Ubisoft Q1 sales dive 51%

French publisher reports worse-than-expected April-June sales of $118 million, cuts full-year forecast.

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Ubisoft had a good idea that its first-quarter sales weren't going to win it any fans on Wall Street, projecting as part of its fiscal year-end results that the April-June quarter would see revenue slip 44 percent. However, even that dour prediction has turned out to be conservative. Reporting on its first-quarter performance today, Ubisoft said revenue for the three-month period came in at €83 million ($118 million), down 50.6 percent from the same period a year ago.

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The French publisher attributed the sales slip to three primary factors. First, Ubisoft said that its highly lucrative casual game business on the DS saw a significant drop-off in both catalog and new-game sales in Europe and the United States. Ubisoft's catalog business on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 also saw weakness compared to last year, when the publisher was still seeing strong Assassin's Creed sales. Overall market conditions were the final reason Ubisoft blamed.

Ubisoft does not expect conditions to improve during its in-progress second quarter. In light of the grim first-quarter sales, Ubisoft said that July-September revenue is now expected to be €80 million ($114 million), a 54 percent decline and well below previous estimates of €130 million ($185 million). During the quarter, Ubisoft expects to launch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Academy of Champions, and a range of casual titles for Nintendo's platforms.

Investors won't be the only ones groaning over Ubisoft's report today. The publisher also announced that it would be bumping four of its highly anticipated titles from its current fiscal year: Splinter Cell Conviction, Red Steel 2, Ghost Recon, and I Am Alive.

With the first-half sales weakness and game delays, Ubisoft also made the unsurprising move of cutting its full-year sales projections. Having previously offered full-year revenue guidance of €1.1 billion ($1.56 billion), Ubisoft now expects to bring in €1.04 billion ($1.48 billion), with operating income accounting for 7 percent of sales.

The publisher noted that fiscal first-half weakness stood as the largest contributor to this revision, as it had previously accounted for the delays in previous projections. As such, the publisher still expects to see 23 percent sales growth during the back half of the year, when it will launch Assassin's Creed 2 and Avatar, among other titles.

Discussion

79 comments
darklord_dragon
darklord_dragon

i agree with BarkLikeADog it is really stuipid to waste important reasources on makeing crappy games that you are tring to sucker 5 yearolds into buying

BarkLikeADog
BarkLikeADog

"During the quarter, Ubisoft expects to launch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Academy of Champions, and a range of casual titles for Nintendo's platforms." Jesus ubisoft. And you wonder why your sales are down? Quit funding crappy games. None of those will sell and quit making games for the DS. Its a total fail system unless you're making another nintendogs.

Alter_Echo
Alter_Echo

I think the lineup of games mentioned in the article is more to blame than the rough economy that ubisoft cited. Stop blaming others for your apparent reluctance to release quality software.

geedotherodian
geedotherodian

I love Ubisoft but they need to quit it with the shovelware they are spitting out for the DS and Wii, they are just enabling Nintendo :)

issizots
issizots

THANK GOD i'd have died if assassins creed 2 woulda been delayed. out of the 6 games i've already bought that's coming out and i've prepaid for 4 have been delayed due to "so called" losses in revenue(inwhich every company should have EXPECTED(losses) due to the global economy) there's no excuse to delay games like this. Sounds like to me that companies need better insight and oversight for their yearly calculations according to what's going on "real time" in the world instead of always projecting positive numbers why don't they also project negative numbers and already prepare for the loss instead of LET THE WHOLE FANBASE feel the pain aswell... because it does hurt...because somehow, I just feel assassins creed 2 just STILLLLLLLLLLLLLLL might be delayed.... and my damn bday is nov 15th...lol. oh ima be so heartbroken if it's delayed :/ can't wait for trophies though for assassins creed 2! also wish they'd patch assassins creed 1 trophies :)

actsai
actsai

Well if Assassin's Creed 1 still worth mentioning even now then Ubisoft did have a gapping hole in its lineup schedule. Far Cry 2 was not too shabby IMHO saving the SecuROM part, except both games are very repetitive after once over, and why AC1 has no online component to it?

imborg007
imborg007

Daaa! Where's the new Rainbow 6 with four player co-op? Lost along with their revenue stream. I'm a huge Ubi fanboy, but I haven't seen anything remotely interesting from them this year. With Splinter Cell postponed, I guess I won't be sending any "bail-out" money their way until 2010.

