Ubisoft sales slide 42 percent

Assassin's Creed publisher sales plummet to €76 million for latest quarter; back catalog sales rise 56 percent to €60 million for the period.

Ubisoft today reported earnings for its first quarter ended June 30, revealing sales plummeted 42.2 percent to €76 million ($99 million). During the same period last year, which included the release of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Ubisoft reported €131 million ($171 million) in sales.

A bright spot on Ubisoft's earnings sheet were back-catalog sales, which rose 56 percent to €60 million ($78 million). Ubisoft attributed this result to a "solid performance" by Far Cry 3, Assassin's Creed III, Just Dance 4, Rocksmith, and Rayman Origins.

Digital sales were up 27 percent to €34 million ($44 million) during the quarter, driven primarily by Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. Blood Dragon has sold over 500,000 copies to date.

"Ubisoft's teams once again performed remarkably well at this year's E3 in a very competitive and dynamic environment. The event was an opportunity to fully confirm the potential of the next-generation consoles whose launch in late 2013 is synonymous with a new growth phase for Ubisoft and the industry as a whole," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said in a statement.

Sales for the second quarter, which sees the release of Splinter Cell: Blacklist (August 20) and Rayman Legends (September 3), are expected to hit €200 million ($262 million), up 35 percent from a year ago.

Ubisoft is currently holding a conference call to discuss results.

Written By

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

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Discussion

210 comments
CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

I think a lot of companies in general are having problems nowadays.... game companies in particular because a lot of people just don't have $60 to spend on a game that may or may not suck.... thus: they buy used.  I've been saying for a while that to avoid companies finding a way around used games entirely that sales of used games should throw a buck or two to the game company.  I know that doesn't sound like a lot but when that same game is picked up and resold a handful of times: lets say it's an extra 10-15 bucks per game to the game company.... when it sells new for $60 they get what, $40 per game?  If that's the case (and I'm completely shooting in the dark, just a figure for sake of argument) then that's an extra 20-30% per game!  And it might end up being more... as that game drops in price to 15, then 10, then 5 bucks; that company still gets that slice, and it wouldn't really inconvenience used-game buyers like myself.  Hell, I just picked up Gear of War 3 for like $10..... I'd still have picked it up if it had been 12-14 dollars.... still within my "Acceptable Cheap Buying" range.... and Epic or whoever gets a slice of the pie when I buy it and again if I trade it in and it gets re-bought.  Just my 2 cents..... Ubisoft is probably fine; it's likely systematic of the industry as a whole (and really of the economy as a whole)

LordCrash88
LordCrash88

Ubisoft income per platform in the first quarter of fiscal year (last year's period):

  • NDS: 1% ( 1% )
  • 3DS: 1% ( 2% )
  • PC: 20% ( 12% )
  • PS3: 23% ( 26% )
  • PSP: 1% ( 1% )
  • Wii: 10% ( 7% )
  • Xbox 360: 23% ( 46% )
  • PS Vita: 2% ( 2% )
  • Wii U: 3% (-)
  • Others: 16% ( 7% )


Drkr_Zen
Drkr_Zen

Uh oh, better bump it up to 2 AC titles per year...but yeah, no interest in Ubi from me, for a while. Most of their games are bargain binners, lately. 

Karjah
Karjah

Of course sales are down they have yet to release any titles since Farcry 3 that really got our attention.  Things will come back up with the release of Assassin's creed 4. 

darkeyez81
darkeyez81

I have no interest on buying any Ubisoft titles in Steam while they keep using their uplay drm. I just don't get it why bothering using a DRM on top of another DRM.

demonic_85
demonic_85

Well not sure how console players feel about it, but a lot of PC gamers are still irked by Ubisoft treating us like pirates. Even newer games like Far Cry 3 have issues with DRM (activation in this case).

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

I will be buying Rayman Legends used for the Wii U Ubish*t !

You know why too. Hope your company goes away sooner than later.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

AC3 sales have passed the 9 million unit mark, and this makes me a little sad.  I played the previous titles for hours on end, collecting every last feather and flag.

In my mind, AC3 was a big bag of missed opportunities.  The hope and excitement I had in the first 1/3 of the game was tempered by the shortcomings of the rest of the game.

I'm disappointed Ubi is being rewarded for something they should have kept in the oven another year.  This AC3 cake was half baked.

HuskerMetal
HuskerMetal

Yearly releases of AC will do that. Eventually the product will grow stale and drop in quality from copy n paste game making.

Divad222
Divad222

Considering Ubisoft didnt release any big titles, I am not really surprised. They'll he rolling in the big money once AC 4, and Watch Dogs release 

00LiteYear
00LiteYear

What is Splinter Cell even about these days?

allever
allever

Beautiful.  They create sequels.  Basically the same game with different graphics.

SKErwin
SKErwin

5 AC games in 5 years. Do the maths

BryanParksSuper
BryanParksSuper

Ubisoft sales figures will continue to slide. Why.....because they want to release a AC every year. Ubisoft is Activision with there COD. COD sells cause its COD. Ubisoft won't make a AC in our time, that is why the games fail every year.

The_Gaming_Baby
The_Gaming_Baby

Well I just bought Far Cry 3 in the Steam sale if that helps

19James89
19James89

I'm sure sales will pick up with Watchdogs, Rayman Legends, AC IV and Blacklist.

cboye18
cboye18

It is as if the developers and publishers are losing their touch with reality for the sake of money, doing everything opposed to what we want and treating us like garbage, and they expect to maintain good sales? Pfff what a waste of efforts...

