Assassin's Creed II slays 1.6 million in one week

Ubisoft says internal sales reports shows critically lauded sequel outselling original by 32 percent.

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The most major game left on Ubisoft's fourth quarter release slate is the movie tie-in James Cameron's Avatar, due out December 1 for the Wii, DS, PC, PSP, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Unquestionably, though, the French publisher's heaviest holiday hitter is Assassin's Creed II, which shipped last week to glowing reviews (see below).

Ezio outpacing Altair's killing spree at retail.
Ezio outpacing Altair's killing spree at retail.

Luckily for Ubisoft, the game's rapt critical reception has apparently translated into red-hot sales. Today, the company announced that, according to its internal estimates, Assassin's Creed II sold--not shipped--over 1.6 million units worldwide during its first week of release. That pace is 32 percent faster than the original Assassin's Creed, which remains the fastest-selling original IP in the US two years after its launch, according to the publisher.

Ubisoft expects sales of Assassin's Creed II, Avatar, and other games like Rabbids Go Home (Nov. 1) to boost its current quarter earnings to €540 million ($803 million), a year-over-year increase of 6 percent. If that comes to pass, it would be a welcome cash injection into the company's coffers. Earlier this month, the Paris-headquartered publisher said that sales sank 52 percent during the first half of its fiscal year to €166 million ($247 million), down from €344 million ($511 million) during the same period in 2008.

Assassin's Creed shipped November 17 for the PS3 and Xbox 360. That same day, two portable spin-offs launched: Assassin's Creed II: Discovery for the DS and Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines for the PSP. A PC edition of Assassin's Creed II is due out in early 2010, with an iPhone tie-in also released last week.

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