Debuting in 2004, the Far Cry franchise is almost 20 years old, and it's seen better days. Though it might not hold up too well today, the first Far Cry was an impressive title for its era, boasting a primitive open-world and some excellent CryEngine graphics. Far Cry 2 was a great follow-up, establishing a lot of the groundwork that the rest of the franchise would continue to build upon for the next 15 years. The franchise really hit the big time with Far Cry 3, widely considered to be one of the greatest open-world games of all time.
With an accessible but compelling story, a bright and colorful open-world, an eye-watering amount of content, and some tight combat mechanics, Far Cry 3 was a rare overnight success, and one that would essentially become the foundation for the modern open-world genre moving forward. Ubisoft was quick to follow up on that success, with a plethora of sequels and spinoffs bombarding the market consistently for the next decade. With Far Cry 6 being a bit of a disappointment for the publisher, the franchise factory's cogs have stopped turning, but that could end up giving Far Cry the most important year of its life.
The Far Cry Franchise Used to Run Like Clockwork
Far Cry 3 was an unprecedented success for the franchise. While Far Cry and Far Cry 2 sold plenty of units, it was nothing compared to the sheer force of Far Cry 3's release, selling over 10 million copies in under two years. With more critical and commercial success behind it than ever before, the Far Cry series quickly became one of Ubisoft's spotlight franchises, and it didn't take long before a sequel hit store shelves.
Arriving just two years later, Far Cry 4 was just as commercially successful as Far Cry 3, though its critical reception was just slightly more mixed. Though it still reviewed very highly across the board, some fans and critics noted that Far Cry 4 felt a little too similar to Far Cry 3 in a few key ways. Despite that criticism, Ubisoft put its developers back to work, and Far Cry Primal released another two years later. Far Cry 5 would then follow it in 2018, and Far Cry New Dawn dropped just one year after that. By this point, franchise fatigue had set in thoroughly, and Far Cry New Dawn's critical and commercial reception reflected that.
2023 Could Ironically Be One of Far Cry's Most Important Years
The latest entry in the franchise, Far Cry 6, released in 2021, marking the seventh Far Cry release in just nine years. For almost a decade, Ubisoft was putting out at least one new Far Cry game every two years, even despite the global pandemic. While Far Cry 6 was far from a bad game, there was just no escaping the franchise fatigue, and this time, it seems as though Ubisoft has taken notice of that.
For the first time in a decade, the Far Cry franchise might not end up releasing a new entry in its two-year window. Currently, there are no officially confirmed plans for a Far Cry 7, and while an announcement could be right around the corner at the upcoming Ubisoft Forward showcase, it's unlikely that any Far Cry game is releasing this year. If recent rumors are to be believed, then Far Cry 7 might not even be in full development yet at all, but it's this absence that could ironically make 2023 one of Far Cry's biggest years ever. This gap in releases could finally give Far Cry's developers enough breathing room to finally take the franchise back to the drawing board, and come up with a new entry that feels just as fresh as Far Cry 3 did all those years ago.
Far Cry 6 is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.