XDefiant misses another launch window, Ubisoft says a new release date will be announced after an upcoming stress test, which also doesn't have a launch date

XDefiant characters - a guy in full tactical gear with a facemask on and a woman dressed like Sam Fisher
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

It will probably come as no surprise that Ubisoft's free-to-play XDefiant will not be out by March 31—today is April 1, after all, and it's still not here. In a weekend update on Twitter, Ubisoft acknowledged the game's latest miss but said a brief server stress test is coming, after which a real launch date will finally be announced.

XDefiant was originally supposed to be out in summer 2023, but following a seemingly-successful beta test in April of that year, it was bumped to October 2023, and then delayed again to an unspecified future date. In its February 2024 financial report, Ubisoft slated XDefiant for launch in the fourth quarter of its 2023-24 fiscal year, which ended March 31.

A week before that date arrived, rumors surfaced that the game would be delayed yet again, and a few days later Ubisoft made it official.

"The game has always been community-first, with player feedback as a top priority," the development team said in the update. "While we hoped to go live by the end of March, there are still some improvements that we need to test before that."

Ubisoft said it's "finishing preparations" for a server stress test that will run for 12 hours on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S. "After this short test, we expected to be able to lock a launch date and start sharing more about exciting content XDefiant has to offer in the future!"

(Image credit: Ubisoft (Twitter))

It's been a rough haul for XDefiant. Its announcement in July 2021 was met with widespread derision that was strong enough to force it back to the drawing board for a branding overhaul. When it came back for real in April 2023, it seemed competent: "Basically fun," our big shooter guy Morgan Park declared, and "as boots-on-the-ground, 2010-era CoD as it gets outside the Activision bubble."

The real problem XDefiant faces, though, is that it "is a perfectly fine shooter in a time when 'fine' is a bare minimum." It's not hard to imagine that's why Ubisoft has continued working on it beyond its previous deadlines: As a free-to-play game XDefiant could carve out success in a field dominated by $70 Call of Duty games, if Ubisoft can get it right—but it could also just as easily end up the next Hyper Scape, abandoned, forgotten, and very quickly gone.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.