Assassin's Creed II ships 9 million, Ubisoft posts $54 million annual loss

$1 billion in sales can't keep French publisher out of red ink; stealth actioner hits new milestone as Just Dance approaches 3 million.

The flurry of recent year-end financial reports has divided game publishers into two groups: those who made money despite a challenging economic environment, and those who didn't. Konami, Sega Sammy, Capcom, and Nintendo managed to post net profits for their recently finished fiscal years. Sony, Electronic Arts, Namco Bandai, Disney, and THQ did not.

Ubisoft's financial performance was hamstrung by a slumping casual business, like that guy on the right was hamstrung with a sword.

Throw Ubisoft in with the latter group, as the French publisher today posted its results for the year ended March 31, 2010, and the company posted a net loss of €43.7 million ($54 million) on revenues of €871 million ($1.1 billion) that were down 18 percent year-over-year. The loss is an unfortunate turnaround for the company, as Ubisoft posted a net profit of €68.8 million ($85.1 million) during the preceding year.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot blamed the results on a lagging industry that shrank 10 percent year-over-year during a global economic downturn. While Ubisoft's sales were down even more than that, Guillemot said the numbers had stabilized in the second half of the last year and forecast a return to profitability in the current year. The launch of new technologies like Project Natal and Sony's Move controller should "re-energize the casual games segment," Guillemot said, and the company is reorganizing its studio system "to release new iterations of our major franchises on a more regular basis and guarantee high quality levels."

The publisher also provided some shipment updates on its recent titles. Last year's holiday blockbuster Assassin's Creed II has now sold in nearly 9 million copies to retailers, while the casual-focused Wii game Just Dance is approaching 3 million copies sold in to retailers. And while the publisher didn't give specific numbers for other titles, it did say that Red Steel 2 on the Wii met its most recent sales forecasts, and Avatar (especially the Wii edition) surpassed them.

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161 comments
faelan
faelan

Brendan Sinclair, I'm giving you the Brubaker for that caption. Clap. Clap. Clap.

digi-demon
digi-demon

Glade_Gnarr Posted May 24, 2010 11:00 am GMT When did sega become samy? Who the f is samy to begin with? @Glade_Gnarr Sammy bought Sega a few years back saving them from certain bancrupcy. Sammy are primarily a pachinko arcade machine manufacturer, they were also known for publishing Guilty Gear series. Sega is now only a shadow of its former self. Look it up.

fLaMbOaStiN
fLaMbOaStiN

Shoot, Assassins creed had pretty good graphics, atleast on the console i saw nothing wrong with em.

AStriegel75
AStriegel75

People wonder why companies are starting to charge for the MP portion of the game. I say buy the games used and everyone buys the 10 dollar pass so they don't take away the final boss or achievements or other things from the game if bought used. Is there a law about not stopping the sales of used products? I thought I heard someone say that once. I will agree that buying used is a good thing in certain situations but only sometimes.

SDBusDriver1979
SDBusDriver1979

If you sell 9 million copies and 3 million copies of a game and you are still losing money, there is something wrong with the way the company is being handled. Maybe stop wasting so much money on marketing and its not necessary to have a studio in every country in the world.

TheoleDominion
TheoleDominion

@ ensomneac - If you want to compare it to other PC games, I suggest you go to a PC forum. Consoles players could care less what it looks like on PC.

johny300
johny300

@ensomneac I read youre comment and assassins creed 2 cut scenes are really horrible i agree.

ensomneac
ensomneac

@Smarty, I can't judge the console version as I don't do consoles, so I can only go from my own experience which is PC. As far as a 2005 game looking better, F.E.A.R looks far better, as does Chaos Theory, and there are plenty more like Doom 3, Prey and Quake IV. All of them look better than Assassin's Creed, and they're 5 year old + games. The only part of this game that looks decent are the cities, but a lot of that is due to the art style.

Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

When did sega become samy? Who the f is samy to begin with?

