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Ubisoft stock plunges 22% after delays and poor sales announcement

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Earlier this week Ubisoft made a big announcement that Watch Dogs would be delayed to Spring 2014 instead of launching this fall alongside the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. Ubisoft also delayed PlayStation 4 racing title The Crew into the next financial year, meaning it will launch sometime after April 1st, 2014.

Aside from the string of delays, Ubisoft also mentioned that both Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Rayman Legends failed to meet company sales expectations. These factors caused Ubisoft to lower its full-year sales forecast by about 30%, which in turn caused a 22% decline in trading for the company’s stock.

Despite this, CEO Yves Guillemot believes the delays are the right step forward.

“Our long term goal is to win the next generation. The tough decisions we are taking today to fully realize the major potential of our new creations have an impact on our short-term performance.”

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  • Elitepwnsface

    I think there lack of faith in some companies is partly to blam, on top of worrying about sales figures for said companies. Wish they would focus on producing good quality games that were not rushed out the door. Watch Dogs might be the first title of many to have such good quality.

    • Justagamer

      I agree but they brought this on themselfs…You produce crap and this is what happens

  • Justagamer

    Ubi You brought this on yourselfs but i do hope that things improve for you…I want to see more and better games

  • Ballzbeard

    Time to buy some discounted shares.

  • Christopher Acuna

    Blacklist sucked. IMO

  • Jack5221

    Not surprising. They delayed Rayman to place it on all consoles, then they delayed two more games until next year.

  • Nintenjoe82

    Let’s hope they’re going to genuinely improve their delayed games on all formats rather than just delay them for financial reasons. Ubisoft make some of the most ambitious games but they’re normally over-ambitious and buggy.

  • Ace

    Well, that’s not really a surprise. I want to support Ubi because they are supporting Nintendo, but with the delays and the mind changing they are making it difficult to do so.

  • david jarman

    I hope they don’t blame nintendo and its fans for poor sales. Seems to be the trend with companies to point the finger towards others instead of themselves.

    • Nintedward

      EG: ”Oh my gawwwwwwwwd! So we released the game late with key features removed on a platform with a tiny installed base less than a year old and it only sold 10K in the first week! Oh my gaaaaaaaawd!”
      Assholes…. Sonic all stars racing transformed: Genuinely better than Xbox 360 and PS3 versions (as it should be) outsold those versions and PC versions. Just goes to show that Wiiu owners want, wait for it….. GOOD CONTENT.

      • david jarman

        LOL! EXACTLY!

      • The Clockwork Being

        EA: Wait so Wii U owners don’t want rehashed game of two years ago. Oh well too late to put Battlefield 4 on Wii U now even though Frostbite 3 can run on Wii U smoothly.

    • Elem187

      no, this is across ALL platforms… Splinter Cell bombed on everything. 300k in all is pretty poor across 4 systems.
      the sub Hd twins have a combined userbase of 140 million and it only sold 275k between them? ouch…… perhaps they shouldn’t have spent so much money on development.. When companies chase that AAA dollar they are goign to lose more times than win.. They would have been better off scaling back development in the 5-10 million $$ range and just put out an average looking game and at least recouped their costs.
      Rayman Legends, I’m not surprised it bombed everywhere, but I am surprised it did the best on a 3.5 million userbase compared to the 70 million a piece on the subhd twins…. I bet they could have sold to almost every single Wii U owner back in Febuary if they released then.

      • david jarman

        I know, but I was just saying cause it seems like the trend to blame nintendo and it’s fans.

  • gtosheex

    karma’s a bitch! don’t cross nintendo! lol

    • brison dickey

      your preaching to the choir!

    • Daniel Gonzalez

      Wii U’s small userbase I’m sure has something to do with that as well.

      • Jacob D. Taylor

        Well given the line of thinking of Nintendo’s small user base then Nintendo’s small user base had a very small part to do with it. The percentage of Wii U owners who bought Rayman and maybe splinter cell, but definitely rayman was MUCH higher than it’s PS3 and 360 counterparts, leading to the extreme lull in sales.

        • Daniel Gonzalez

          Oh I am well aware that it sold poorly on PS3 and 360 as well. However, it’s like some people say on here, Rayman Legends is a platformer, which is more suited on a Nintendo console. I’m not surprised no one really bought it on PS3 and 360 cause that demographic has less of an interest than Nintendo fans. Ubisoft’s biggest mistake was releasing it too close to GTA V’s release date and cannibalized it. It’s unforunate, but maybe they’ll learn next time around. Plus with WWHD on the market, it’s probably not helping matters much.

          Poor release date cause Rayman Legends to bomb.

          • palomino blue

            Not to mention that Rayman couldn’t possibly feel complete on the other 2 consoles. It just wouldn’t be the same game to me without the gamepad. I would feel ripped off buying it for ps360.

  • Sydney Ultrasyd

    They can’t blame Nintendo users. Rayman did better on Wii U than on other supports, and would have done better if released on time. For Splinter Cell the game hasn’t all the features, so no wonder why …
    I’ll continue to support them because at least, they brought many games on Wii U. Can’t wait Watch_dogs and ACIV.

