Assassin's Creed 4 ships 10M copies, 2M below Assassin's Creed III

Ubisoft says game has seen "excellent momentum" despite failing to match or exceed predecessor; Just Dance 2014 also can't match last year's game.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has shipped 10 million copies since launch, Ubisoft announced today as part of its earnings report for the quarter ended December 31. That's in-line with Ubisoft's internal expectations, but below the 12 million mark of Assassin's Creed III during the same period, despite Black Flag being available on two additional platforms: Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Ubisoft said Black Flag has seen "excellent momentum" since launch. Its performance "bears witness to both the high quality of the game and the franchise's strong dynamic with gamers," Ubisoft said. The game sold 7 million copies on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC and 3 million units on Xbox One and PS4.

Just Dance 2014 shipped 6 million copies during the quarter (down from 8 million copies of Just Dance 4 shipped a year ago), while Rocksmith 2014 saw "lower-than-expected" sales, with around 1 million units. During a conference call following this announcement, however, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said the game is already profitable. Guillemot also teased that the Just Dance series is going to move in "exciting new directions" in the future.

Overall, Ubisoft had a rough quarter, with sales falling 35.2 percent to €520 million ($708.7 million), compared to €802 million ($1.09 billion) last year.

Digital sales were €53 million ($72.3 million) for quarter, down 4 percent compared to last year, which benefited from the release of Far Cry 3, Ubisoft said. On a nine-month basis, however, digital sales rose by 12 percent to €123 million ($167.7 million), led by digital distribution, free-to-play, and DLC sales.

Back-catalog sales fell a heavy 21 percent to €53 million ($72.3 million), "due to the console transition period," Ubisoft said. But on a nine-month basis, back-catalog sales actually grew 6 percent to €172 million ($234.5 million), thanks to games like Assassin's Creed III, Far Cry 3, and Ubisoft's free-to-play games.

Ubisoft's breakdown of sales by platform also reveals that players purchased more Ubisoft games on PS4 than Xbox One by a margin of 12 percent to 9 percent, respectively. The PS3 (28 percent) was Ubisoft's top platform during the quarter, followed by Xbox 360 (27 percent).

"The launches of the PS4 and Xbox One were both hugely successful, with sales of these machines more than doubling those for the previous generation and confirming the growth potential of the console market in the coming years," Guillemot said in a statement. "Over the short term, the high quality of our titles--which is unanimously recognized by gamers--has enabled us to achieve our third-quarter sales target despite the transition period currently affecting the market. Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag performed particularly well, reinforcing the franchise’s long-term potential and therefore its upcoming iteration. This robust showing was achieved thanks to the excellence of our teams, our extensive development capacities and the efficiency of our Lead and Associate studio structure.”

That statement seems to suggest an Assassin's Creed title for 2014 is now confirmed.

Ubisoft's management team is currently holding a financial call to discuss the results and answer questions. We'll have more from the call as it happens.

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Discussion

143 comments
PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

So Ubisoft games sell better on Sony platforms than Microsoft's?


This is not one of those moments where I feel proud to say I own a PlayStation.

Piris
Piris

So prince of Persia is coming back, right?

Hurvl
Hurvl

The above picture shows Ubisoft cutting their sales forecasts, it's not a pretty sight.

Talis12
Talis12

I guess people were so let down by AC3 they didnt bother buying AC4. Thats what you get. Have you learned your lesson Ubisoft? No? Great!

mr_nee
mr_nee

It is suprising considering a vacuum in next-gen library

001011000101101
001011000101101

Oh no, only ten million copies?! How will Ubisoft be able to turn a profit from a mere 10 million copies? What a pity.

drswank
drswank

Well, stop cranking yearly crap out and we could have gone to AC4 instead of 3. 4 was MUCH better.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

IT was clearly a better game than AC3, but doesn't even come close to the brilliance and masterpiece in  art, gameplay, storytelling, and especially mission design like AC2. One of the key things missing in the AC series is Jesper Kyd's brilliant score that accompanied you throughout your journey. Without music providing ambiance of any kind, it feels so empty for me.

mkeezay22
mkeezay22

AC4 is probably my favorite since 2, a lot of people complained there wasn't enough assassinations or that Edward wasn't a real assassin, for me those points made no difference on how fun the game was, there is just so much more to do than previous games in the series and the maps looked gorgeous and also offered a lot of new ways to get to your destination while free running.

I grabbed it on PC but I'm sure it was great on all platforms, it just looked a bit better on PS4, X1 and PC than on last gen consoles, especially all that extra foliage.

wristbreaker
wristbreaker

a lot of people got hurt with AC3 but imho AC4 is the best in the series...

randomkidlol
randomkidlol

Surprised that this game is selling so well considering they shit one out every year.