CaveManCobb
CaveManCobb

The gaming industry is a lesson in failure.

SKErwin
SKErwin

More AC games doesn´t mean more sales

Atombomb1981
Atombomb1981

Years ago I used to buy a lot of Ubisoft games, a lot of classic titles.But nowadays, they release questionable quality games and infect them with their uplay drm. And they expect to have sales? At least Rayman Origins was fantastic and DRM-Free.


starfish75
starfish75

Ubisoft don't have too much to worry about, they make great games and are more consumer friendly then some of it's competitors. 

I didn't feel cheated when I bought AC3 and Driver, I did when I bought Sims 3 and Mass Effect 3

Gameloft, Ubisoft's mobile devision have an excellent library to.  Many people, including me, are not buying games this year so they have enough money for the new consoles.

Blackflag and possibly 'The Division' or Watchdogs will be in my initial purchases

Atombomb1981
Atombomb1981

DRM & milked franchises brought them here.

Ilikemyname420
Ilikemyname420

If they got rid of that useless piece of shit they call 'Uplay' (which was just hacked) then I might think about giving them money.

DanieLoves
DanieLoves

Is Eddie the only journalist on this site? 

dr_Mabuse
dr_Mabuse

... I had no problem with them. And my versions didnt even have DRM etc.

starfish75
starfish75

Another Tom Clancy game is coming out, The Division

dr_Mabuse
dr_Mabuse

... Or maybe its because we get them for free.... (though we are not allowed to discuss that here as if that makes it go away ; -)

Lhomity
Lhomity

@BryanParksSuper Because these are first quarter sales, and they had no major releases in that quarter. The last AC title sold 9 million.

Nice try though.

Setho10
Setho10

@BryanParksSuper AC doesn't fail every year. It does quite well on a yearly basis. And this quarter didn't see the release of an AC game and the highlight of their quarter according to this article were catalog sales of AC3 and FC3. So no?

derekscorp
derekscorp

@BryanParksSuper Except that the AC series is original, and each game in it is different from the last. (The fundamental mechanics remain the same, but the settings and stories are completely new each time.)

Lhomity
Lhomity

@The_Gaming_Baby Their back-catalog is already doing well, as the article points out, but I'm sure Ubisoft would thank you right now if they could =P

Lhomity
Lhomity

@SKErwin Actually it does.

Read the article again. It's talking about first-quarter sales (primarily Blood Dragon and Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. They had no AAA releases in Q1 2013). ACIII launched in Q4 2012 and has sold about 9 million copies to date.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

@Atombomb1981 Some Ubi exec somewhere is saying "think of all the sales we lost by not forcing consumers to buy Passports for Rayman Origins!!!"

Iffy350
Iffy350

@Atombomb1981 I hate it when I buy a game through steam only to need uplay or origin to play it. This DRM trend needs to die in a ditch somewhere.

CaveManCobb
CaveManCobb

@starfish75 Why was The Division the only one you put in quotes? Were you saying it like it wasn't real or something?

Lhomity
Lhomity

@Atombomb1981 Uh no. Releasing little more than Blood Dragon and Call of Juarez: Gunslinger brought them here.

These figures are Q1 2013 only. No big AAA releases in that period.

Assassin's Creed still sells like hotcakes.

Axile11
Axile11

@DanieLoves I wouldnt say journalist more like someone who reads others work and copy and paste them on this site, at best he is a plagiarist 

darkeyez81
darkeyez81

@dr_Mabuse Not the same case for every Ubisoft game, but FarCry 3 and Anno 2070 include the Uplay DRM.

starfish75
starfish75

@Iffy350 @Atombomb1981 DRM is better then serial numbers

Steam's DRM is DRm well executed and I feel consumer friendly

I don't want Ubisoft to change too much

starfish75
starfish75

@CaveManCobb @starfish75 I have no idea why I used quotes, the game looks good, I like the online integration and the small touches like shooting out tires from the promo video

Atombomb1981
Atombomb1981

@Lhomity @Atombomb1981 I must admit, despite all the DRM crap, that Gunslinger is really good. Assassin's Creed is not going in the right direction.

dr_Mabuse
dr_Mabuse

Hmm.. The version I downloaded didnt seem to have it. I had to copy some files from a folder into the gamefolder - but that was all. Quick and painless..

jackson2415
jackson2415

"Changing discs everytime I want to play a game is irritating."


^^^ First world problems... lol.

starfish75
starfish75

@Atombomb1981 @starfish75 @Iffy350  When you buy a game from Steam you are buying a game online.  You have to be online to buy the game and download it.  I don't have a problem with registering with an online key.  With a disc based game I have to enter a 16 digit serial which I may get wrong, plus I have to enter the disk into the machine each time I want to play it.  Changing discs everytime I want to play a game is irritating.  I even buy games from the Playstation store to avoid changing discs.

DRM done right, to me is a good system. Steam, Uplay

DRM done poorly, EA Spore, Xbox One is bad news

Atombomb1981
Atombomb1981

@starfish75 @Iffy350 @Atombomb1981 Steam? it might be better the other DRM crap methods, but it's still DRM... And the worst part is that it makes no sense for single player portion of the games. It's easier to distribute games and apply patches automatically, but it's basically something between a game and a player. Why would someone need something like that? And yet there are enough people to support this diseased trend, even praise it as being something great...  Yes the serial number DRM method has evolved to Steam Key. You still need the internet to activate your product, you still might not be able to enjoy your games because of region locks, poor or lack of an internet connection. And why? Because someone decided that to fit their business model in order to control the market.