Open World 'Avatar' Game To Push Through Despite Sequel Delay

John Leuven

A few months ago, Ubisoft announced that it will be releasing a new open world game based on the James Cameron epic, Avatar. It will be an open-world game, similar to the Bethesda hit, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

However, recent news hit that James Cameron will yet again delay the release of the Avatar sequel. Will this affect the release of the game if ever it relies on riding the hype to get a kick-start?

The upcoming movie is one of the most highly-anticipated sequels owing to the success of the first one. Cameron has promised to advance the story of Jake Sully and the N'avi in 2012, but this has been changed to 2015, and then to 2017, to 2018, and then again to 2020 after that. Given how changes for the final release date seem to be a thing since the sequel was first announced, it is safe to say that fans aren't holding their breath. The final release date could again change anytime soon.

So how does this sudden announcement affect Ubisoft's newest open-world game? Paul Tassi, in a Forbes article, thinks that the move is a big risk for Massive, the company that is tasked to make the game for Ubisoft. Granted, Massive is responsible for one of the biggest games in recent memory, The Division. They also spared no expense for they are reportedly hiring a significant amount of new people, presumably in response on the anticipated workload for the Avatar game and The Division 2.

One possibility is that Massive would finish the project and release it, but the timing would not be right, owing to Cameron's delays. This could end up in the game performing poorly. A better scenario would be the company finishing the game but holding it, releasing it only when they think the timing is best. This could result in significant delays, but a companion game for a newly-released movie would be better than an outright flop.

Still, Tassi expressed that he still has his doubts about the game, saying that "for all its success, the one thing Avatar could not do was create a lasting cultural footprint for itself." Of course, there is always the scenario that Cameron makes a great movie, and the game, being timed right, would become a massive hit as a result, as well.

This is not the first time Ubisoft tried to make an Avatar game, but their first attempt in 2009 was not so well-received by critics due to its linear gameplay and unintuitive controls. It scored 59 percent on Metacritic, which indicated mixed reception. IGN gave it a 6.8/10, saying it had "generic mission design and loose controls," and had "underwhelming" voice acting that pretty much got in the way of good storytelling. They praised the works on its 3D graphics, though.

This time, with folks behind The Division manning the helm, it seems that Ubisoft will be going for a full AAA title and not just some movie tie-in that will feel like a blatant cash-grab. Also, the game has just been announced. Being that there is no release date yet could mean that they are still refining ideas, as this could be a make-or-break franchise. As emphasized by the numerous articles about the game, timing could be the very key for the game's success.

As for the movies, fans will have nothing else to do but wait for when James Cameron decides to release the Avatar sequels. The current timeline, as it stands, is that Avatar 2 will be released in 2020, Avatar 3 in 2021, Avatar 4 in 2024, and Avatar 5 in 2025.

[Featured Image by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images]