Splinter Cell: Blacklist underperforms with 2 million sold

Ubisoft discloses sales figure for action game; Rayman Legends sales close to 1 million units.

Ubisoft's Splinter Cell: Blacklist has sold around 2 million copies to date, the publisher announced today during a financial call discussing results for the latest reporting period, where the French company posted a loss of $83 million.

Also during the call, it was revealed that Rayman Legends has sold close to 1 million units so far. The game was also confirmed for a release on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in February.

Both Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Rayman: Legends failed to meet initial sales targets, Ubisoft said last month, though it is not clear if that remains the case.

Ubisoft management also said during the call today that the company expects combined Xbox One and PlayStation shipments to reach 10 million units during launch period. This is the same figure that Electronic Arts is holding to.

Lastly, Ubisoft said South Park: The Stick of Truth, which was recently delayed to March 2014, is expected to sell 1-2 million units.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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255 comments
bk2fut
bk2fut

I wish more people gave SC: Blacklist a chance as it was a brilliant return to form for the franchise + the custom loadout options for single player really made me feel like I could make it my own. The unfortunate thing about Blacklist (in my view) is that it was jaded by SC: Conviction and possibly even Double Agent. Both are games I would consider disappointments. That said, SC: Chaos Theory set such a high bar that I think Ubisoft would be hard pressed to trump it.

jaredschwyhart
jaredschwyhart

I thought SC:BL was an incredible game! I give it 5/5! 

I loved the fact that you could be a ghost, panther, or assault! 


The problem isn't the studios (For the most part), it's the gamers expecting WAY too much! 

Because of the consumers unrealistic expectations, budgets have ballooned and can no longer support the industry. 


Back on point, SC:BL is an incredible game and if you say otherwise than you are just way too stinking picky and won't be satisfied with anything.


No, I don't work in the industry.

jgarbuz
jgarbuz

The simple truth is, that the bar has been thankfully raised so high in this medium that people want a homerun every time, and that cannot happen. ,There have been some great games over the last few years, but I can't expect each one to be an Uncharted 2 or a Last of Us. This is a good game, but not the most enthralling of the series, but objectively still fairly decent.

jgarbuz
jgarbuz

SC Blacklist is a good game, but if gamers cease to support AAA games, all we'll get is inferior quality Indiies and slash n' bash japcrap. I won't play those chintzy kid games. Either it's a quality AAA game, or I don't want it for free! Plenty of junk to waste time on out there. This is not the greatest game in the series but an excellent game nonetheless. But such quality costs money to produce and requires large audiences or those companies will cease to make them. It's that simple.

PlayerVid
PlayerVid

I can't speak for anyone else who decided not to buy this game but I can say that one of the key reasons I passed on SC: BL was because it seemed like just another attempt by a major publisher to try to please everyone. I have played enough to know that it is can plays very much like a stealth but initially it just seemed like they were trying so hard to alienate the fans who gave this franchise a chance in the first place. Also, why they thought replacing Ironside was a good idea I will never know. It's not just the fact that he was replaced, it the fact he was replaced by an actor who was clearly inferior and didn't bring anything new or interesting to an already well established character.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Yet another AAA publisher with pants-on-head retarded expectations for sales, where a multi-million seller is a failure.

I can't wait until these bloated publishers collapse and gaming can be set right.

thisBlueDude
thisBlueDude

South Park and the Stick of Truth will be the greatest game for current gen....unless Ubi manages to screw it up.

wallydog63
wallydog63

Oh gee, what a surprise.  There were a ton of people telling them this would happen.  They just thought they knew better.  Idiots.  Micheal Ironside was Sam Fisher, the voice helped make the man.  To replace Micheal and still say that this was Sam was more than wrong, it was idiotic.

