Ubisoft’s latest online shooter, XDefiant, may seem like your typical Call of Duty-style game at first glance, but it sets itself apart by incorporating characters, maps, and cosmetics from various other Ubisoft franchises like Ghost Recon and Far Cry. For instance, the game’s debut season, Season 0, introduces DedSec hackers from Watch Dogs into the mix. I sat down with executive producer Mark Rubin and creative director Safy Saada to delve into their thought process behind selecting which Ubisoft games to feature and the extensive effort involved in integrating characters from different franchises into XDefiant’s fast-paced FPS universe.

Currently, XDefiant features five factions: Libertad from Far Cry 6, Phantoms from Ghost Recon, Third Echelon from Splinter Cell, The Cleaners from The Division, and DedSec from Watch Dogs. This eclectic mix of characters begs the question of what criteria Ubisoft and the XDefiant developers consider when deciding who to include in the game. Saada explains that they first pinpoint the gameplay archetype they want to introduce and then search within Ubisoft’s IPs to see if that archetype can be fulfilled. The goal is to surprise players with unexpected additions, enhancing the overall enjoyment of XDefiant. This explains why The Cleaners from The Division, a group of flamethrower-wielding villains, made their way into the game, offering players a unique playing experience.

The developers’ mission to introduce unexpected factions extends beyond character selection to other aspects of the game. Saada emphasizes the importance of incorporating iconic elements from various Ubisoft games to create fresh features. This strategy led to the inclusion of Ghost Recon Phantoms, a faction from a discontinued game, due to their distinctive abilities that align with the desired archetype for XDefiant.

In terms of potential future additions to XDefiant, the possibilities seem endless. Speculation surrounding the inclusion of characters from Just Dance or Rabbids has circulated, with leaks hinting at such additions. Rubin confirms that nothing is off-limits when it comes to expanding the game’s roster, as long as the new elements align with the established mechanics. The diverse array of factions, maps, skins, and weapons drawn from different Ubisoft titles serves as a tribute to these games, highlighting the celebratory nature of XDefiant.

As the journey continues with XDefiant, more insights from Ubisoft regarding the game’s development process, including thoughts on gameplay mechanics and map design, will be unveiled. XDefiant is currently available on Xbox Series X/S, PS5, and PC, with its upcoming season commencing on July 1. Stay tuned for further updates on this dynamic and evolving Ubisoft title.