has been pushed to early 2022, and while Riders Republic will still be launching this year, it is a new IP that has yet to establish a dedicated player base. Ubisoft’s financial revenues for this fall likely depend primarily on Far Cry 6. Far Cry 6 looks to be a promising new entry in one of Ubisoft’s successful franchises. However, early gameplay reveals haven’t got rid of all skepticism. Recent Ubisoft games are often criticized for being too bloated, and Far Cry 6 does not seem to have any solutions for that. In fact, Far Cry 6’s open-world is the largest ever in a Far Cry game. In a time where open-world fatigue is common, Far Cry 6’s biggest strength could be its biggest weakness.
Thankfully, Far Cry 6 seems to retain the series’ bold and bombastic gameplay, sprinkled with an intriguing storyline – something that the series seems to have lacked since Far Cry 3. By having some crazy new weapon types, a deep emphasis on capturing Cuban culture, and a much-needed spotlight on its main protagonist Dani Rojas, Far Cry 6 seems to be addressing one of the series’ biggest flaws. Whether these changes are enough for Far Cry 6 to be successful amid a crowded fall window and the deteriorating reputation of its developer remains to be seen. Far Cry 6 launches October 7 for PC, PS4, PS5, Luna, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.