This would have gone down so much better if they had made this in the SC universe, and made this one of Sam's top protégé's.  People wouldn't have complained about the voice, it would have been excepted much easier.  Plus they should have gone back to there old formula.  Nope, they had to be stupid and screw the game up in more ways than one.  Maybe someday they will actually listen and learn.  I'll stick to replaying the first three.

Printul_Noptii
Printul_Noptii

well at least they are doing better than Capcom right now :/

toyiba
toyiba

They fucked up with Conviction, and pissed people off, and no Ironside didn't help.

Just isn't good enough.

plm3d_basic
plm3d_basic

It's a damn shame that Blacklist didn't perform better since it's a pretty good game.  It might be due to the fact that there's too many games out at the moment or if people are saving up for the next console and aren't buying anymore current gen games except for GTA V.  Their next project should be a next gen Splinter Cell and forget about current gen. 

elbcen
elbcen

I am surprised about Blacklist' performance. Everyone I knew had the game, and there was a lot of Youtube exposure because of the online mode and etc. Maybe it was the pre-owned sales? 

As for Rayman Legends, I think Ubisoft are absolutely at fault here. The game's initial release date, which I believe was the quiet month of February,  was scrapped and it was moved to the busy season where many larger titles came out. It practically competed with Blacklist if I remember correctly. The only players who disregarded every huge title to get their hands on Legends were Wii U players like me who were just eager to play more games on the system. At least, that's how I see it.

sirapathetic01
sirapathetic01

How unfortunate. The game is solid with good stealth gameplay and giving the player freedom to choose how to go about completing each mission. 

I guess Ubisoft did it to themselves with a horrible glitchy and buggy Wii U port with unplayable multiplayer. Same with the PS3 and Xbox360 versions when their multiplayer had really bad issues.

themc_7
themc_7

too bad for Ubi. I thought blacklist was a great game. Good story, coop, and S vs. M multiplayer as fun. This should've sold better

sortajan
sortajan

Tom Clancy is dead, Michael Ironside was fired., and Ubisoft's reputation is terrible. This series is past its prime.

19James89
19James89

Splinter Cell: Blacklist may well have sold better on the Wii U if it wasn't a buggy, broken, gimped port and as for Rayman Legends had that been released in February liked planned I have no qualms that it would be one of the bestselling games on the Wii U as opposed to sitting at the lower end of the spectrum because Rayman Legends is an amazing game. 

As for the franchises themselves I think both are at deaths door in all honesty as shown by the sales figures, people have had enough of Sam Fisher and Rayman (which is sad) but hopefully this will either spur Ubisoft to make some wholesale changes to both franchises or do what EA has done with their failing franchises and put them on the backburner. 

Either way releasing Rayman Legends on the PS4 and One is a total and chronic waste of money.


JulyAeon
JulyAeon

it is not just ubisoft, almost all new games have bored me to death before i even got to halfway of the gameplay and i am pretty determined to get at least one full play through to judge a game.  AC3, TR Reboot, Far Cry 3 were noticeably underwhelming and did not grab my attention at all and i gave simply up very early.  all the emphasis on multi player does make itself known in underwhelming single player.  it should never mix and there should always be two editions of one game. a single player edition and a multi player edition and hey presto, there is the winning solution.  the argument that people only go for games with multiplayer is invalid, because multi players are always the over vocal orientated, where as the single players are mostly just buy and play. the whole moronic marketing of games has to change or it will end badly.  there just can't be one game that is perfect for the entire masses, that is impossible, our tastes are just too different.  it is not the gamers that need to adapt fast, it is the industry and of course the old brigade of publishers. innovation not indoctrination.  stop selling stuff you think we need persuading to buy,  sell us stuff we want.

realryupt
realryupt

I might be playing the devil's advocate part, but 2 million units sold is underachivingt? I am wondering what the initial target number of sales was. And i know making AAA games is expensive, but sometimes the expectations are just unrealistic.

kamikazeespleen
kamikazeespleen

Shame because its a great kick-up-the-arse to the franchise. Getting back to what it was known for as well as keeping some of the good new stuff. I think they should have waited for next-gen to roll around and have it as a launch title but I guess Watch Dogs and Ass Creed were both in that window already. I hope this doesn't deter them from making another one. The only bad thing about the game was no Ironside but I got used to it. It was very solid and looked beautiful on PC.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

Splinter Cell Conviction had a gripping storyline and stellar presentation and while being still a flawed game and far from roots, it was still better than this pile of cliches and features. So geopolitical mumbo-jumbo works only when you have stellar set-pieces to distract the player from it.

