Ubisoft sales nearly double

First quarter of French publisher's fiscal year shows revenues up more than 90 percent on strength of Rainbow Six Vegas, Surf's Up.

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US retail game sales aren't the only part of the industry that's been up recently. French publisher Ubisoft today reported results from its first quarter of the fiscal year (the three months ended June 30), and the publisher is touting sales up more than 90 percent from the same quarter the year before.

Ubisoft's first-quarter sales totaled 134 million euros ($185.21 million), compared to 70 million euros ($96.77 million) for the first quarter of its 2006-2007 fiscal year. The publisher attributed the spike to continued sales of Rainbow Six Vegas for the Xbox 360 combined with the game's PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable launches. Other titles receiving a nod included Surf's Up, Prince of Persia Classic, Call of Juarez, and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Ubisoft published the PS3 version of the game in Europe). Older titles also bolstered the bottom line, with catalog releases accounting for a third of revenues, led by the publisher's Petz series and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

"Momentum was particularly strong during the period for European sales, which climbed 109 percent thanks to the ramp-up of new-generation consoles and the impact of PS3 game sales, including Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas and Oblivion," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said in a statement. "Our performance during this quarter has once again proved the relevance of our early positioning in the casual gaming sector, as demonstrated by the success of our DS and Wii games."

DS sales made up 16 percent of the company's revenue for the quarter, as opposed to just 3 percent for the year before. Meanwhile, games for Nintendo's Wii were credited with 13 percent of Ubisoft's quarterly take.

The company also leaned on the PS3 for the quarter, with Sony's latest platform accounting for 21 percent of Ubisoft's sales. Those gains came at the expense of the PC platform, which constituted 43 percent of the company's first-quarter sales the previous year with the PC releases of Heroes of Might and Magic V and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. For this year's first quarter, PC sales accounted for only 6 percent of Ubisoft's revenue.

The first-quarter results were rosy enough that Ubisoft has raised its full-year sales target from 800 million euros ($1.11 billion) to 825 million euros ($1.14 billion). However, its expectations for the current quarter--set to be highlighted by the release of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 on the PS3, PC, and PSP--stayed put at 105 million euros ($145.16 million).

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