Ubisoft revises earnings, reveals delays

Strong Assassin's Creed sales boosting French publisher's guidance; EndWar, Brothers in Arms, Far Cry 2 pushed to fiscal 2009; new browser-based Heroes of Might and Magic announced.

Ubisoft gave investors some news to smile about today, while at the same time delivering a spoonful of salt to gamers. The publisher today revised its fiscal 2008 earnings projection upward and simultaneously bumped a trio of its anticipated upcoming titles to fiscal 2009.

First, the good news. For the fiscal year ending March 31, Ubisoft is now expecting sales of €840 million ($1.21 billion), up from initial projections of €825 million ($1.19 billion). For the third quarter alone, the publisher is expecting €410 million ($594.5 million) in sales, versus prior predictions of €330 million ($478.5 million). The publisher also noted that operating income has been revised up from 9 percent to 12 percent of sales.

Ubisoft attributed its upward revision primarily to events in the Middle East circa 1191. Assassin's Creed, developed at Ubisoft's Montreal studio, has been performing exceedingly well at retail for the publisher, with Ubisoft claiming that the well-received action adventure game has moved more than 2.5 million units at retail since it took to the streets on November 13. According to Ubisoft, the game's debut performance has earned it the distinction of the fastest-selling new gaming property in the US. The publisher is now expecting the game to sell at least 5 million units by the end of its fiscal year 2008, a number previously pegged at 3 million.

Aside from Assassin's Creed's success, Ubisoft attributed its windfall in operating income to less-than-expected research and development costs due to the delayed release of Tom Clancy's EndWar and Brothers in Arms Hell's Highway for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, as well as Far Cry 2 for the PC. All three games are now slated to arrive sometime in fiscal year 2009, which runs from April 1, 2008, to March 31, 2009. Reporting on its half-yearly financial results in October, Ubisoft delayed four other unannounced titles out of fiscal 2008, one of which is part of a franchise and three that are new properties.

Making its initial projections for fiscal year 2009, the publisher said that sales are expected to hit €975 million ($1.4 billion), riding the launch of Tom Clancy's EndWar and three other new properties, as well as new installments in seven franchises, including Brothers In Arms, Far Cry 2, and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, and new games in its casual series of games, including Imagine, Petz, and My Coach.

There's one last bit of news out of Ubisoft's camp today. The publisher announced that a Web browser-based installment in its long-running Heroes of Might and Magic franchise would launch globally in spring 2008. A strategy game, Heroes of Might and Magic Kingdoms gives aspiring warlords the ability to control a virtual kingdom set in the Heroes universe. Details on the game are still sketchy, but Ubisoft promises players the ability to battle it out with large armies, to master trades, and to create heroes. Beta registration is currently under way through the game's Web site.

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122 comments
gshugar
gshugar

I want Heroes 6!!! And want it fast!!!

Lion55
Lion55

PLEASE RELEASE A DEMO!

Rx_Nightmare
Rx_Nightmare

Dang..I want BIA Hells Highway. They better keep their original Q2 2008 Release date because im not waiting until Q4 of 2008 or H1 of 2009

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

well assassins creed was really good, the other upcoming games look good too

jazilla
jazilla

I love when editor's of a gaming publication talk about business terms. Most people that read these forums don't understand what a fiscal year is, much less care. You have to let people know that these games can still come out in 2008. All the kids see is 2009. Please start writing this stuff so your reader base can understand what you are saying.

juggalo
juggalo

nuts....more waiting

zath5
zath5

I want tom clancy end war pronto...i pray it comes out april 2nd

kratos_karmakar
kratos_karmakar

in my opinion anything that has the ubisoft logo on it deems to be checked out properly. usually their s**t rox. this is how i put 3rd party publishers on a top ranking list 1. ubisoft ,capcom, valve, 2k 2. activision, eidos, 3 4 5.... 999.EA

postbox
postbox

i think r6 vegas 2 will fill up the missing games for q1 of 2008

jokey
jokey

always delay delay delay, i hope they come up with some other titles aswel :)

