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XDefiant's delays are the result of a toxic work culture according to a new report

The game still doesn't have a release date

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It appears the development of XDefiant, Ubisoft's new free-to-play shooter, has been plagued by mismanagement and toxic work culture for a while now.

After last year's open beta, users have been waiting for an announcement regarding the title's release date. However, there are still no signs of it almost eight months later, and it feels like we still have some time to go.

Insider-Gaming has released a second report talking about how the developing team has been managing the project and how the internal culture has been affecting its progress.

The report begins by explaining how a group often referred to as "The Boys Club" was formed inside the studio and although at first it consisted of just a few people causing problems to the game's development, it eventually grew into something more toxic.

The group gained more members with time, both male and female, and most of them were managers or directors in charge of making big decisions. After the Tom Clancy brand got dropped from the title, this group obtained more creative freedom and this was the point where things started to go sideways.

These individuals have allegedly created a toxic work environment by not having an appropriate work culture or behavior in general. "The Boys Club is a closed group of protected individuals who think they are better than everyone else and do as they please without any repercussions," said one source in the report.

Back in November 2023, the game's director, Mark Rubin, explained publicly that the game was facing netcode issues. Without getting too much into technical terms, the game's servers won't be able to support a large amount of players and provide a fair gameplay experience if these issues aren't fixed.

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The report also claims that these issues were known a while back and originated from changes brought in by The Boys Club. This could've been avoided if the management team had listened to internal feedback from the developers.

One of the main takeaways from this, and the previous report from the same site, is that the team has been chasing the Call of Duty formula ever since The Boys Club got more power. "What would Call of Duty do?" apparently became a common question internally.

One of the common issues was that teams would go on to work on a new feature, get told to make changes to make it more like COD, and finally end up discarding it because the club didn't like it.

"The constant changing of approved features, or adding new features that don’t really affect the game has pushed us back significantly, probably a year or so at this point," another source of the site explained.

Although Rubin has been promising plenty of content at launch, we wouldn't be surprised if many features promised for the game are announced as post-launch content instead. After all, Ubisoft has been secretly revealing what players can expect in Season 1.

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