Ubisoft Comments on Watch Dogs 2 Selling Less Than Its Predecessor
Preorders were lower than expected prior to release.
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There were indications that sales of Watch Dogs 2 could be lower than those of the first game, and indeed that proved to be the case during its first week. For its part, Ubisoft remains optimistic that the pattern won't hold true during the upcoming weeks.
"We're incredibly happy with critics' and players' very positive reception of Watch Dogs 2, which should bolster support for the long-term success of the game," Ubisoft said in a statement shared with GameSpot. "It is true that first-day and first-week sales for a number of big games, including Watch Dogs 2 and titles from our competitors, are comparatively lower than previous versions in previous years." For reference, software sales in the US during October were actually up significantly year-over-year.
"However, we expect both week-two and week-three sales to be above traditional sales patterns," it continued. "There is a trend toward games, especially high-quality games, having stronger and longer 'tails' as favorable reviews and word of mouth spread. Watch Dogs 2 is already considered a tremendous addition to the open-world action adventure series and we're confident that millions of players are going to love it."
This sentiment echoes what Ubisoft CFO Alain Martinez said during an earnings call earlier this month. The publisher reported that preorders were not as high as it expected, but Martinez said that a positive response and strong post-launch support can lead to improved sales. Rainbow Six Siege was specifically cited; its launch sales were deemed "OK," but the player base picked up more strongly in response to post-release updates.
We haven't yet heard specific sales numbers for Watch Dogs 2. In the UK, GFK Chart-Track reports sales were down 80 percent compared with the original game. Note that this doesn't include digital sales, which are likely to represent a larger portion of sales for the sequel.
While the early reception to Watch Dogs 2 has indeed been strong, things have not been entirely smooth for the game. Ubisoft had to disable its seamless online multiplayer functionality prior to launch and has not yet turned it back on. Last week, it suggested it could be re-enabled over the weekend, something that didn't end up happening. It said today it's "making progress" and will share more information tomorrow, November 22.