Ubisoft posts reduced six-month loss

French publisher $46.9 million in red despite strong GRAW sales, looks to Splinter Cell and Wii lineup for holiday hits.

Today, Ubisoft reported its earnings for the six months ending September 30, 2006. The period saw the company enjoy strong continuing sales of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. US customers have scooped up more than 1.2 million copies of the third-person shooter since it went on sale March 9, nearly 900,000 of which were for the glowingly reviewed Xbox 360 version.

However, not even brisk sales of the latest Tom Clancy-inspired shooter could pull Ubisoft out of the red. During the six-month period, the first half of the Paris-based publisher's fiscal year, it posted an operating loss of 35.3 million euros ($46.9 million). While that was an improvement over the 43.7 million euro ($58.1 million) hit the company took during the same period in 2005, it came despite a 13 percent year-on-year spike in sales.

The increase in sales led Ubisoft to spin the numbers positively, with CEO Yves Guillemot saying, "The improvement in our results for the first half of the fiscal year reflects both a very good business performance and tight control of marketing expenditures." That said, the company did drop a cool 27 million euros ($35.9 million) to acquire the rights to the Driver and Far Cry licenses.

Given its holiday-heavy release slate, Ubisoft understandably tried to direct attention to the second half of its fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2007. "The third quarter of [FY] 2006-07 is off to a good start," said Guillemot "with Red Steel and Rayman [Raving Rabbids] in the top five sales on the launch of the Wii, and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell [Double Agent] and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six [Vegas] returning to the front ranks."

The presumption that the aforementioned titles will do well led the publisher to raise its minimum sales growth target for the 2006-07 fiscal year from 8 to 10 percent.

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132 comments
lwkiss
lwkiss

I bought splinter cell 4 in October and can't even play with my video card. ATI 9800 pro works fine with splinter cell 1,2,3 and any other games I have. Ubisoft suggested that I buy a new video card, they are really alot of help. I will not be buying anymore games from Ubisoft. Les

Autolycus
Autolycus

THEBUCK27: The reason you'll see an end is because of the money required to produce the games is too high and the turn around time before profit is WAY to long. Not because of MS, SONY, or NIN....

Echo_One
Echo_One

Rainbow 6: 'Let Down' didn't go so well eh?

TheBuck27
TheBuck27

I'd hate to see it happen but someday we may see the end of videogames which would really suck." I doubt games will ever come to an end. If Microsoft and Sony keep doing what they're doing, making games more expensive to make than they should be and constantly raising the bar for the price of hardware and software, they will fail in a couple gens most likely. But Nintendo knows what needs to be done to keep games popular for the long term. Lower price, lower standards for graphics, focus on the gameplay. Consoles that did that always ended up selling the highest and being the most profitable. The game industry will probably be very different in 10 - 20 years most likely, but it'll still be around and probably most of the same companies that are around now will continue making these games. At least that's what I think.

Devin103
Devin103

ya i saw a video of them explainin it and showin clips

Devin103
Devin103

isnt ubisoft the ones making the ninja turtles game.. looks tight

TheJoker003
TheJoker003

We will see what they do with the new games they bought and see if they make it any better.

Fauij
Fauij

its because the money they had spent buying 2 games...

games_pot1
games_pot1

They did buy two good games for 35 million.

LordAndrew
LordAndrew

It looks like their best Wii game was Rayman RR.

ConManWithGun
ConManWithGun

All those great games and thier losing money?

XlpranksterlX
XlpranksterlX

I like ubi both as a company and as a publisher.

Merl57
Merl57

Rayman Raving Rabbits is a great game. Can be frustating but great. I don't like the wii version of Splinter Cell from what I read from the reviews. Why leave out multiplayer? and why not spend more time polishing the controls?

LordAndrew
LordAndrew

I hope they don't make much money off of their Wii games.

Gamingcucumber
Gamingcucumber

Maybe they could learn something from this and stop making lame games for the Wii.

TargetDog
TargetDog

Steel Samurai: Rainbow Six Vegas is waaaaaay better than that Lockdown crap and it's probably the best Rainbow Six game in the series IMO. You should try it.

djord02
djord02

Rainbow Six: Vegas has been a spectacular game so far, and Splinter Cell: Double Agent is pretty good as well.

DaGame300X
DaGame300X

"...looks to Splinter Cell and Wii lineup for holiday hits." Who are they joking, their Wii lineup are some of the worst of the worst, those will actually bring them loss instead of gain.

cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

Let's hope that they will come back strong, cause they have some really good games.

