Yesterday, Ubisoft announced that it was delaying the release of extreme sports MMO Rider's Republic until later in 2021, to give its development team more time to work on the game. Mike Rose of Descenders publisher No More Robots confessed that he "breathed a sigh of relief" upon hearing the news.
This comes as a result of Riders Republic looking to serve a similar niche to No More Robots' extreme downhill freeriding game Descenders. Rose views Ubisoft's upcoming title as "essentially a direct competitor" and was prompted to talk about the two games because of how difficult it is to predict exactly how Rider's Republic will impact Descenders.
In his view, Rider's Republic could either slowly kill Descenders, boost its sales or have no impact whatsoever on it.
"I definitely breathed a sigh of relief when the news about the delay came out yesterday, as it now gives us another 6 months+ to keep building on Descenders, and maybe even get on next-gen before they do," he tweeted.
Rose does point out that the two games are, nonetheless, different, naming the lower price, free updates and "Overwhelmingly Positive" reviews as selling points for Descenders. Meanwhile, Riders Republic is a fully-priced title.
Both games feature a downhill freeriding component, but Ubisoft aims to branch beyond just that, letting players also use skis, snowboards and wingsuits. Its MMO aspect also lets "over 50 players simultaneously" race against each other, where Descenders' multiplayer supports 8 players on PC and 4 on consoles.
"Descenders has just sat there for years, completely unchallenged in this niche for so long, and now Ubisoft is rolling in to claim it," Rose added before expressing hope that there's enough space for both titles.
The No More Robots-published game isn't doing too bad for itself, either. Having sold 400,000 units as of this week, Rose thinks that "we'll be good for now."
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Hi, here are a few words on Riders Republic if you don't mind— Mike Rose (@RaveofRavendale) January 15, 2021
I've never been in a position before where a AAA studio has announced what is essentially a direct competitor to a game I've worked on (that game being Descenders, of course), and the unknowns of that are 😬😬😬 pic.twitter.com/2NcKqELeXC