Ubisoft Comments on Watch Dogs 2 Selling Less Than Its Predecessor

Preorders were lower than expected prior to release.

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Now Playing: Watch Dogs 2: Ask the Reviewer - The Lobby

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.

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Avatar image for deactivated-5ad5af79a96e8

I think they made a mistake not continuing the game with Aiden Pearce, because the people that liked the original game I think liked him as a character. Had he still been part of the game I would probably have pre-ordered. But with a new guy and what seems like a less serious story ... just not interested, and I liked the first game.

Avatar image for urbanman2004

I think it's b/c the protagonist is black... Nuff said

Avatar image for omnichris

You know what I think. People are burnt out on openworld / sandbox games. As am I. It's starting to get repetitive. Something new is in order. I don't know what. Or perhaps give us some linear games every now and again. I miss those type of games. Linear games with good stories. I find linear games to have much more variety than open world anyway.

Avatar image for deathswagga

@omnichris: Dishonored 2

Avatar image for uncle5555

Release it so close to BF and people want sales...I've been waiting for $35 if I don't see it I'll wait.

Avatar image for clay544888

What I want to know(and a bit off topic) is why do these companies charge like $120 or more for the complete game when in the past, games were $60 and you got the whole game and used cheats to unlock the secrets...and what's more surprising is that this has continued for effin years and people are just going along with it like ****ing normal! Why are people putting up with this s***???! Even great games like Battlefield 1 are doing this nonsense still...I'm starting to think they can get away with it easily now because the graphics are now so pretty that the game "looks" like it's worth more than $60 so people tend to fall for the illusion...that's just my perspective though..but it's really annoying and it's bull****...

Avatar image for utimagus

@clay544888: The reason is out of that 60$ a publisher gets about 30$. A typical game, take watch dogs, cost 68 million to make. That is 2.3 million games sold at full price to break even. Want to make more games, gotta generate more revenue than break even. Watch Dogs sold 4 million units (no idea on the breakdown), let's assume every copy was full price. That's $136m before dlc to invest in more games. You don't want to spend all of that on a single game or spend it all period. So you make dlc to generate more revenue to act as a buffer and shore up costs on future works.

A lot of people would flip out if games jumped to 80 or 90$ a game for a "full experience". I've yet to encounter a game (exception deus ex: md *eyes them* and maybe destiny depending on how far down the rabbit hole you go) that didn't give a complete story in a base game.

Given something like 60% of people don't even finish the games they buy (least on psn), game sales would decrease. Means less revenue, which means fewer games or less "risky" games. Game developers and publishers are in business to make money. the overwhelming majority of people cannot fathom what 68 million$.

tl;dr: Buying the game is for what was done, buying dlc is for the future of what can be done.

Avatar image for clay544888

This game sucks...that's probably why, duh Ubisoft! It looks like some poser trendy game that follows the latest trends and fashions and has crappy gameplay with no blood and lack of slick polish...crap Ubisoft, just crap..this company used to be good too...

Avatar image for rumadbrah

Considering the first one wasn't anything special. No one should be surprised that this happened.

Avatar image for halflife1

All it is a GTA rip off mostly.

Avatar image for That-Guy-Jeff

I liked watchdogs 1, however I can only speak for myself, but Ubisoft has just been dropping the ball. Every Ubisoft game I got after watchdogs has had some annoying problem when released. I'm just tired of being burned by ubisoft and haven't got a game of theirs since rainbow six siege.

Avatar image for Kodiak

After the reaction to Watchdogs 1, I'm not surprised the sequel didn't set the world on fire. There was gonna be a backlash after the last game got so much hype and failed to deliver the goods.

Avatar image for Alecmrhand

What? You mean a game about the worst kind of millennial trendiness, centered around a city everyone outside of the Bay Area doesnt relate to, with a story so self serious, hypocritical and tone deaf it literally makes you do what you are supposedly fighting against while also making murdering civilians a big disjointed joke.

I never saw that coming.

Well, actually i did, but because 90% of games journalists live in or operate in a coastal echo chamber, they didnt.

Im not saying they arent doing their job, or even not doing it well....its just that there is so little diversity of perspective in games journalism, they dont even consider what most of us are thinking.

Take your 3 favorite video games websites....now ask every single reviewer, on air talent, and editor, who they voted for in this past Presidential election.

If you find 3 Trump voters id be surprised. There are probably are zero.

While that is the case, there will always be some stories, trends, and market events that are seemingly inexplicable or unpredictable.