Spexter
Spexter

their sales dropped because they haven't released any good games recently...once they give us AC2,SCC and the rest their sales will go through the roof...unless they do something terrible and mess up those games(which i hope they won't)

thesaracen123
thesaracen123

With Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Avatar its no wonder why ubisoft is declining 54% SCC and I Am Alive will be amazing though

driver_unknown
driver_unknown

Well if they didnt hold onto games for as long as possible then they may see some profits.

jhobgoo
jhobgoo

This seems more dramatic and negative than it really is, IMO. With the economy the way it is for most of the world, a quarter or two of losses in a row makes the front page with a subtitle "Next Stop: Bankruptcy?" when it wasn't all that uncommon before the economic woes we've seen in the past few years. However, when you look at it from the industry perspective, you realize that major developers like Ubisoft don't exist because of casual gaming. Ubisoft exists because of the great quality of work they put into their AAA titles, and they are almost always slated for a strategic holiday season release. Ubisoft is in an off season, and I would guess (without having done the research) that they have produced less casual gaming Q1 this year than Q1 last year to save money, which resulted in lower profits. The numbers that will really matter is what kind of profits came in from Assassin's Creed 2, Avatar, Conviction, etc. When your big games don't sell well, that's when a development company should start thinking about making some tough decisions.

bagehi
bagehi

Apparently, they expected online content to be higher, but are expecting their releases to meet previous expectations. They're delaying games. Hopefully they are not rushing the others or they'll end up with more disappointing quarterly reports. That and millions of disappointed AC fans. My fingers are crossed. Please don't rush AC2 out before it is ready.

GiRiSh1982
GiRiSh1982

Assassins Creed 2 is no doubt gonna be huge for Ubisoft. The 1st game sold over 8 million copies, so let's say about 10 million for the 2nd game? The game's comin' out in November, so probably about 3-4 million sale before the end of the year.

pakhair
pakhair

A lot of delays Ubisoft, I think we only have AC left now, Avatar might b good but we haven't seen it until now......

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

Does nobody see what's going on here? This rush to $10-20 casual gaming is never going to bring in the money compared with $60 AAA titles! Because Ubisoft has moved away from hardcore gaming on the 360, PS3 and PC (hence lower income for those machines) and moved to casual gaming, it needs to sell 3-6 times more units to bring in the same money. It patently isn't doing that. On this site we have had multiple articles from so-called experts saying it doesn't matter, for example, that retail and AAA PC title sales are falling, as the income will be taken up by flash games and casual games. But these games, in many cases, are sub $10 games, which means you need to sell an awful lot more of them (maybe 10 times more!) An article recently said that casual game downloading will be worth a billion dollars by next year, and that may be correct, but I think it will replace three billion in lost sales of hardcore games that are coming out in much fewer numbers, and consequently selling less units.

Ruhdezee
Ruhdezee

I think that Ubisoft is just experiencing a drought before the flood. Now that their AAA titles such as Assasin's Creed II, Splinter Cell : Conviction, Avatar, and Red Steel 2 are all going to be released in the same quarter Ubisoft will see a huge profit in a short space of time.

Nintendo_Man
Nintendo_Man moderator

Yet they will release more shovelware, people are obviously sick of them.

badtaker
badtaker

Ubisoft are medicore developers.They only make good trailers not the game. I am worried about Splinter Cell Conviction

SkidRow18
SkidRow18

why worry, Assassin's Creed 2, Splinter Cell Conviction will be a huge hit

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

Seems like another red flag about the world economy. It is little wonder so few are hiring when very strong companies are experiencing such dramatic dips.

lhscouchmonster
lhscouchmonster

regardless of the economy, these numbers are awful. income is down by 33%? off on your projection by -6.6%...ouch

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

The gaming division as a whole is suffering during the summer, it's somewhat expected, but it really sucks when it happens to my favorite publisher/developer.

grant4500neo
grant4500neo

I saw this and all I thought was 'Oh sh*t, they are going to delay AC2.' but luckily my nightmare didn't come true XD

Hillsy_
Hillsy_

They should do better next year with the following titles..Splinter Cell Conviction, Red Steel 2, Ghost Recon, and I Am Alive. I can't see Ubi struggling too much. Assassin's Creed 2 will help this year. Then again, I won't be getting AC2 myself; gotta watch the pennies. Somebody mentioned earlier, 'get the more important titles released' - I have to agree with this. But...only when they are properly finished.

cid_007
cid_007

That's what you get for focusing on everything Tom Clancy, you Clancysoft!

lamprey263
lamprey263

I like Ubisoft, but there problem is they don't plan series out as well as they should, doing so would get them to at least have these games out consistently every other year, and it would be good too since they have a lot of interesting franchises like the entire Tom Clancy game series and series like the Raving Rabbids and Prince of Persia and now the Endwar is gonna be another series as is Assassin's Creed though, I also think they're not as much as a multiplatform publisher like they used to be, I mean they still publish games on every platform, it's just that their games aren't all big multiplatform titles, and that might have something to do with their sales slumping

Gorbash722
Gorbash722

Heroes 5 was pretty good, as were the expansions. Dark Messiah was alright for what it was. But what about a new Might and Magic RPG? The right developer could really craft an awesome new game for this dormant franchise. C'mon Ubisoft!