345669
345669

Great, HMMK looks good. Didn't expect these UNI games to be pushed back to 2009 though

denter21
denter21

Considering they it's previous release for Far Cry 2 was Q2 2008.. Fiscal '09 isn't really much of a delay. There will no doubt be further delays though, I can see a SPORE type thing happening here (as much as it pains me to bring up that topic), since they seem pretty ambitious with the whole fire propagation realism thing they are going for.

razu_gamer
razu_gamer

Ubisoft please make brothers in arms road to hill 30 good.

coolcat888
coolcat888

NOOOO! Not brothers in arms! I was expecting to be playing it before 2007. I could handle the delay date in 2008, but now that it COULD be pushed back 'til 2009, AAAAARGH!

MetalZombieII
MetalZombieII

Maybe if I spread the sentences out, the people complaining will understand this better Fiscal year 2009 doesn't mean the actual year 2009 FISCAL YEAR 2009, runs from APRIL 1, 2008, to MARCH 31, 2009 So calm yourselves and read more carefully, those games could be out as early as APRIL 2008. I doubt it, but they could.

FremenSquid
FremenSquid

Wow...at first I thought it was good to push back the games to next year so that they don't turn out bad. But until 2009? I think they're pushing it. As Timeshift taught us, spending a long time on a game doesn't neccessarily make it good.

furqan2006
furqan2006

I think the one of the Unannounced title is Prince of Persia 4 which i think is coming out with the Prince of Persia Sands of Time Movie.

Homerj
Homerj

"Guillemot said the success of "Assassin's" allowed Ubisoft to delay until after the holidays the release of "Haze," a first-person shooter for Xbox and PS3 in which players can turn enemies on one another." From an MSNBC interview with Yves Guillemont, Ubisoft CEO. Looks like Yves had a little slip of the tounge there. Too bad so sad SFBs

Olly464
Olly464

so haze is also gone to "fiscal 2009"? wtf

bigelf72
bigelf72

@sarge1938 It's the FISCAL 2009....which means sometime from April 1, 2008, to March 31, 2009. That doesn't necessarily mean that you will have to wait till 2009.

crazyslopytalk
crazyslopytalk

to be honest delays dont bother me. Its not like the franchise belongs to you is it. They can delay it all they want. There are plenty of other games out there, and things to do apart from games for that that matter. sarge1938 you are totaly gonna buy that game, cos brothers in arms main problem was it didnt look that great and the battles felt too small. Well thanks to next generation that will be solved. It will be good

L_i_o_n
L_i_o_n

i still love ubisoft more than EA... better quality games

sarge1938
sarge1938

UBIsoft: as for delaying the Brothers in Arm Hell's highway until 2009, we the players have enjoyed the WWll series and have been waiting for release in late 2007, then first quarter in 2008. i refuse to wait untill 2009, i'll never buy another Brother in Arms game thank you for nothing. Play games with the maney that brouth you to the dance.

MaxNumberOne
MaxNumberOne

Tom Clancy's EndWar will release for PC, this is good news but I hope the release date will in soon 2008

setnickgo
setnickgo

I think that it's definately Assassin's Creed that brought that much money in, just bc they promoted it like crazy and it sold so many copies.. However, I would've like to have seen more detailed fighting in the game....overall I liked it ^_^ Also made a fanvid if you guys wanna check it out at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5h3DHhIqPSw

mckaine
mckaine

I'm gonna kill these guys. Don't give a release date if it's not quite done. Announce the release after you have something you're willing to sell. Oh well... I guess it's better to wait another five years for BiA:HH than to have it now and it be crap...

pupster
pupster

I'm just glad it's only a delay, for Far Cry2. Glad to hear it's not shelved

staley6565
staley6565

Assassin's Creed masterpiece?!?! Next time they should put actual combat in the game, enemies that aren't completely useless, non-repetitive questing, and some coherent voice acting....then they might have a masterpiece on their hands. Not a giant sandbox with easy mode I stick to everything platforming. I was dissapointed even with the money I spent on a rental...