In other words Blacklist was promising on paper, but turned out to be flat-out boring, just like the first game in the series.

Vozlov
Vozlov

Anyone who is honestly dismissing Blacklist as 'not sticking to the roots' or claiming it has a lack of stealth simply has not played it.

The only thing wrong with the game is the fact they didn't have Ironside. They should of simply created a new character for the franchise. Fishers story ended in Conviction anyway.

Blacklist is literally the only decent product Ubisoft have put out in years, but no one has interest in Ubi products anymore because they are always the same thing, churned out every year with a new gimmick, all starting with the Assassins Creed series.

AC:Brotherhood killed Ubisoft creatively. Brotherhood should of been the multiplayer component to 2, whilst Revelations should have been the SP content. AC:3 was just diabolical. 

Far Cry 3 is basically AC:FPS, Watchdogs is basically AC:20XX. Added to that their complete degradation of every Tom Clancy series just shows how Ubisoft are completely out of touch and lacking in any form of substantial progression or innovation.

Sam_021
Sam_021

Played for 10 minutes, stopped playing.

rufusamatrix
rufusamatrix

There's a difference between the definition of AAA and Ubisoft's definition of AAA. 2M is a success by many standards, it's just never enough for the likes of Ubisoft.

bk2fut
bk2fut

@PlayerVid I can empathize with you but hear me out. Ubisoft unfortunately replaced Ironside as they have to move with the times, that is to say "AAA" titles are all beginning to use full performance capture (GTAV used the actors likeness and recorded them as if they were performing on stage or for a film). This means, that voice actors are going to be replaced if they cannot provide both the physique  and voice (the physical appearance being more important). Also, I will say I too felt skeptical of Blacklist as I feared Ubisoft was trying to please everyone and certainly they were, to a degree. But it is still a stealth game through and through. I play it on Perfectionist which removes the Insta-kill ability provided by "Execute" and also means that you cannot attack enemies head on (they will deflect you) and must attack from behind like a true ninja. Perfectionist also makes the non-stealth option virtually impossible as you die after 2 hits or so. All in all, I feel this game tried to return its franchise to form and it did a good effort at that, despite the bad name "SC: Conviction" gave the franchise. This game tries to shed that and return to true stealth, although I will admit there was one mission in Blacklist where you are on a train and it has a moment that is virtually impossible to stealth (Saw a YouTube vid of a pro fully ghost it, but its a lot of effort).

I will say, the script writers on this game did not give the actor much to work with and that (in my view) does hinder the game but it is a decent effort at returning to the ways of old. Hopefully the next installment will return to Chaos Theory more and kindly suggest that gamers either take the stealth option or don't play the game.

jgarbuz
jgarbuz

@Thanatos2k  


When they collapse because of guys like you, I'll have nothing worth playing at all. I don't want to go back to inferior PS2 graphics and to lo budget junk.  It's either AAA or F from me. This is a pretty decent game which I am just finishing up. Not the greatest in the series, but very good nonetheless. People shold stop bellyaching so much.

gorcstew
gorcstew

@wallydog63They chose a new actor because Ironside sounds like a 75 yr old frog stuck in an old age home with throat cancer. His voice was especially out of place in Conviction where he was playing a younger Sam Fisher but he sounded like he had laryngitis...or like he was imitating Christian Bale playing Batman. Stop acting like this isn't a subjective topic. I personally prefer the new actor to the old and find that all the voice acting in the game is more dynamic and that the actors really play off of each other and that made the cut scenes a lot of more entertaining and that the new actor is ACTUALLY voice acting instead of just trying to sound like a grumpy hard ass all the time.