Smarty12
Smarty12

@ensomneac OK, first of all I would like you to show me a 2005 game that looks as good as Assassin's Creed 2. And second I believe I mentioned the "pathetic" PC version, and I said that for a reason. Play the console version and then come tell me it looks awful.

ensomneac
ensomneac

@Smarty12, I played it on a PC with a 4890 factory OC and a Dell 24" Ultrasharp monitor @ 1920 x 1200 with everything on max. It's a 2010 game, it should look stunning, but it looks like a 5 year old game. If you don't understand why I think it doesn't have "great graphics", read my earlier post, I can't make it any clearer than that. However, none of the people who thinks it looks great can tell me why?

Smarty12
Smarty12

@ensomneac I get the feeling you played the pathetic PC version. The console version is a 2009 game and looks fantastic. If not, you're entitled to your own opinion, but I really don't understand why you think it looks horrible, even on the PC.

ensomneac
ensomneac

@Smarty12, I'm saying the graphics are dated for a 2010 game. Even the rendered cut-scenes look plain, with dull textures and no detail. Some of the characters look like they were drawn by an amateur. Some of the cities look OK, but anything that needs detail like people and animals looks simple and plain. I'm stunned that some people think this passes for good graphics. @Nolidusk, I never said the game was crappy, I own both games and enjoyed them. You're reading too much into what I said and are being defensive. I never said the game was bad, or anything about gameplay.

digi-demon
digi-demon

POP and all the other under cooked tat they are knocking out is killing Ubisoft - why no Beyond Good & Evil 2 / or an HD Collectors Edition. This game would sell well with a bit of decent marketing.

Nolidusk
Nolidusk

@ensomneac dude seriously I mean there a lot of crappy games with bad graphics and u say Ac2 is one of them??!! it may not be the prettiest one but hell is a excellent one indeed!

Smarty12
Smarty12

@ensomneac You're serious right now? You're saying that Assassin's Creed II looks horrible? Sure it might not be up to par technically with some other games. But the artistic direction in Assassin's Creed II is just superb and can make it look so much better than say Killzone 2 which has technically better graphics.

ensomneac
ensomneac

@Smarty12, I never said "graphics is all it takes to make a good game". All I said was the graphics weren't good, there's a huge difference. @Nolidusk, one day you'll actually see good graphics and realise how bad this game looks. You'd better hope by then your post isn't around to embarrass you.

Nolidusk
Nolidusk

@ensomneac you are the one who is blind if u think that ac2 has bad graphics go play a wii sports and have fun! duh!

topeira
topeira

i love UBI games. i do. a lot. my favorite games. i HATE the DRM and who knows what would their situation be like if they hadnd't invested so much money AND time in it and released the PC version with just another securom at the same release date as the console version. same release window, same hype window, less money invested into the DRM development. probably more piracy but the system got cracked after a month so will it hold against future games too? enough to warrant all it coasted?

Smarty12
Smarty12

@ensomneac You're the one that's blind if you think graphics is all it takes to make a good game.

Hizakii
Hizakii

Well all i know is them Rabbids getting all fat and pimp out coz of all that cash raked in

TheoleDominion
TheoleDominion

Well things would have been much better for sales if other titles such as EndWar, Hawx, and some other titles were better. Though some of these titles were ok or even "decent"(Prince of Persia), you certainly can tell that they did not carry the same quality and thoughtfulness as the Assassin Creed series does.

dRuGGeRnaUt
dRuGGeRnaUt

all this translates into is: People really liked Assassins Creed 2. Those numbers are INSANE (even know they did the shady thing of stating units sold to RETAILERS). The rest of their game line up must have been lacking, because they keep blaming the economy, but this year has seen some of the largest sales of games ever. Look at FF13, MW2, AC2 and many others, fact is, they are pumping alot of crap out lately, maybe trying to snag casuals or people that don't "research" their purchases.

MacenKrace
MacenKrace

[quote]and the company is reorganizing its studio system "to release new iterations of our major franchises on a more regular basis and guarantee high quality levels." [/quote] Not another EA lapdog... Does this mean one splinter cell per year, one PoP, AC and whatever per year? Don't take this path Ubi. Look at EA, how they failed and don't make the same mistake.