Chaudzff
Chaudzff

Stop complaining at Ubi they can't help the delays! Unlike a lot of other companies these are mainly development delays so we aren't stuck with pieced-together ports that we'll just complain about more! 'less-than-expected research and development costs' - nice one ....lol if only all companies had these....

bodylotion
bodylotion

All games could be good but i think Brothers in Arms might be the best choice for me but it's also because the game will be played in my town.

beckoflight
beckoflight

Thats what you get for making masterpiece's UBI ... keep it up .... & bring Assassins Creed for PC faster !

MetalZombieII
MetalZombieII

valcrist09... and anyone else freaking out about the games being pushed back, their fiscal year 2009 doesn't mean the actual year 2009, FISCAL YEAR 2009, runs from APRIL 1, 2008, to MARCH 31, 2009. So calm yourself and read more carefully, those games could be out as early as APRIL 2008. I doubt it, but they could.

v8nnwilder
v8nnwilder

I also realized that I no longer freak out if games get delayed... I mean rather that and get a game that has no problems or bugs in it than get something that does... look at Assassins Creed... Very cool game and I enjoyed every moment of it but I feel it might have been rushed out and that it could've been and should've been so much more. if they just took more time on it it might have been 10 times better than it is... Or Kane & Lync??? Could've been up there with the best but it also lacked alot because it was "rushed" to meet deadline... Just my opinion thou... Use it don't use.

peacenutman
peacenutman

I only want Far Cry 2, but my PC sucks.

valcrist09
valcrist09

wtf 2009 for brothers in arms and Far cry 2?? good god? was Brothers in arms just a lie to get people excited? it was suposed to come out in Nov but delayed due to the packed Holiday and a little more time to polish and fix AI and now its sched for 2009? gfg..

WalkinRobot
WalkinRobot

I want Farcry 2 and Brothers In Arms..... I dont care for the others

kiwiman69
kiwiman69

well delashmutt1980 all you can do is either just wait for the awsomeness of EndWar or cryogenicaly freeze yourself until it comes out

DeLashmutt1980
DeLashmutt1980

wow... Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, RockBand, etc. and now nothing... The first part of 2008 is seriously going to be release-less! I mean how many more times can I beat Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed? Going to be... so... bored...

heysupman
heysupman

Dam End wars delayed...I know it was for the best but i have bin wanting this game since it was announced:(

JackfnBurton
JackfnBurton

I think I can live with game delays. After all, I do have a job to go to every day. It isn't like there aren't a zillion other games to play or things to do in the mean time. In the mean time, I will clear some shelf space and patiently wait. LOL

ObjectiveTruth
ObjectiveTruth

How about releasing some END WAR Ingame footage! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

DarthKalo
DarthKalo

Why are so many people bashing Ubisoft for the delays, unless nobody cares about quality anymore? They are trying to make the game better.

osxgp
osxgp

Ubisoft rules. Can't get enough of the Tom Clancy games. Vegas 2 baby! Delays don't bother me if the game turns out better for it.

bam4280
bam4280

wow they make one good game and it goes to their heads. I WANNA PLAY ENDWAR!!!

aaronbecerril
aaronbecerril

What!!!! this is incredible how could they delay End War and Brothers in Arms this is the worst news ive heard!!! NOOOOOOOOOO i at least hope theres a demo for this games in PSN

masterchief1994
masterchief1994

No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't beleive they delayed END WAR!

mikep09
mikep09

Like I care that they make billions... Why would I be interested. If I were to see some of that action, it would be a different story. Yea, sure, delay more games. That's all you're ever good at.. ****ing bastards..