Ubisoft's Big Franchises Win, Wii Games Lose - Update

Illustration for article titled Ubisofts Big Franchises Win, Wii Games Lose - Update

Reporting its full first-half 2009-10 financial results today, Ubisoft stresses its confidence in franchise titles like Assassin's Creed II, while some of its Wii titles continue to under-perform.

Much like the company's sales results call earlier this month, today's Ubisoft earnings call was all about the big-name franchises in the company's lineup. Along with mentions of upcoming games Splinter Cell: Conviction and James Cameron's Avatar: The Game, the strong early performance of Assassin's Creed II was a point brought up time and time again by CEO Yves Guillemot.


"First week sales of Assassin's Creed II, up 32%, with positive initial indications for the second week, combined with an overwhelmingly warm reception from gamers, validates our strategy of developing bigger franchises."

If fact, Guillemot even uses AC2 to soften the blow of the mixed performance of Ubisoft's Wii lineup.

"Based on this initial data, Assassin's Creed 2 looks well positioned to outstrip targets while our Wii games have got off to a more contrasted start in a less predictable market. Finally, sales of James Cameron's Avatar : The Game should benefit from the launch of the movie which is expected to be the biggest blockbuster of this holiday season."

Despite the fact that Wii games made up 22% of Ubisoft's sales during the first half, Guillemot continuously referenced the console in regards to underperforming titles throughout the investor conference call that accompanied the announcement. ""We have some Wii games performing inline, with some underperforming," Yves explained, noting that, ""We're still facing a challenging environment with uncertainties on the Wii."


Overall, the financials were down all around, with a large drop in sales and an operating loss of €78 million, mainly due to mixed Wii and DS game performance and a lighter release schedule.

Update: This post has been updated to more accurately reflect the information presented in Ubisoft's earnings call.

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I think this just shows a lot about who the majority of the Wii audience are and what they want in their games.

Either publishers make poor copies of Nintendo games like wii sports or wii fit, or they make hardcore games that the casual audience don't want and the hardcore audience won't buy because they can get better on other platforms.

It's interesting how Nintendo can have such a large player base, but third parties are still almost at the point at which they would consider giving up on the system.

In the end, the casual crowd are fickle, the hardcore will always support good games.