Its a big nothing burger in the grand scheme of things, because there are still enough dollars to keep the few outlets left, going and great personalities can work wonders.....but if someone ever has the forethought and guts to bring in a true "red state" voice, they will have a crystal ball into the point of view of a huge wealth of "fly over country" gamers....and their dollars...... who are ignored and looked down on....or at least feel that way.

Watch Dogs 2 is an inside joke for San Franciscans. Most of us were never going to skip Titanfall, CoD, Battlefield, Mafia 3, etc to buy it.....there is only so much cash in our wallet these days.

But hey....what do i know. Im just a guy from the comment section....we know what we think of those people.

Avatar image for rai_ji

@Alecmrhand: Woah dude. Easy there. You make some very interesting points, but you have to chill. Also, I love the fact that you go on a sacrosanct rant and in the end just nonchalantly chuck in a "what do I know" to finish it off

Avatar image for Alecmrhand

@rai_ji: Welcome your feedback, and im sorry if i came of angry...i really am not. I was just stating my opinion in relation to the facts brought up in the article.

The "what do i know" was a sarcastic remark knowing that some would probably dismiss my thoughts as merely a typical "comment section" bomb thrower. Which was not at all my intent.

I love Gamespot...Its the first site i check every day. I truly dig the people here that work hard every day to bring us the news, and entertain us....

Its just obvious to me that there is a chasm of perspective between the San Fran peeps that are at the center of gaming journalism and many of us in other parts of the US.

I think they could do an even better job if they had access to points of view outside their echo chamber....that is all.

Nothing but love for the Gamespot crew, though.

Thanks for letting me know i was coming off harsh....i never meant to.....

Avatar image for barcaazul

I think gamers are getting wary of games releasing nothing like the trailers, multiple editions that suggests the base game is lacking content and dull game play in general.

I pre order very few games, but would be super wary of pre ordering a Ubisoft game right now.

Avatar image for CrouchingWeasel

The same shitty driving, garbage "stealth" & nickel & diming players with horseshit cosmetics DLC as the first game. Thanks but no thanks. I bought the game yesterday & lasted about as long as it took to find out that you still can't enter stealth when you want to & you still can't move bodies even though stealth is supposed to be a supported gameplay option. Sure it looks prettier than the first game, you can also candy coat a dog turd, it doesn't make it any more palatable. Glad that I always buy from my local store that offers a 7 day return policy.

Avatar image for Gomtor

I bought this Friday, as I first wanted to see a few reviews. I do not pre order games at all; and I think that is going to be the trend forward for any thinking gamer. The reviews overall for WD2 were very good, so I decided to buy it.

Avatar image for edwardnygma

The game sucks and the company that made it is horrible. My friend and I turned it off after a couple hours and moved on. It is pretty boring and the main character is a walking cliché with SJW propaganda. Trust me there are much better games to play.

Avatar image for rodoxthedark

Really enjoying it, can see why pre orders were low as ubi are having a bit of a crap run, they need to slow down and take time with something instead of all this annual release crap

Avatar image for Riza411

Is everyone hating on this game cause of Ubisoft? I'm having a ton of fun on it plus the graphics are amazing, The driving sucks but other than that I am loving it.

Avatar image for Foxhound71

It's all flash and no substance. It's one of those 5 seconds of "wow" but 5 hours of "wtf" kinda games.

Avatar image for linthes999

Due to the original Watch Dogs not living up to the tremendous hype it had generated, of course the sequel's sales wouldn't be as high. Ubisoft's arrogance also didn't help. Didn't they announce that a sequel to Watch Dogs was already being worked on before the original was released?

Avatar image for Jersalaw

When Ubisoft has consistently shown a beautiful game and then launched us a game that looked nothing like that what do they expect? I really hope consumers are starting to speak with their wallets so that companies like Ubisoft are more upfront about what to really expect from their games.

Avatar image for clay544888

@Jersalaw: The Witcher 3 looked a lot different graphically and atmospherically and everybody and their grandma still bought it so what's your point?

Avatar image for Jersalaw

@clay544888: Oh I'm sorry were you trying to troll? It was pretty obvious what I was saying.

They have consistently released games with worse graphics than what demos have shown. Here are four of them for you to process: Tom Clancy's The Division, Watch Dogs, Rainbow Six Siege, and Far Cry 4.

The point was hopefully the consumer is catching on to this specific company's issues of not delivering the quality it shows.