    • Elem187

      Ubisoft is saying overall Rayman Legends and Splinter Cell on all systems didn’t hit expectations.

      Rayman I was a bit surprised that the Wii U version sold the most…. it would have sold to ALOT more Wii U users had it released back in Feb during the drought..

      Splinter Cell bombed on all consoles…. It would have made much more sense had they spent less $$$ on development.
      They treated the title like it had a sales potential of Call of Duty, and just dumped so much money into making this game a looker that they completely destroyed any hope in pulling in a profit…..

      I bet if they scaled back the graphics to your average game the 300k in sales across all systems would have been profitable…. heck save some money and go for a cartoon art style like a GI Joe art style and it would have lowered development costs to almost nil and at the same time bringing a fresh take to the series.. of course some would complain, but the complainers are not a business and don’t understand that businesses need to weigh costs of production versus sales potential. Splinter Cell just doesn’t have the sales potential it used to back before AAA Cinematic games were a thing.

      But whatever, trying to make the best possible looking AAA game as possible is a loser strategy going forward, we are in a AAA bubble and its popping…. minus for a small handful of franchises that have such a high sales potential, most AAA games will perform like Splinter Cell did. Most people are getting bored with the same thing over and over again.

  • Kenshin0011

    Sure, Ubi has made some mistakes but they’re a better company than Activision and EA.

    I agree that delaying Watch Dogs is best if quality is to be maintained! I hope they come out on top as a major 3rd party dev for the next gen!

    • Jacob D. Taylor

      Haha amen! When does activision or EA delay a game to make it better? Never! They just finish it up and sell it as DLC!

    • DragonSilths

      Activision isn’t great but now really that bad either.

  • Michael Rowlands

    I think watch dogs will be the last game ubisoft will release on the wii u as there next game the crew is not coming to the wii u………….

    • NkoSekirei

      we dont know that dude and besideds ubisoft still supports wii u regardless if we dont get dlc for assassin creed 4 which dlc for assassin creed 3 sucked

      • Michael Rowlands

        so way are they not making the crew for the wii u……look I love my wii u put I don’t see a future for the console…

  • Jon

    I am just curious what they expected for their numbers? they said Zombie U was disappointing numbers and it is like over 500k….. might even be more by now. Do they expect to be selling these games by a millions?

    • Adam Porter

      1 million units sold is the general rule of thumb for a profitable game.

      • Daniel Gonzalez

        Sort of. It depends more on how much was put into development costs. Otherwise, even 1 million units isn’t enough.

        • Elem187

          But look at Zombi U, no way that game was expensive to make.

          That news article that claimed Ubisoft said it was unprofitable, was a bit bogus. Ubisoft never actually said it was unprofitable. As you can see in the original article there is no exact quote of Ubisoft saying those words, the author took it upon himself to juxapose those words into their mouth…. Ubisofts quote is something like “It didn’t hit the sales we were expecting” …. expected sales and profitable are no where near the same thing.

          Its a biased games media out there…. its almost like that particular journalist was trying to cast Nintendo into the worst possible light…. 500k sales is roughly 15 million in revenue at a minimum (game starts at $60 and come down in price, so lets assume the game was always $40, minus the $10 licensing fee that goes directly to Nintendo, so at $30, the game brought in 15 million)… there is absolutely no way that game cost 15 million to make. While a fantastic and fun game, the game has almost zero polish…. asset creation is pretty basic and generic, which the two most expensive parts of development are the asset creation process and adding finishing touches/polish.

          Until anyone finds me an exact quote of someone at ubisoft sayign they didn’t make any money on the title, I will continue to assume that original article by that journalist was full of crap….. perhaps it didn’t sell the 3 million copies they wanted to, but 500k in sales should have been more than enough to make all their money back and plus a little bit of profit

          • TomcaT MeoW

            Well, also remember that the game wasn’t even for the U at one point in time. IIRC ZU was, in fact, a re-worked “Killer Freaks”. So if Ubi is tracking dev time and cost all the way that far back, then yeah, ZU had a near zero chance of being successful financially speaking.

            I do wonder what their sales expectations for the game were. As it stood, it was an unknown IP on a brand new system with mixed reviews at best (I loved the game though, but it got a lot of hate early on).

  • MujuraNoKamen

    This is why devs rush out games, unfinished and full of bugs. Ubisoft are right to do this, they’re trying to improve the game to be the best it can be and improve the release schedule (so as it isn’t competing with AC4 – and the glut of Wii U games coming). Heaven forbid a dev actually takes its time with a project and build hype for the game like Pikmin and GTA.

    • Jacob D. Taylor

      Right? Ubisoft is smart in some areas but lacking in others. They are wise to delay if the game isn’t polished but it seems they haven’t learned the lesson of forecasting that into the time frame in the beginning. Rather a late date made early than and early date made late!

