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Tidbits From Today’s Stabby Ubisoft Earnings Call

Turns out Rayman: Origins was profitable, which is the greatest news ever.

When the next Assassin's Creed game appears, we'll apparently be introduced to a new assassin.

We knew another Assassin’s Creed game was coming, but until today’s earnings call from Ubisoft, we didn’t know it would be called Assassin’s Creed III. Cue countdown to Game Informer cover?

Probably the most personally pleasing news from the call was Ubisoft remarking that Rayman: Origins has become a “profitable” game for the company. I half expected CEO Yves Guillemot to tease Beyond Good & Evil after that statement, but I know better by now.

Anyway, I ended up listening to the whole call this afternoon and took notes on what was interesting but not worth breaking out into its own story. Here’s what I noticed:

  • Just Dance shipped 13 million units in 2011, and actually saw growth on the Wii.
  • Users made nearly 20 million videos with a Just Dance app across iPhone, Android, Facebook.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Revelations showed “very solid performance in a very competitive market,” with seven million sold to retailers, and that ultimately proved “slightly above expectations.”
  • Assassin’s Creed is now regularly generating $200 million in sales on a yearly basis for Ubisoft.
  • Rocksmith generated $40 million in North America, and Ubisoft is pleased. There will be more Rocksmith.
  • Just Dance, Rocksmith, and Assassin’s Creed were able to compensate for less-than-stellar sales of Rayman: Origins, The Adventures of Tintin and “non-dance” Kinect games.
  • Ubisoft says Rayman: Origins “is already profitable, and has the capacity to be a longtime seller.”
  • As Wii sales continue to slump, Ubisoft is transitioning even more to high-definition consoles.
  • Assassin’s Creed III will be the “biggest launch in Ubisoft history,” and has been in development for over 3 years. The game will have the “biggest marketing commitment [Ubisoft has] ever made,” with more details “very soon.”
  • For the statisticians among us, Ubisoft notes that shooters make up 30% of the industry, while driving games make up 8%. This explains, the company noted, why Ubisoft will be more shooter focused in coming years.
  • Ubisoft would like to see more of its core brands have free-to-play extensions.
  • Ubisoft does not believe it will be significantly impacted by next-generation transition, having invested in the transition with its teams already, and a strong lineup with huge sales potential this year will prepare them.
  • The company will have “more than six titles” for the Wii U around launch, and believes “the machine will bring some fresh air to the industry.”
  • Ubisoft was quiet on its Wii U lineup, but said it would be a mix of core and casual games.
Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
When the next Assassin's Creed game appears, we'll apparently be introduced to a new assassin.

We knew another Assassin’s Creed game was coming, but until today’s earnings call from Ubisoft, we didn’t know it would be called Assassin’s Creed III. Cue countdown to Game Informer cover?

Probably the most personally pleasing news from the call was Ubisoft remarking that Rayman: Origins has become a “profitable” game for the company. I half expected CEO Yves Guillemot to tease Beyond Good & Evil after that statement, but I know better by now.

Anyway, I ended up listening to the whole call this afternoon and took notes on what was interesting but not worth breaking out into its own story. Here’s what I noticed:

  • Just Dance shipped 13 million units in 2011, and actually saw growth on the Wii.
  • Users made nearly 20 million videos with a Just Dance app across iPhone, Android, Facebook.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Revelations showed “very solid performance in a very competitive market,” with seven million sold to retailers, and that ultimately proved “slightly above expectations.”
  • Assassin’s Creed is now regularly generating $200 million in sales on a yearly basis for Ubisoft.
  • Rocksmith generated $40 million in North America, and Ubisoft is pleased. There will be more Rocksmith.
  • Just Dance, Rocksmith, and Assassin’s Creed were able to compensate for less-than-stellar sales of Rayman: Origins, The Adventures of Tintin and “non-dance” Kinect games.
  • Ubisoft says Rayman: Origins “is already profitable, and has the capacity to be a longtime seller.”
  • As Wii sales continue to slump, Ubisoft is transitioning even more to high-definition consoles.
  • Assassin’s Creed III will be the “biggest launch in Ubisoft history,” and has been in development for over 3 years. The game will have the “biggest marketing commitment [Ubisoft has] ever made,” with more details “very soon.”
  • For the statisticians among us, Ubisoft notes that shooters make up 30% of the industry, while driving games make up 8%. This explains, the company noted, why Ubisoft will be more shooter focused in coming years.
  • Ubisoft would like to see more of its core brands have free-to-play extensions.
  • Ubisoft does not believe it will be significantly impacted by next-generation transition, having invested in the transition with its teams already, and a strong lineup with huge sales potential this year will prepare them.
  • The company will have “more than six titles” for the Wii U around launch, and believes “the machine will bring some fresh air to the industry.”
  • Ubisoft was quiet on its Wii U lineup, but said it would be a mix of core and casual games.
Staff
Posted by MolluskLingers

Rocksmith officially more succesfull than Rock Band 3 was? Congrats UbiSoft. :)

Posted by HT101

Nice to hear these things about Ubi and that Rayman made money.

Posted by ZombiePie
The company will have “more than six titles” for the Wii U around launch, and believes “the machine will bring some fresh air to the industry.”