Avatar image for doccobb

Why mention this when you should be fixing the game annoying no mp yet lets be honest this game shouldve been pushed back

Avatar image for clay544888

@doccobb: Or better yet, never made.

Avatar image for doccobb

Why mention this when you should be fixing the game annoying no mp yet lets be honest this game shouldve been pushed back

Avatar image for ballashotcaller

That's because everybody keeps getting screwed on day one with buggy games. On top of that people are starting to wait until they can get the "complete game" for $20 a year later.

Avatar image for lukasr

I wonder why.. oh wait, no I don't. PC players are waiting for reviews to make sure the game isn't trash before putting down their hard earned money. That days of pre-ordering Ubi lies are over! Yay everyone!

Avatar image for wastedxlama

Watch Dogs 2, AKA "blatant leftist propaganda"

Avatar image for spaced92

@wastedxlama: Hacking and anti establishment attitudes are hardly the sole territory of the left, been paying attention lately?

Avatar image for wastedxlama

@spaced92: definitely. Trying hard to keep away from all this "fake news"...

Avatar image for spo562

@wastedxlama: True!

Avatar image for nl_skipper

Sounds like a common theme this year for sequels. We've got the newest Call of Duty, Watchdogs, Titanfall, Dishonored and possibly others that have all undersold their predecessors. I don't know what the main cause is but here's hoping it has to due with the idiotic practice of releasing 90% of the years games in 2 months and expecting them all to sell well because Christmas.

I'm sure it also didn't help that most of these games released with broken MP or broken PC versions, but I really think the insanity of releasing so many games (and sequels at that) in so short a time period, with so many glaring flaws and with so much DLC piled on top of their asking price has finally made an impact on overall sales and general consumer interest... at least I can hope... maybe it was just an off year for no particular reason...?

Personally I've yet to buy Dishonored 2 because of PC issues, Titanfall because one shooter is enough at a time, Watchdogs 2 because I've had enough open world modern-day city games for one lifetime, and all of them because I've already spent too dang much on games in 2016 (been a good year for gaming imo), so they should have waited till next year or spaced out releases a little...

Avatar image for MondasM

@nl_skipper: imho, when titanfall and watch dogs were released the two main consoles were just released and every owner of these was craving for any game, now we are almost in mid generation and there is a plethora of good games around, which have stellar mp, stellar sp with high replayability... i reckon people many people will eventually buy / rent / play these games but after their price have dropped a bit, or some time in 2017... :)

Avatar image for nl_skipper

@sellingthings: Lol yea, that's definitely a rant but I hear where you're coming from with a lot of stuff!

Gotta add one little bit because of what you mentioned about $80 games. I almost forgot they were that much (here in Canada) because for the first time ever I've been buying from sites other than Steam to avoid those high prices. I know it's harming developers in the long run since they don't get much profit, but there are so few games actually worth that price to me.

Although I'm happy to pay $80 for the games that deserve it, those are few and far between, and even many of those try and sell a load of DLC on top of that (BF1 I'm looking at you... EA seems to be getting a pass from many this year even though their DLC is as aggressive as ever). That just makes the whole package feel like less value so I either wait for a particularly good sale or just buy from 3rd party sites when I can.

Avatar image for doccobb

@sellingthings: yea its getting bad when i first got gears of war 4 theres everyone running around with crazy special skins for 40 dollars extra your gonna buy cosmetics???????and if you dont buy them it can become such a grind and then games that are not supposed to be pay to win are and everything has a progression system now just they go sooooooooooo slow because they want that 2.99 for that coat or gun variant its a pain and makes me feel like im working not having fun just.......yea

Avatar image for Bigjoe275

Ubi I'll buy it for $30 season pass included

Avatar image for jyml8582

Only idiots pre order Ubisoft garbage.

Avatar image for grizt00f

I hope this means gamers are getting smarter and not pre ordering every game in sight just to be burned time and time again. We need to send a message to these big budget game developers that we will not buy turds at all and definitely not months before they come out We do have the power to change the industry just got to come together and make it happen.

Avatar image for sonypony4eva

Gee I know why!!! With Watch Dogs 1, Ubisoft drastically downgraded the graphics from the E3 presentation, the characters in the campaign were very forgivable, and the game in general wasn't that fun. I'm not shocked in the slightest.

Avatar image for brad12d3

@sonypony4eva: I just couldn't bring myself to forgive any of the characters. They can go to hell... the whole lot of them. ;-)