SteelSamurai101
SteelSamurai101

With the exception of pop, ubi have ruined every franchise they've touched. FCI: Evolution, GR:AW, RB6 Lockdown, SC: DA, Dark Messiah; they've all either been rubbish, watered down or plagued by sloppy coding, bugs and poor design choices. Assassins Creed is their last hope, I hope it's good I really do; it has the potential to be awesome, but ubi have a track record that makes even atari blush - and they put out driv3r and path of neo. (In fact pop was only spared thanks to the guiding hand of creator jordan mechner.)

Konfusion
Konfusion

Red steel dissapoints, but raving rabbids rules. Go Ubi!

nappan
nappan

KickinIt_ftw has it right, this is expected. It's going to take some time for them to get back in the black, but this is akin to pharmaco R&D costs needing drug shelf time to recoup the expenditure and get a profit. Also, 46 mil may sound like a lot, but it's nothing that will cause a downgrade in their stock or any waves in the financial community.

KickinIt_ftw
KickinIt_ftw

This isn't as bad as it sounds. Pumping out launch titles, on new hardware, for two-thirds of the console market is a pretty costly affair. After adding in the costs involved from buying up IP's like Farcry, a $46.9 mil loss for the period sounds about right. ...No need to panic. ;)

stain1ess
stain1ess

"They'll never make a BG&E2. The first one sold like 20 copies" Thats one for each console Sony managed to ship

mitchgray187
mitchgray187

I think for any company it is hard to make profit these days and eventually i can see all or most companies going under. It costs millions of dollars just to create these games.And these days there are so many people burning they're games and finding ways to pirate them.So these companies are loosing money and going under.It happened with Working Designs, Acclaim. And every time a new console comes out the games get more expensive to make which means the companies have to sell twice as many and half the companies aren't selling what they need too.I'd hate to see it happen but someday we may see the end of videogames which would really suck.

OldWiseBob
OldWiseBob

I shall be supporting them this Christmas by buying Rayman for the Wii. It's one fricked up game. Hopefully Ubisoft will do better this time around. I like them as a company and the games they develop.

brandontek
brandontek

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

Autolycus
Autolycus

reviews are written by biased people who SAY they have unbiased views, so i dont really believe many reviews. they seem to only look for graphics and innovation...

Dante565
Dante565

As soon as assassins creed hits stores Ubi will make alot of profit back so I dont think there is too much to worry about here for now.

aashkii
aashkii

I have respect for Ubi. I am gonna get Rayman RR soon, once I get a Wii of course. But having over 10 games at the Wii launch and launch window is asking too much for the consumer. Then again some of them are worth playing and some are not. Some of Ubisoft's games like Red Steel had mixed reviews: Gamespot gave it a 5.5 and Nintendo Power gave it an 8 or 9 in their reviews. Heck NP gave Splinter Cell for the DS an 8.5 while the rest of the reviewers gave them bad scores. One of Ubi's game I want for the Wii is FarCry. If it gets great reviews, then I might get that in my list (waiting for a review from Gamespot or other reviews out there.)

jdknight21
jdknight21

I would have some sympathy on them if I hadn't touched a couple Wii titles they put out. You can easily tell after playing them they were done to make a quick holiday buck. I did lose some respect for certain studios w/in Ubi. However Red Storm and their Montreal studio still gets much love from I.

qiwihead
qiwihead

I wouldn't be too worried about this report if you're an Ubi fan. This is only for half the year, and the slowest half at that. As this article says, most of their blockbuster games come out during the holidays. The other thing to keep in mind is that all pubs and devs are having to spend a lot of money gearing up for next-gen development, which will impact their profits for a year or two. I would be surprised if Ubi ends up losing money for the year.

ahmad_the_man
ahmad_the_man

Ubisoft shouldn't worry, Assassin's Creed is one the way!

witchhat
witchhat

Don't release **** games like Dark Messiah bug fests then :)

dchan01
dchan01

They'll never make a BG&E2. The first one sold like 20 copies.

Autolycus
Autolycus

maveric_xz I couldnt care less, thats what you get for rushing your BS games on the Wii. Far cry better be good- -----Do you even know a good game when you see one? EA doesnt make any so pick another one please

fastpunk
fastpunk

Ubisoft actually offer some quality games so it's only fair they do well, and they will do very well this winter...

maveric_xz
maveric_xz

I couldnt care less, thats what you get for rushing your BS games on the Wii. Far cry better be good-

UptownSnip3r
UptownSnip3r

time is money...so they will make it some how

t3tra
t3tra

Come on everyone! Buy Ubi stuff so they will make a Beyond Good and Evil 2!!!!

freshfreddy
freshfreddy

and then, there is also Brothers in Arms Hell's Highway that should help them (together with Assassin's Creed) for PC sales. H'sH looks, from what I have seen so far, amazing :)

makemeweak
makemeweak

They'll be fine. Those kinds of losses aren't that bad in corporations. They'll come out in the black, I'm sure.