Next up on UbisoftN this morning: more slightly glum news. To Watch Dogs’ delay so as not to “compromise on quality” and The Crew’s punting into the latter half of 2014, add disappointment about sales for Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Rayman Legends.
The publisher’s fiscal weather-people reported a reduced sales forecast for this year to investors early this morning, placing the majority of the blame in the lap of Watch Dogs and The Crew, now destined for another money calendar. But other problems were cited: namely exchange rate fluctuation and the slightly underwhelming trickle of sales from new entries in the Splinter Cell and Rayman series’.
“We have experienced lower sales than we anticipated when we gave our targets,” Ubisoft CFO Alain Martinez told investors. “Already released games such as Splinter Cell, Rayman and others.”
And others! No word on what troubled them, but Ubisoft attributed slow sales of their named problem children to players saving up for new consoles and the games that’ll come with them.
From where I’m sitting, Blacklist seemed to suffer from series fatigue after an aggressive bout of sequelisation, and Rayman Legends is, well, a 2D platformer. Both are by all accounts very accomplished games - especially the latter.
Ubisoft had forecast takings of $1.94 billion by the end of March, but has reduced its official expectations to a still-unfathomable $1.38 billion. Funnily enough, the publisher increased their income prediction for the last fiscal year after higher-than-anticipated sales of both Assassin’s Creed III and Far Cry 3. There’s nothing concrete about those numbers.
Watch Dogs’ delay will pay dividends in the long run, however. Or at least, that’s the plan.
“In a world of mega-blockbusters we have come to the conclusion that the team needed more time to realise the game's potential,” said CEO Yves Guillemot. “We consider it to be a long term pillar of our future performance, alongside the likes of Assassin's Creed and Far Cry.”
Mega-Blockbusters. Didn’t Guillermo del Toro direct that?