Ubisoft delays xDefiant after failing console certification

If at first you don't succeed, certify again.

Ubisoft confirmed its upcoming multiplayer shooter xDefiant has been pushed back after it failed to pass console certification from PlayStation and Xbox. 

In a recent blog post, producer Mark Rubin explained that the studio applied for certification in July and found out in August it didn't meet those requirements. As a result, the studio is now looking for compliance and functionality bugs so it can reapply within the next two weeks and release in mid or late September. 

Third-party developers like Ubisoft and EA have to get certification from first-party studios in order for their games to release on storefronts like the PlayStation or Xbox stores. For big studios, the process is important to ensure their game gets as much attention as possible, and it's rare that certification either doesn't happen or gets revoked.

Rubin acknowledged that it's possible Sony and Microsoft will approve xDefiant with a "conditional pass," meaning a Day One patch would have to be implemented. Should that be the case, the shooter will be delayed to mid or late October.

"If we were following the standard rules for game releases, we would have set a date far enough in advance with enough buffer to have a confident release date," he wrote. "However, like a lot of things with this game, we have not chosen the typical route."

"When it comes to when we will release [xDefiant], the real answer is 'as soon as we can.' And we will continue to update you with more info when we have it."

The importance of xDefiant's launch

Getting xDefiant out into the world by the fall season appears to be a key priority for Ubisoft. Much of 2023 has seen the developer talk up titles that are meant to hit in 2024 such as Star WarsOutlaws  and (maybeSkull & Bones

Thus far, the developer has lacked a premium release this year. It looks like its first big game of the year will be Assassin's Creed Mirage on October 5. 

The studio has been open about using the shooter to enter the (often popular) free-to-play scene.

The holiday season is often a busy time for games, and 2023's holiday season is shaping up to be more packed than previous years. In October alone, the month will see the release of big titles like Alan Wake II, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and Marvel's Spider-Man 2. 

Even as its games benefit from having a long tail, putting xDefiant out before the deluge of releases is imperative for Ubisoft. 

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