      • MujuraNoKamen

        Agreed, I hate it when devs commit to an unreasonable release date but it’s better to realise the mistake late in the day than ignore it and release an unfinished game.
        I’m a bit annoyed at the double-standards over the web among Wii U owners – It’s fine to be annoyed that a game you wanted is delayed but we defended Nintendo’s decision with Pikmin 3 so why hate on Ubi for doing the same thing. Not to forget that for us Wii U fans this game now comes out when we’ll have saved up following 3D Land, Zelda, Sonic, CoD, etc.

        • Jacob D. Taylor

          Good point, it probably wont suffer as much as Rayman did, but delayed games tend to take a hit more so than their on-time counterparts. Nintendo suffered tremendously by not seeing the work needed in their games. I was mortified by Pikmin 3’s delay. I had JUST beaten 1 and 2 then whoops, 9 more months. But, the difference being, Nintendo has learned their lesson… for the most part. Excepting DK:TF of course.

          • Daniel Gonzalez

            Nintendo delays their games as often as any other developer. I don’t think it’ll be something they’ll learn nor really any other company. If they feel it needs more time, they’ll delay it.

          • Jacob D. Taylor

            Well, no where did I say that wasn’t the case but I feel that they are understanding the learning curve they admittedly had and are able to project better.

          • Daniel Gonzalez

            True, I would hope so. Thing is, the HD development is something they should have learned at least a few years before hand so that they would be prepared for all this.

  • Jacob D. Taylor

    The natural gloom and doom attitude of investors. 22% is crippling though, not that I don’t expect them to bouncback fully. The mentality between alot of these quick gain investors is that one menial fall back is an obvious indicator of bankruptcy. I think we can all agree as this is the case with how people view Nintendo… constantly. Ugh.

    • Elem187

      Its Ubisofts own fault.. They dumped absurd amounts of money into this Splinter Cell game when they could have scaled back the graphics and it still would have sold the same.
      I know there is some gamers out there that only care about what games look like, but that number is pretty tiny.. a game like Splinter Cell is more for the stealth gameplay as opposed to how good it look. It really doesn’t need to look best of breed…. All that time/money spent on asset creation and texturing could have been better spent keeping the costs of game development as low as possible.
      There is a AAA bubble and its bursting… if companies can’t sort out how to make games much much cheaper to develop, they will continue to lose money like this….. Whats so wrong with making your game look average and save several million dollars?

      • Jacob D. Taylor

        Well said!

  • brison dickey

    that’s what ubisoft get’s for F**king with nintendo!!!

    RUMOR: there’s a rumor that sony is teaming up with a game store in germany to make the wii u look bad, i think the employees will misinform a potential wii u buyer and recommend them to buy a ps vita and ps4…IT WON’T WORK!!! do they really think ps vita and ps4 will be the same as wii u. the wii u is one system. ps vita and ps4 are TWO systems! WAY more money than most people have. i can’t imagine draw ing on the vita like i do with the wii u. AND THERE HALF-ASSED CROSS TV PLAY WILL SUCK D!CK. sony and microsoft are afraid of nintendo and will always be afraid.

    ps. UBISOFT GOT GAMED!!!

    • Mario

      If that’s true, then they have no right to do that!

  • Leo

    Ubiflop here we go :(

    • NkoSekirei

      it seems karma is a bitch for screwing us by delaying their games way too much

  • Dez

    Honestly Watch Dogs is the only Ubisoft game I plan on picking up. I really think Assassins’ Creed has strayed too far from its roots and the pirate thing kind of killed it for me. Ubisoft has been making too many bad decisions delaying games very close to the time they are meant to be released even giving them official release dates. You should never give an official release date unless you are certain it’ll be out by then otherwise the consumer loses interest and the hype was all for naught. For the sake of quality is better, but not if you just keep pissing people off in the process, Nintendo has the same bad habit of delaying things.

  • Schultz38

    How the mighty have fallen.

    Not an Ubi hater, but after they’ve been so vocally critical of Nintendo’s performance with the Wii U (which I find entirely unprofessional-the way they presented it), it’s funny to see that they aren’t all that perfect either.

  • Schultz38

    Also, I’m appalled how many of you are bashing Ubisoft. They’ve been *almost* nothing but good to Nintendo with the Wii U. At the very least it’s obvious that they were and are the biggest Wii U 3rd party supporter as of now. And for that they’ve earned my respect and thanks.

    Shame on you Nintendo fans. Shame on you. >:(

  • Pikachief

    Wow guys, Ubisoft has probably been the most supportive 3rd party developer for Wii U and you’re all bashing them. They just a company doing what they feel is best for the company. Watch dogs is getting polishing and isn’t going to cannibalize its sales with Assassin’s Creed 4, and we still got Rayman Legends, with a lot more content, and we got the better version!

  • TehPostman

    TBH, i still have great faith in Ubisoft, they have released A LOT of good games and just cause sales didn’t hit well on 2 recent ones doesn’t mean much and as far as the delay i rather have them take there time with the product than rush an unfinished product out with day 1 DLC that could have easily been patched in or put in with the product that i payed full price for..EA…Activision…