September 11, 2023

5 Min Read

An Update on the Release of XDefiant from Mark Rubin

Hello XDefiant Fans! I’ve got an update for you and it’s a big one! We want to explain further why we haven’t given a specific date yet for our launch. And sometimes full transparency is like drinking from a firehose so hope you all are thirsty! :D

First things first. Here is a detailed description of how the submission process goes:

Submission is the part of development where we give the game to the 1st parties (Sony, Xbox, etc.) to check that the game works correctly in their environments. To get to that we have to self-test with internal QA/Compliance teams to try and find any issues that might get flagged in the submission process. Once we have fixed or completed all of the tasks that we want/think we need for submission we then spend about 2-3 weeks prepping and validating a CM (Candidate Master) that we think is the final version of the game for submission. It then goes through 1 week of heavy QA & Compliance testing by several Ubisoft teams. If it passes, then it goes to the 1st parties to be certified for release. 1st parties take a week to get their final report on the submission and give us a Pass or Not Pass with a list of must fixes for the next submission. Also, to be clear during this submission process, the QC team at Ubisoft are putting the build through the ringer looking for functionality bugs and another team at Ubisoft, divided up into PC, Sony and Xbox groups are looking for compliance bugs. These are two different types of bugs. Functionality means “does this gameplay feature work as intended” (e.g., there is a bug where the damage from your weapon is altered after using a certain ability.) This is not something the 1st parties will be looking for unless of course it prevents them from testing. Those are on us to find. Compliance bugs are ones that relate to the systems and overall experience that the first parties expect from games on their platform. (e.g., Are trophies being properly tracked, is my friend’s list being properly updated with game status, etc.) After we get a Pass from all 1st parties, we are then ready to ship and need probably 1-2 weeks before launch depending on the date of the Pass. If we don’t Pass, then we need to spend about a month fixing the issues that came up from the submission and repeat the above process.

So where are we in this?

At the end of July, we started this process, and we got our first results back by mid-August which was a Not Pass. We realized then that we had more work related to compliance than we had anticipated. If it HAD passed, then we would have been able to ship at the end of Aug. But it didn’t and so we have spent the last 3-4 weeks fixing those issues and getting ready to do another submission. We are currently in the CM prep part of that process and will hopefully be submitting to 1st parties in a little less than 2 weeks. If that Passes cleanly, then we could be looking at a mid-to-end of September release. There is however a likely scenario where we get a conditional Pass meaning we have to do a Day 1 patch with some final fixes to ensure compliance. If we do need to do a Day 1 patch, then that pushes our date out to early/mid-October.

So why no firm release date?

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. However, like a lot of things with this game, we have not chosen the typical route. Having millions of people play your game long before it’s ready is not normal. Not being afraid to show an unfinished game to millions of people with all its flaws is not normal. These were real tests and not just marketing events. So, when it comes to when we will release the real answer is “as soon as we can.” And we will continue to update you with more info when we have it.

To conclude, we set out since the concept of this game to be more transparent with our community and to listen to our players and act on their feedback. We’ve even shown that we will add features in the middle of development based on player requests. Map Voting which is in now and an S&D-like mode that is coming later are two examples of this. We want this to be your game!

I know that’s a lot of info so thank you for taking the time to read it all. I know it’s been quite a journey to get to this point and I want to thank every single person that has joined us along the way. We really can’t wait to go live and share our passion and love for XDefiant with everyone. Hope to see you all soon in game!

- Mark Rubin