jgarbuz
jgarbuz

@wallydog63  


Kids are complaining to much today and soon there will be nothing worth playing at all except stuff made for babies and retards.

jgarbuz
jgarbuz

@toyiba 

There was nothing wrong with Conviction either. Nice balance between stealth and shooter.

jgarbuz
jgarbuz

@plm3d_basic  

The way things are shaking down, the companies will just stop putting out AAA games. And for me, that would be a tragedy.

Dumachum
Dumachum

@sortajan Ironside moved on because of the direction the series and character was going.

C0v3rtUnis0l
C0v3rtUnis0l

@sortajan actually, splinter cell is dead because Micheal ironside has moved on and Ubisoft rehashing previous material from past SC games. Ubisoft has a reputation of consistently making good games.

This may have not happened if Ubisoft had made it a more traditional SC games like Chaos theory.

crognalsen
crognalsen

@JulyAeon 

I liked Far Cry 3 a lot.  It had a lot of great interaction with the environment.  I've never seen anything on the same scale.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

@realryupt expectations are always projected from the expenditures. With such an abundance of content, the game should've been a bestseller to cover the costs.

kamikazeespleen
kamikazeespleen

@realryupt My guess is their sales expectations has wildly increased over the years along with the budgets. Gaming didn't use to be as big as movies but considering GTA V is the best selling entertainment product of all time, its kinda hard for other companies to not look at it and aim for the same (well maybe not the same but as close as possible).

C0v3rtUnis0l
C0v3rtUnis0l

@Morphine_OD "it turned out to be flat-out boring, just like the first game in the series".

Wait what? The first game in the series was a benchmark to the stealth genre and kicked off the whole SC brand name that everyone knows about today!

kamikazeespleen
kamikazeespleen

@Morphine_OD Uwotm8? It DID have steller set pieces. The levels were great and flowed really nicely and allowing for multiple different playthroughs.

zahhibb1
zahhibb1

@Vozlov I completed Blacklist and it was decent för a splinter cell game, but far from the roots IMO. Some mechanics just didn't work properly. 

It had good amount of stealth, but how it worked was as bad as before.

When you hid the bodies in the darkness, they could still find them, If you sat in the darkness they could see you and too many forced action sequences/missions. Would really liked some good espionage missions instead of this.

About your points on FC3, AC1-3 I can't agree with. Far Cry 3 introduced some fun gameplay and simple, but decent crafting mechanics i've not seen in any FPS games in a while.

Assassin's Creed 3 lacked in variation but story and time period was good.

These are my opinions anyhow and you should stop saying things like you know better than anyone else, you don't. :)

Stebsis
Stebsis

@Vozlov I do agree with your point on Blacklist, but only decent product? What about Rayman? Or ACIV? Or Blood Dragon? And if you think FC3 and Watch Dogs are just some kind of iteration of AC, you clearly haven't played either of them. In what way do they resemble AC and even if they do how does it make them bad games? (At least I assume you think they're bad from the negative way you put it)

kamikazeespleen
kamikazeespleen

@Sam_021 You judge a 10 hour game on the first 10 minutes? Do people have attention spans of a carrot these days?

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@jgarbuz @Thanatos2k"It's either AAA or F from me" is exactly the reason gaming is so messed up nowadays.  When you have nothing to play that means I have tons of things to play, made by developers that care.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

@C0v3rtUnis0l according to you at least. Stealth genre was popular long before SC came about and no, it wasn't a benchmark. It became a benchmark only for SC series. It took Thief's stealth system and MGS's enemy patterns and packed it into a cliche Tom Clancy's geopolitical nonsense. Only during Chaos Theory did game shine at it's finest.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

@kamikazeespleen why would I bother to play past level 2? It didn't engage me with it's plot, it's characters, the gameplay was nothing new also. No one cares for your content if you don't have a proper hook to explore it.

