Watch Dogs Ships 8 Million Units, Helping Ubisoft Sales Rise a Massive 374%

Latest earnings report shows sales for open-world game continue to climb as first quarter profit reaches a record €360 million.

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Ubisoft today reported earnings for its first quarter ended June 30, announcing that the record-setting open-world action game Watch Dogs shipped more than 8 million units during the quarter, helping the French publisher's total sales jump by 374 percent to €360 million ($489 million). This is ahead of Ubisoft's previous expectation of €310 million in sales ($421 million).

Ubisoft did not say how many Watch Dogs copies have actually been sold. The game sold 4 million units in its first week, but that is the only official sell-through number Ubisoft has released to date. Watch Dogs is expected to sell at least 6 million units during its lifetime, which is the same figure that the original Assassin's Creed did in 2007. It is currently available for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC, with a Wii U version to follow this fall.

A massive uptick in year-over-year sales is not much of a surprise, given Ubisoft's lineup of new titles released during this quarter last year was sparse, only including games like Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and Call of Juarez: Gunslinger.

Ubisoft digital sales during the quarter were also on the rise, jumping 149 percent to €84 million ($114 million). This was driven by Watch Dogs, Ubisoft's free-to-play games, and the release of high-profile games like Trials Fusion, Child of Light, and Valiant Hearts: The Great War.

"The success of Watch Dogs and the quality of our games portfolio presented at this year's E3 highlight our strategic positioning as well as our continuous drive for innovation, and affirm our long-term approach. Watch Dogs is now well positioned as a major franchise and we will be able to replicate and build on its success in the coming years," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said in a statement. "Its sales performance testifies to Ubisoft's expertise as a creator of blockbuster brands. That expertise enables us to stand out from our competitors at the beginning of each console cycle and therefore to reach a new dimension."

Looking ahead to the current quarter, Ubisoft said it expects second quarter sales to reach about €85 million ($115 million), a significant drop of 61 percent compared to last year. Ubisoft notes that last year's second quarter saw the releases of marquee titles like Splinter Cell Blacklist, Rayman Legends, and Just Dance 2014, while this year's only major new release in the quarter is Tetris Ultimate for Xbox One and PS4. For the full year, Ubisoft said it is standing by its previously announced forecast of reaching sales of at least €1.4 billion ($1.9 billion).

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