It looks like the unannounced space game thought to be in development at Ubisoft has been cancelled. The game, which was teased via a Watch Dogs 2 easter egg, was never officially announced, but following a troubled development, it now seems it’s been canned without ever seeing the light of day.
Two former Ubisoft developers have tweeted about the project. Jonathan Cooper and Alex Hutchinson, who both worked on Assassin’s Creed 3, posted the phrase “RIP Pioneer” earlier this week, referring to the unannounced game’s codename. That’s obviously not official confirmation from Ubisoft, but when Hutchinson was asked whether the game was “super dead,” he replied with three crying emojis. And if that’s not proof, what is?
The game’s existence first came to light in 2016 with the release of Watch Dogs 2. In one side mission, the player is tasked with breaking into Ubisoft’s San Francisco offices and stealing a game trailer, which is then leaked online. The trailer shows a variety of space-related cutscenes, all subtitled with the phrase “E3_Conf_Video_v03.”
The development of the game was confirmed by Kotaku relatively quickly after Watch Dogs 2’s release, and was reportedly due to be officially announced at E3 2017. Development troubles meant that slot was missed, and Pioneer didn’t show up at 2018’s show either.
☠️ RIP Pioneer ☠️ https://t.co/tNkl6sqHHY
— Jonathan Cooper (@GameAnim) January 15, 2019
While Ubisoft haven’t spoken publicly about the game’s development (or lack thereof) both Hutchinson and Cooper are likely to know a reasonable amount about the project from their time at the studio (both have since moved to new developers).
Related: EA’s scrapped its own space game, reportedly abandoning its Star Wars game in favour of a smaller project
We’ve reached out to Ubisoft for confirmation around Pioneer, but a representative told us that the company “does not comment on rumour or speculation.” We’ll update this story if we learn more.