Aekom
Aekom

"Ubisoft posts $54 million annual loss". All that effort on the crappy PC DRM too, and it still got cracked! No pity for you Ubisoft, I hope you fall into the realms of administration...and please take EA with you.

lamprey263
lamprey263

I somewhat enjoyed AC2 but I've seen better games sell less, and I'm pissed they left out story to milk us for DLC, and everyone seemed happy to go along with it.

ensomneac
ensomneac

Quote "Great graphics". Anyone who thinks Assassin's Creed II has great graphics must be vision impaired.

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

I like Ubisoft..... never had ANY problems with them, it's a shame they are constantly losing money

ThePriestSeto
ThePriestSeto

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

TheClown24
TheClown24

Ubi are loosing sales because of their s**t DRM not a shrinking market, they need to get their act together as a large portion of the games they make are pc exclusive, e.g Silent Hunter 5 and The Settlers 7, both these were reasonable games but have had their sales hampered by the terrible DRM. The principle behind the DRM seems to be punishing those who actually bought the game to stop pirates, great f**k**g move which is just giving people another reason to pirate it. Well played ubsioft, well played.

prioritymail
prioritymail

With a $54 million loss, no wonder they are pushing AC Brotherhood out so quickly after AC2

strayfies
strayfies

"Good thing we paid that team to port it to PC and make that DRM!" Seriously, I wonder how much THAT cost them.

moh_sakhaii
moh_sakhaii

Ubi, I hope you burn alongside your DRM :D

Elian2530
Elian2530

Definitely not one of my favorite games.. but a great game nonetheless. Improved 1000% over the first Assassin's Creed. If you played the first one, the second AC is a gamer's delight!

bagehi
bagehi

Ubisoft is losing customers because their copy protection breaks the games of paying customers. OSP is better than Starforce (at least it doesn't compromise Windows), but until they find a way to keep their servers up continuously and magically prevent bandwidth loss on the internet, I'm not buying games with OSP again.

nick2shy
nick2shy

Now I am not so sure assasins creed blood lines will see a light of day on the pc.

Lord_Nelcot
Lord_Nelcot

If I came to your house and stole your stuff I would be a thief. If I hack a game and defacto steal someone's product I am an urban commando striking a blow against big bad game publishers. Someday we will all be hacking console games to get something to play on our PC's

AzelKosMos
AzelKosMos

How can he blame a shrinking market when Assassins Creed 2 shipped 9 million?

radical_saiyan
radical_saiyan

the only thing thats gonna "RE-ENERGISE THE CASUAL GAME SEGMENT" is getting rid of DRM. ubisoft = templars. scene groups = assassins.

pete_merlin
pete_merlin

Game came with my PS3, was really good while it lasted.

jweed
jweed

why are u all on here hating? yes the drm was crap but still they make great games.If this keeps up good game companies will start disappearing and no good games will keep coming out.

slainta
slainta

I don't see what's to complain about AC II. Great environment, great graphics, improved diversity on the missions. The combat is well balanced. And it's not that short either like many other games that to make the game play longer require 3 or 4 playthrough to get the Platinum trophy. What really surprise me is why the companies with the biggest titles are the ones keeping losing money. The video game maket is a mistery to me.

RIIIIKU
RIIIIKU

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

toyota22
toyota22

how can this game sell? same missions over and over.......:( sad day for gaming!:(

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

"Ubisoft posts $54 million annual loss" = well deserved. likely to implode soon, thank you very much, there is a god.

mickey_mickey48
mickey_mickey48

It'd have made bigger sales If the PC's version wasn't F**ked up!!

Maxor127
Maxor127

It would've been at least 9 million and 1 if it wasn't for the horrible DRM in the PC version. I'll wait and see if they ever release a GOTY edition with all of the DLC and no DRM, then maybe I'll buy it.

aspenjke
aspenjke

From what I hear, celebrity hacker SKIDROW hacked Ubisoft's servers - it's how he was able to introduce a crack for Splinter Cell within a week after its release. I'm guessing Prince of Persia is gonna meet the same fate on June 8th. You'd think they'd give up already and admit to the DRM being a failure. But I guess game companies don't give in to "terrorists' demands".

tarikm92f
tarikm92f

AC2 is good and it's worth every game collection