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Ubisoft Beats Forecasts, Nudges Up Full-Year Outlook

Assassin's Creed delivers for the French game publisher, but no South Park this quarter will hurt sales.


Ubisoft said today that it beat its own sales and profit forecasts in the holiday quarter, with sales of $923 million (810 million euros), versus the $833 million (730 million euros) the French game publisher had forecast one quarter ago.

As a result, the company now expects its full fiscal year, which ends in March, to deliver $1.64 billion in sales and $188 million in profit, ahead of a previously expected $1.6 billion in sales and $171 million in profit.

Sales were up nearly 56 percent when compared to the same quarter a year prior.

Ubisoft’s launches last quarter included the shooter game Far Cry 4 and two entries in the Assassin’s Creed franchise: Rogue, which was released only for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and Unity, which was released for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Assassin’s Creed: Unity was marred by several bugs at launch, but nevertheless, the two Assassin’s Creed games sold a combined 10 million units into stores, Ubisoft said.

On a call with investors, CEO Yves Guillemot cited “lessons learned” from the launch of Unity that will benefit future games. Pressed for more detail by an investor, Guillemot said the bugs stemmed from an attempt to “re-do 100 percent of the engine” that the Assassins Creed games run off of.

“When you do that, it’s painful for the whole group, and everything has to be recalibrated,” Guillemot said. “With this game, a few things were not perfect, but the engine has been created, and it will help that brand shine in the future.”

With no big game launches ahead in the fourth quarter other than the PC version of Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, Ubisoft said it expects sales in the current quarter to be down 25 percent year over year to $167 million; the same quarter last year saw the release of South Park: The Stick of Truth, which made approximately $68 million, Guillemot said.

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