Ubisoft: PS4, Xbox One represent "new driving force" for the industry

CEO Yves Guillemot says impending launch of new consoles will spur the industry forward; company posts €62.3 million loss for six-month period.

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Ubisoft is bullish on the prospects for the next-generation of consoles. The impending launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will represent a "new driving force" for the industry, CEO Yves Guillemot said today as part of the company's latest earnings report for the six months ended September 30.

"The PS4 and Xbox One will be released in a few days' time and will be a new driving force for the industry," he said. "We are confident in our capacity to rise to the short-term challenges posed by the transition phase, thanks to the very high quality of our games, which, combined with the upcoming arrival of the next-generation consoles and the traditional ramp-up of sales during the Christmas season will trigger positive momentum towards the end of the year."

Guillemot said he sees open-world games becoming more and more popular with gamers as the next-generation of consoles arrives, saying gamers now demand such immersive experiences. "This deep-seated market trend--which Ubisoft has fully embraced--is going to move up another gear when the next-generation consoles arrive."

Upcoming Ubisoft open-world games include Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (for next-generation consoles), Far Cry 4, and The Crew, among others.

Overall, Ubisoft reported revenue of €293 million ($394 million) for the six-month period, up 5 percent compared to last year. The company's sales performances was led by "robust" back-catalog sales, which rose 16 percent year-over-year to €113 million($152 million), thanks to Far Cry 3 and Assassin's Creed III. Ubisoft also benefited from a surge in its digital business, which saw sales climb 29 percent to €71 million ($95 million), driven by sales of downloadable content.

Ubisoft sales were up, but profit was down. The company posted a loss of €62.3 million ($83.71 million), significantly worse than the loss of €32.3 million ($43.4 million) the company took last year.

"This year, Ubisoft has constantly stood out for the very high quality of its creations," Guillemot said. "This will be a determining factor for ensuring our future success and enhancing our financial performance. In 2014-15, we intend to step up the level even further by launching a number of particularly ambitious titles under both new brands and established franchises, starting as of the first quarter of the fiscal year, with the release of Watch Dogs."

Ubisoft is currently holding a conference call discuss the results and answering analyst questions. Check back later for more.

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