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Ubisoft’s Call of Duty rival “can’t go live” until parties are fixed

XDefiant, the upcoming multiplayer FPS and Ubisoft Call of Duty rival, is “progressing really well” but “can’t go live” until parties work.

XDefiant cannot launch until parties are fixed - A soldier wearing a hood, visor, and gas mask in the Call of Duty rival multiplayer FPS from Ubisoft.

Mark Rubin, executive producer on Ubisoft’s Call of Duty rival XDefiant, says the game’s final stages of development before launch are “progressing really well.” However, as players prepare to get their hands on the new multiplayer shooter challenging the ranks of MW3, Apex Legends, Battlefield, and Counter-Strike 2, the veteran CoD developer outlines some of the big problems spotted during the most recent round of XDefiant beta tests that have caused the free-to-play game to be pushed back into 2024.

XDefiant brings together factions from various Tom Clancy games including Ghost Recon, The Division, and Splinter Cell, along with groups from other Ubisoft games such as Watch Dogs and Far Cry. Originally planned to launch in October 2023, the XDefiant release date is now tentatively expected to arrive early in 2024, although there’s no concrete date set. In a new update shared via social media platform X/Twitter, Rubin details how development on the multiplayer FPS game is going and explains the key problems the team is working on.

“We’re progressing really well on the changes we’ve outlined in previous posts,” Rubin says. “We will be spending the rest of this year finishing up our work on the new party system, the new netcode changes, and switching all of our servers over to Linux. When we are back from the holidays, we will be testing for submission, fixing any last-minute bugs, and then getting everything ready to go live.”

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The party system, he explains, “has really been the main blocker for launch. We can’t go live if people can’t party up with their friends.” While the existing system was working during beta testing, Rubin says that the crossplay aspect “wouldn’t hold up and would basically stop functioning” when tested on live servers.

“That’s not something we were okay with prior to launch, hence the delay,” he explains. Instead, the team is now incorporating a different party system “that is being used in other Ubisoft games and has been proven to work in a crossplay environment.”

XDefiant party system and netcode update - Post from executive producer Mark Rubin detailing the final issues being ironed out prior to launch.

Rubin also notes that “a critical bug in some of our third-party security software” during the game’s most recent round of testing resulted in “random frame spikes that were causing all sorts of weird issues when the game was live with lots of players.” He adds, “Netcode is something we will always be looking at for ways to improve the experience for players.

In closing, Rubin remarks that the team is currently using the extra development time to move all of its game servers over to Linux, and that the process is all done save for “literally one last bug to fix, and we should be good to go.” He says the switch should result in improved server stability, and allow them to scale up and down much faster in response to player load.

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XDefiant is looking pretty promising so far, offering somewhat a spiritual return to those Call of Duty and early Modern Warfare era days of the late ‘00s and early ‘10s presided over by Rubin and his former co-workers at Infinity Ward. It’s proven popular with many pro players, YouTubers, and Twitch streamers, with particular praise heaped onto the game’s map design.

As such, Ubisoft will be eager to ensure that they get its full launch right, and offer as smooth an experience as possible on day one. Exactly when that day will come remains somewhat unclear for now, but it’s sounding increasingly likely that we’ll see it very soon after the new year rolls around.

Until then, prove your skills in the best multiplayer games on PC. Or, for plenty more to keep you busy over the holiday season, check out the best free PC games you can play right now.

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