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Image: Ubisoft

Ubisoft's next "Ghost Recon" game is a 100+ player free-to-play contest in which players race to grab intel and safely extract via helicopter.

Why it matters: It's called "Ghost Recon Frontline" and it's not going over well with its first public audience.

  • The live chat under a video reveal event on Tuesday was filled with the letter "L." The 20-year franchise's subreddit is in meltdown mode with fans saying "Frontline" is not what they asked for.

Between the lines: YouTube reaction isn't everything, as the initially despised but currently thriving "Pokémon Unite" has proved.

  • But Ubisoft's got problems as it tries to steer its franchises toward more multiplayer-centric experiences that bear striking similarities to blockbusters like "Fortnite," "Overwatch" or, in "Frontline"'s case, "Escape From Tarkov."
  • The problem: Ubisoft appears to be chasing design trends that may have worked with large audiences, but they are doing so with series that have been known for other approaches.
  • And yet Ubisoft is often going to those hardcore franchise fans first, as they did with Tuesday's "Ghost Recon" event, expecting them to be excited about these radical shifts in design.

Go deeper

Ubisoft admits its handling of misconduct lost some workers' trust

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photos: Ubisoft, IGDB

Ubisoft management is acknowledging that its initial response to an ongoing and wide-reaching workplace misconduct scandal was flawed, even as it argues that its corrective actions were largely swift and correct.

Why it matters: Those comments, in an exclusive interview with Axios, come amid recent pushback from workers that the publisher of Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance hasn’t sufficiently addressed a cascade of #MeToo allegations since mid-2020.

The front-runners for Biden's Supreme Court pick

Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson (left) and Justice Leondra Kruger (right) Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images and Lonnie Tague, US Department of Justice

Two highly accomplished Black female judges — Ketanji Brown Jackson, a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; and Leondra Kruger, a justice on the California Supreme Court — are seen as the early front-runners to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

The big picture: Jackson is a powerful federal judge with a record that progressives feel they can trust. Kruger was a highly regarded litigator and has carved out a reputation for working well with conservative judges.

Fed: Rate hikes "will soon be appropriate"

The Federal Reserve's headquarters building. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Federal Reserve officials expect "it will soon be appropriate" to raise the central bank's main target interest rate, setting the stage for a rate hike at its next meeting in mid-March.

Driving the news: In a statement following a two-day meeting published Wednesday afternoon, however, the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee teed up its next move without taking new action.