Vozlov
Vozlov

@zahhibb1 @Vozlov 

Hiding bodies inside dark places doesn't make them vanish out of existence, and being in the darkness shouldn't make you literally invisible from people stood two foot away from you. To think otherwise is just idiocy, and a clear sign of gamers these days wanting a dumbed down difficulty for the sake of feeling 'badass' every single second and their lack of wanting a challenge.

I'd agree with forced action sequences, although the original games weren't entirely devoid of these anyway.

Far Cry 3 'introduced' absolutely nothing new to the industry at all, and imo was a completely mediocre title that sold itself on its name and pointless gimmicks. I'm shocked it actually got the scores it did.

The crafting was beyond shallow though, and in being so made the entire premise of animals completely redundant. I'd go so far as to say it was completely redundant anyway, considering the ease at which the game is completed. Animals were extremely poor regardless, nothing more than poorly animated creature quick time events ( AC3? ), how innovative and fun. If the crafting mechanics are the best you've seen in a while you need to expand your gaming horizons.

As for AC3. To say the story was good is probably the most laughable thing I've heard in a long time. It was completely nonsensical, boring, contrived and the ending was so anticlimactic it completely destroyed the epic series that preceded it to the point of no return. The time period gave them absolutely nothing to work with gameplay wise and showed nothing but a complete fantasy of the American revolution. The worst of the series by far.

Another example of Ubisofts endless desire to run every decent series they own into the ground. People hate on EA for this endlessly because of one or two series, yet for some reason Ubisoft get a free pass for this time and time again.

Vozlov
Vozlov

@Stebsis @Vozlov You're clearly blind to what lies at their core mechanics.

Far Cry 3: A free roam adventure that has both action and stealth, neither of which is innovative or impacts the difficulty of the game, as there isn't any difficulty. 

Each mission in this free roam world is completely linear. Every side mission is a half arsed bore ( that are incidentally the exact same as the AC ones, but in first person ). Add on to this a practically redundant weapon upgrade and skill system, as well as endless collectibles.

Note too, the use of 'synchronisation points' throughout the game, used in the exact same fashion. You're playing the exact same game, in first person with guns, whether you realise it or not.

Now I can't say for certain Watchdogs is going to be the same, but I believe, judging by the videos we've seen, it will have every single one of these elements in it, coupled together with a completely lacking A.I and a poorly networked multiplayer as in the vast majority of Ubisoft games.

You might love playing the same game from a different perspective with some new gimmicks year after year, but the fact is this kind of practice is destroying the industry, and Ubisoft are not doing anything in regards to pushing innovation, at all.

Sam_021
Sam_021

@kamikazeespleen @Sam_021 Bugs and problems killed the game for me, does not stand a chance. I've been a gamer for a long time and I know a crap game when I see one.

jgarbuz
jgarbuz

@Thanatos2k 

 Why would I want to play games that look and play similar to the ones I played on my old Apple II back in 1983? Silly arcade platformers, 2D baby games? Thanks, no thanks. I like interactive movies, not just jumping and slashing around with no rhyme or reason.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

@kamikazeespleen I don't care, that's the point I'm making. If the best of the game's content is located towards the end, you make up a plot and characters to keep the player invested in the game and to reward him for sitting through the filler. If anything, this game made me detach from Sam Fisher after Double Agent and Conviction, losing Ironside also didn't help.

I might give this game a try, but I surely hope that the plot starts moving after the second mission.

kamikazeespleen
kamikazeespleen

@Morphine_OD @kamikazeespleen The first level doesn't show what the rest of the game offers. That one felt a lot like Conviction but when you get to the later ones, it feels like old school Splinter Cell and more. You just need to give it a chance instead of dismissing it after half an hour.