Only CoD can get these kind of numbers and get away with it.

charlieholmes
charlieholmes

Pretty amazing numbers still. A lot of other developers wish they could reach even half of that. What's interesting is how many people have said to me that AC4 revitalized the franchise. I liked it the best out of the last 3 but it still didn't sale as much as AC3 even though some believe it to be better.

berethor099
berethor099

So 2 million people got smarter and didn't buy this game this year.  That's good news.  Just keep waiting people it will drop to $20 bucks once the "new" AC is announced. 

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Assassin's Creed 3 sold more than Assassin's Creed 4? Why the new consoles could not had much effect on the sales of this game. So of those 12 million they will eventually be sold at a discount. 


Ubisoft does seem intent on an Assassin's Creed 5. Which is fine. But rest the series after that for a while. So people will once again care about the Assassin's series.

RainIsMyDrug
RainIsMyDrug

Glad I got it for 25$ on black friday ( steam version ) cause AC surely isn't worth 60$.. but it is pretty to look at tho

genius2365
genius2365

AC3's less-than-stellar reputation might be the cause of the decrease in AC4 sales, which is a real shame since I think AC4 is tied for the best AC game with AC2

Mr_Ditters
Mr_Ditters

It probably shipped less because people gave up on the franchise after ACIII was such a ridiculous awful turd of a game--just like I gave up on it.

deadpen
deadpen

Maybe because III sucked balls and people are tired of spending cash on crap......Better look out CoD/BF

hadlee73
hadlee73

I might be one of the few people who really liked AC III *alot*, but I'm still surprised it sold better than AC4 over a similar period of time, as AC4 is the much better game.

Martyr77
Martyr77

AC4 was much better than AC3. I personally am just tired of the milking of the series. I bet a lot of people are.

TheAgingGamer
TheAgingGamer

Thus we see the importance of making sure each release is of the highest quality. Otherwise, people lose faith in the franchise and genuinely strong entries underperform. AC4 was leaps and bounds better than 3. Hopefully the next one will have a good protagonist, good setting and good story, so that it will bring things back up to the quality people expect from the series.

Scorpid77
Scorpid77

Ironic and a pity. AC4 is way better than AC3 in almost every aspect, IMO.

RuthlessRich
RuthlessRich

The quality of the previous game effects so much the sales of the next one. AC3 was popular because everyone was excited for it with it's new engine and new time period. However, for various reasons lots of people were disappointed with it and so haven't bought the new one even though hardly anyone's disliking Black Flag.


Personally I love both =D

Kevlar101
Kevlar101

Ubisoft are constantly patting themselves on the back and it's really starting to piss me off.

DiamondDM13
DiamondDM13

I'll pick my PS4 ACIV copy when you launch the complete edition Ubisoft. Will that be May?

Vozlov
Vozlov

Ubisoft are failing and failing hard. They attempted to create a fool proof system of designing computer games, by taking the same over all free roam game mechanics and changing them slightly with each game, perspective, period and play style.


Fortunately people have caught on and Ubisoft can't get away with releasing what amounts to the same game year after year, IP after IP, it's time they put out something original and substantial for a change.


Watchdogs will without doubt be a let down, their entire company at this point rests with The Division, and I have serious doubts Ubisoft can develop a network code that even remotely fill the needs of that game.


They destroyed the Tom Clancy games, they've run Assassins Creed into the ground, and have made an absolute mockery of Far Cry, and every other remotely niche IP they own is kept hidden away for next century. The only IP they haven't completely ****ed up is Rayman. They've just completely screwed themselves into a corner, and they totally deserve it.

bottaboomstick
bottaboomstick

revalations brotherhood AC3 were meh to crappy. Black flag was pretty damn good. Now it's time for ninjas.

gagula94
gagula94

Well they said that they don't expect that AC4 sell as much as AC3 even before AC4 was released.

Fandango_Letho
Fandango_Letho

As much as I want to praise AC4 for all it did right, I can't, for the life of me, tolerate those old-ass gameplay/parkour systems. The combat still remains retarded (counters shouldn't outright kill, make it like Batman and only wound) and a lot of features are downright useless. Ubi, you need to polish up the parkour, give us new animations more akin to what you did with Splinter Cell:Blacklist, polish the combat and modernize the stealth aspect of the game, which needs a crouch toggle very badly. Then, I'll totally be interested for next round. And while you're at it, Ubisoft, try to make eavesdropping fun or drop it entirely.

