Ubisoft beats Q1 guidance, sales fall 36%

French publisher narrows release window for Driver 3DS as April-June revenues come in at $146 million.


Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
Driver: Renegade

Ubisoft may have killed off Assassin's Creed 3DS, but the publisher isn't nixing all of the games it announced at the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo to support Nintendo's 3D-enabled handheld. As part of the publisher's earnings report for the fiscal quarter ended June 30, Ubisoft offered a narrowed release window for Driver: Renegade, saying the detective drama will arrive on the 3DS sometime before September 30.

Driver: Renegade will be peeling out before October.
Driver: Renegade will be peeling out before October.

Otherwise, Ubisoft didn't have much to get excited about during its first quarter. Revenue during the period fell to €103 million ($146 million), down 36.3 percent from the same period the year prior, when sales were fueled by the long-awaited release of Splinter Cell: Conviction. However, that performance still bested Ubisoft's guidance of €99 million ($140 million). As is customary for the company, net income (or loss) for the period was not disclosed.

The French publisher said that it saw an especially strong performance from its catalog of titles, where sales were up 84 percent year-over-year to €68 million ($96.6 million). Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, which arrived for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC in November 2010, sold particularly well, as did rhythm-game titles such as Just Dance and Michael Jackson The Experience.

Despite beating its own expectations for the first quarter, Ubisoft maintained its guidance for the full year. For the earnings period ending March 31, 2012, Ubisoft expects to earn between €1.04 billion ($1.48 billion) and €1.08 billion ($1.53 billion). Operating income is still expected to come in between €40 million ($56.8 million) and €60 million ($85.3 million).

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