Ghost Recon Frontline was announced last week at Clancyverse as a free class-based battle royale set, the only cinematic setting in which Jim From the Office is an action hero. Frontline will support multiple modes, battle over 100 players, and, unlike most battle royales, also feature an extraction mechanic similar to Hunt: Showdown: After completing a series of objectives, teams are given a set amount of time. To stay out against the onslaught of the enemy. Time before escape. Looks good, doesn’t it?
There were plans to hold the first round of closed beta testing from October 14-21, but Ubisoft announced today—a day before the scheduled launch—that it has decided to put things on hold.
We have an important message regarding Ghost Recon Frontline’s Closed Test. pic.twitter.com/ne1VgOLMJF13 October 2021
“We have decided it is best to postpone the closed test for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Frontline,” Ubisoft tweeted. “The development team is dedicated to creating the best possible experience. We will share details on the new date for closed testing as soon as possible.”
The brief message doesn’t say anything about the reasons for the delay, which seems particularly odd as it was supposed to start just a week after Frontline was revealed — a date that Ubisoft would have been quite confident in, in other words. But it’s possible that Ubisoft didn’t foresee the reaction to the game. Daniel Ahmed, senior analyst at Niko Partners, speculates on twitter that the trial was delayed “because of how bad” [Ghost Recon Frontline] was received,” and it’s not hard to see why: on the announcement video youtube dislikes four times more than likes, reddit Doom and gloom were predicted for the entire franchise almost immediately, and responses to tweets about the delay have been filled with calls to cancel the whole thing outright — often with demands for a “real” Ghost Recon game.
I don’t think Frontline looked bad by any measure when it was announced, and adding an Extraction requirement could be a really fun diversion: Extractions made for really intense coda for Mass Effect 3 multiplayer missions, way back. But it’s a late arrival for a party already dominated by Call of Duty: Warzone, Apex Legends, and Escape From Tarkov, and follows a less-than-stellar Ghost Recon breakpoint—absolutely a solid jumping-off point. No. Meanwhile, Ubisoft is still toying with Splinter Cell, which has not gone unnoticed by fans of the Tom Clancy game.
I’ve contacted Ubisoft for more information about the reasons for the delay, and will update if an updated launch target has been set, and if I get a reply.