Haze delayed as Ubi touts profits, Assassin's Creed sales

European game giant returns to profit in financial first half as its well-reviewed actioner moves 1 million units in one week; PS3-exclusive shooter now due in 2008; Splinter Cell: Conviction slips further into '08.


Les bons temps are once again roulez-ing at Ubisoft. The France-based publisher today reported its earnings for the six months ending September 30, the first half of its fiscal year. The period saw the company take in €261 million ($355.31 million) in revenue, a sturdy 51.8 percent increase over the same period in 2006.

Ubisoft also returned to profitability with €31 million ($42.2 million) in net income for the half-year, an obvious improvement over the €20.5 million ($30.3 million) loss it took the year prior. The company credited reduced research and development costs and "a solid level of back catalog sales" as reasons for the upswing. The company also pocketed €7.5 million ($10.2 million) as a result of a lawsuit and €14.3 million ($19.5 million) following the July sale of its stake in mobile-phone gamemaker Gameloft.

Looking ahead, Ubisoft is sticking to its guidance of €825 million ($1.1 billion) for its full fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2008. It is also sticking by its third-quarter earnings estimate of approximately €330 million ($449.24 million) in sales during its October-December quarter.

Ubisoft also had major announcements about two of its heavy hitters for the holiday season. First, it revealed that Assassin's Creed has sold--not shipped--over 1 million units worldwide in just one week. Currently available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the Ubisoft Montreal-developed actioner has received rave reviews by many gaming press outlets for its advanced graphics and deep storyline. (A PC version is due out early next year.)

Unfortunately, Ubisoft also had some bad news for PS3 owners. The Free Radical-developed shooter Haze, which had been one of the few high-profile exclusives for Sony's console this holiday season, has been pushed back to the January-March quarter of 2008.

Finally, Xbox 360, DS, and PC owners will also be disappointed to learn that Splinter Cell: Conviction has also been delayed. Originally due in the January-March quarter, the game is now set to ship during Ubisoft's next fiscal year, which begins April 1, 2008.

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