Djinnator
Djinnator

I'm super relieved that Assassin's creed 2 is still on schedule, and hopefully this decline will push ubisoft back on the straight and narrow and decrease this imagine crap. One or two imagine games are ok for a target audience but I swear when i last looked there were 15 seperate titles, that's too much crap spread too thin; there are only so many people that will buy it.

slipknot61174
slipknot61174

@ TheKungFool: Amen, brother. If Square would stop messing around with countless FF games for DS (I mean, seriously... I think there's a lot of gas in that particular tank, but they're making pretty much the same game over and over...) and the crappy rpgs that just aren't doing anything for the audience they're aimed at, we might actually get FFXIII this year. And think of the money they'd make if they went ahead and gave us fans what we want in a remade version of FFs 7, 8, and 9... But alas, I don't work for them, I'm just pissy cause I have to wait until next year for my FF fix.

gamer082009
gamer082009

I got much love for Ubisoft, they're truly one of a kind developer. But seriously, they haven't been releasing anything lately...so maybe Assassins Creed 2 will change things somewhat and start it off to a good start.

ChAoS_UNLEASHD
ChAoS_UNLEASHD

Inconnux you remind me of my friend, a big pc gamer if i've ever seen one, and you have no clue which games are good or not that come out for consoles cuz pressing buttons on a controller is too awkward for you, you can only click away on your custom mouse.

Pete5506
Pete5506

Thats to bad, but they do have a good line of games coming

NICKKELANIUS
NICKKELANIUS

thats gonna happen when you support microsoft

Vojkan80001
Vojkan80001

How can they be doomed when they one of the most impressive line ups in the industry? come on guys

ropumar
ropumar

I don't believe how clueless and ignorant some people are that they are saying Ubisoft is doomed because of ONE quarter. It depress me reading comments since make me lose faith on humanity

Inconnux
Inconnux

I can't think of any Ubisoft games I considered buying in the last quarter. Release games that gamers want to play and they will see an increase in sales.

Anthony414
Anthony414

@thekungfu- cheers as well :) Yea true S-E has released a lot of garbage recently. But it is a company that holds franchises like FF and DQ that are quite exceptional. Like you say hopefully FF13 can end their bad streak. Yea maybe I'm being a little rough on AC2 but from the previews i'm a little worried. What we've seen concerning SC Conviction looked more promising to me, and I'm not even a huge SC fan.

TheKungFool
TheKungFool

@ Anthony414 - Cheers :) AC2 might not be #1 priority to you and I, but it will be a huge game for many people. Point is, it would benefit Ubisoft financially to stop wasting time on smaller releases and shovelware and get the big titles out. Same goes for SQUARE-ENIX, who constantly wastes time with smaller titles, remakes, and cheap spin-off titles, when they could use their time and resources to get something like Final Fantasy XIII here sooner.

sun_rider95
sun_rider95

man they were a rival for EA if they fall someone else must fight with EA

SephireX
SephireX

Ubisoft is a decent developer. Assassins Creed was a great game but it was too repetitive. The sequel should fix the first one's mistakes. Conviction looks promising so I think they will get good sales this fall.

Anthony414
Anthony414

@thekungfool I agree with your post except that assassin's creed wasnt a good game and I'm not looking forward to assassin's creed 2.

TheKungFool
TheKungFool

In my opinion Ubisoft is making the same mistake many developers are; they're throwing out handfulls of mediocre titles instead of focussing thier efforts on A+ quality titles that will win over fans and produce a true sales driver. Its simple, stop wasting time and money developing forgettable Wii and Ds prots and shovelware, and get us Assassin's Creed 2 sooner. Then we'll actually be buying your games.

TheKungFool
TheKungFool

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

MissMorphine
MissMorphine

well im not surprised. the last ubi games hace sucked. bring R6V n GR back

TSOJaybird
TSOJaybird

May want to make Splinter Cell Multi Platform now guys. I probably won't buy it cause I don't really get into that series but a port to more consoles would have to help.

biggest_loser
biggest_loser

Well thats justice for some of the lousy ports they've released recently. The treatment of titles like SC: Double Agent was embarrassing. And from what I've heard most of the people who bought Far Cry 2 want their money back more than if it was owed to them by Bernard Madoff!!

taylormadederek
taylormadederek

Lets also not for get about this "In the February 2008 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, Editor-in-Chief Dan “Shoe” Hsu asserted that Ubisoft had ceased to provide all Ubisoft titles to the EGM for any coverage purposes as a result of prior critical previews and negative reviews" They think they are better than they are. You make a crap game you get a crap review...EGM was and will be great. I liked the one reviewers comment (Crispen) and how it went something like this " Ubisoft better not give me more of this repetitive Bull$**t in Assassin's Creed 2"