DaRq_MiNoS
DaRq_MiNoS

@randomkidlol Have you played AC4?  It's fantastic IMO.  Probably the best side quests I've ever seen in a game.

charlieholmes
charlieholmes

I agree with you, AC4 was the best especially for an old fan of Sid Meir's Pirates!

Sir_Claude
Sir_Claude

@Scorpid77  From what i've seen Black Flag is very overrated, my brother plays the game frequently on pc and the game has many bugs and glitches, way too many eavesdropping missions, the animations are worst than 3, the combat still needs a lot of work, the series isn't about assassinations and stealth anymore...


Still the game seems to be fun, but from what i've seen i would not give it a 9 or any other score that would point to a superb game, maybe an 8, still i agree that, overall it's better than 3, at least from a gameplay perspective...


I may be completely wrong because i haven´t played the game that much but it doesn´t seem like Black Flag is as good as people make it to be

Fryboy101
Fryboy101

@Kevlar101  then you must hate a lot of companies because damn near EVERY developer does that when talking about their games. To call out one but not the others is nothing short of bias

razorfett147
razorfett147

@Vozlov Yes, they've completely screwed themselves...and yet are making money hands over fist.  You mad???

acryion
acryion

@Vozlov  Destroyed Tom Clancy how? Splinter Cell's formula was showing it's age in Double Agent (both versions). Assasin's Creed took drastically new directions with every major iteration. Far Cry 2 and 3 were again brilliant most of the time.


How are they falling?


With Assassin's Creed and Far Cry  Ubisoft were one of the few devs doing open world game right.

bottaboomstick
bottaboomstick

@Vozlov if they made a new game each game...then it wouldn't be a series. I don't mind the same mechanics different time period as long as it's a series. Now what would piss me off as a gamer is to say they made a new game yet it was the same mechanics but just a new title.

acryion
acryion

@bottaboomstick  I totally loved AC3 compared to Brotherhood and Revelations. Yeah, AC3 story goes haywire in the last act, but other than that, brilliant.

jaydubya
jaydubya

@DaRq_MiNoS Dare I say the singleplayer was a bit meh, and the least interesting part of the game.

Being a pirate was brill though.

genius2365
genius2365

@Gamer_4_Fun @genius2365  Maybe I was just surprised at how much fun I had with a game I wasn't expecting. After AC3 and hearing that AC4 was going to have pirates, I lost interest in the series. After hearing good things about it, I gave it a shot and was pleasantly surprised by the innovation. It might have lacked a bit of mission creativity, but it still had the soul that AC2 had.


AC2 will always be the classic though. Think I'll replay it one of these days

hadlee73
hadlee73

@Sir_Claude  AC4 actually has more stealth than AC III (the developers were trying to bring back the stealth elements that had been lost with previous games), but the assassinations (which are still there) do indeed take a back seat to being a pirate on the high seas.

I'm not sure anyone will disagree that there are too many eavesdropping missions going on though :)

Vozlov
Vozlov

@acryion Destroyed Tom Clancy by dumbing down literally every iteration of it?


Assassins Creed to drastically new directions? Are you actually kidding me? They added to the formula in 2 and then re released the game with new gadgets. They added lacklustre naval gameplay in the third whilst adding nothing substantial anywhere else. Now they've simply repeated the formula, changing the percentages of naval and land sections.


They've turned the Far Cry series into the most mediocre, shallow franchise I've just about ever seen.


Open world games right? LMAO. Honestly it's the gamers that literally know no better, who've never played anything substantial other than the latest big name IP who are destroying the gaming industry, lapping up the most mediocre crap fests year after year, then exclaiming them to be the best out there. It's just ignorance.


Added to that their complete lack of customer support and Uplay, they are just an absolute shell of their former selves. It'll take another couple of years for the casuals to actually decide to try something new though.

Sir_Claude
Sir_Claude

@acryion  Far Cry 3 was great, overall an incredible game, except for the story which was rubbish!

Assassins Creed has seen better days... still Ubisoft is doing pretty well.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

@genius2365 Well to each it's own,  agree it was much better  than AC3 but it doesn't have the soul and passion of AC2

razorfett147
razorfett147

@hadlee73 @Sir_ClaudeTHe main aspect that AC4 excels at is being an open world pirate game.  Just about every AC mechanic it features (combat, AI, story, mission variety) is a total step down from previous entries (including AC3).  I'm enjoying it quite a bit myself, but not because it does Assassin's Creed "better" than AC3.  I enjoy it because of the exploration, freedom of movement, ship to ship combat, and sailing the elements of the seas.