So Ubisoft's technique of putting all of their eggs in the launch title basket continues. How can you disagree with them when they make a lot of money?

Moderator
Posted by PLWolf

So Happy Rocksmith did well. It is an awesome Piece of Software. I look forward to more DLC. It's been great so far.

Posted by MrGtD

I'm very happy about Rocksmith's success. They've been supporting the game magnificently since launch, paying close attention to what the community wants and, instead of saving it for DLC or the next game, patching it into the current game for free. It's wonderful to see.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

Good for them.

Moderator Online
Posted by Aetheldod

Well good for Ubi , I guess .

Posted by AhmadMetallic

Good job Patrick, these articles are pretty awesome.

Posted by RandyF

Super glad Rayman made money and Rocksmith did as well as it did. I'd love to see more of those.

Posted by wumbo3000

My giddiness for Assassin's Creed III is indescribable.

Posted by AiurFlux

So what I gathered is that they're going to move the Wii shovelware, like Family Feud, over to the HD consoles and then they're going to over-saturate the FPS market even further.

Nice to see! Call me a pessimistic prick if you want, but it's right there in the article.

Posted by skyline7284

Nothing on Far Cry 3? Or Ghost Recon....? Or Driver: San Francisco?

Posted by jukeboxzer0

yay! Now you use the ubi art framework to make some more sexy looking 2D games!

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

Their enthusiasm for Rayman's longevity is refreshing. I hope Assassin's Creed III makes more improvements than Revelations did, but honestly, I'm sure I'll gobble it up anyways. I'm a sucker like that.

Moderator
Posted by Jimbo

Everybody should compete for the same 30% and totally underserve the remaining 70%. It makes perfect sense!

I'm glad they didn't get burned too badly on Revelations, though there's still a chance they could suffer a Revelations hangover next time out. That game really was a misstep.

Posted by Centimani

If I had a list of what I wanted from this industry right now, more shooters would be the last thing on that list.

Posted by Masha2932

Sad that they didn't reveal the sales figures for Rayman. Also I'm curious how Driver san francisco performed, that game was awesome.

Posted by jakkblades

Without reading this I could've told you that Assassin's Creed 3 would be the biggest game launch in Ubisoft history. They have had many core game series (The Tom Clancy's come to mind, or Rayman) but never dealt with expectations as high as for AC3. I'm glad to hear they are entering their fourth year of development and hope the process can be completed soon, though not too soon.

Posted by Ares42

Hmm, didn't they poll people for location choice for AC3 just after revelations came out ? Wouldn't that be sorta late in the development if it's already been developing for 3 years....
 
Anyways, if they have actually had their main team making AC3 for the last 3 years while some B team just pushed out the AC2 titles that would explain a lot :P Also would hopefully mean that AC3 actually will bring some desepartely needed changes to the franchise.

Online
Posted by Oni

@Jimbo said:

Everybody should compete for the same 30% and totally underserve the remaining 70%. It makes perfect sense!

I'm glad they didn't get burned too badly on Revelations, though there's still a chance they could suffer a Revelations hangover next time out. That game really was a misstep.

I know, right? I mean sure Skyrim sold millions, but look at the Call of Duty's and Battlefields! Surely the market can bear more military-themed FPS games... like Homefront? Wait, scratch that. To be fair, Rainbow Six: Patriots looks cool, and I was a fan of the Vegas games, so I'll be looking forward to that.

And yeah, Revelations... oof. I loved AC 1, 2 and Brotherhood, but I just got burned out by Revelations. Still only a couple hours in, I mean to finish it before 3, but it's a slog. Let's hope 3 isn't just more of the same in a new setting with a new dude, as even that may not be enough for me.

Posted by wsowen02
took notes on what was interesting but not worth breaking out into its own story

I just want to say how much I appreciate this, Patrick. There are certain other gaming websites that would have made every single one of those bullet points a separate article.

Posted by fargofallout

Considering when it was released, I'm extremely happy and surprised that Rayman turned out to be even remotely successful. It was one of my favorite games of the year, and I hope they're willing to put out another one here and there. Although that doesn't mean I want them to annualize it like Assassin's Creed.

Posted by MolluskLingers

Rocksmith and Just Dance have outsold all competitors in competing markets for the past two years. In fact the imports of Rocksmith from the US to UK have outsold RB3 entirely LTD in the UK. I am incredibly proud at the team and my friends at UbiSoft. Everyone there worked hard, putting more work into the actual games and making sure they're all fun then wasting millions on advertising and trying to appear "cool" on the internet. :)

Posted by Hyuzen

great idea, make more games in the 30% shooter section of the industry, because we all could use a few more shooters

Posted by Mumrik

I'm happy to hear that they didn't lose money on Rayman: Origins.

If you have friends locally, buy that fucking thing and enjoy it together! I completed it in a blue Globox, red Globox and little dark dude trio (fuck Rayman) and had a blast. We were yelling and screaming like little kids. I'm not sure I'd have enjoyed it solo.

Posted by ajamafalous

Happy to see that both Rocksmith and Rayman were successful.

Posted by falling_fast

yay for rawksmith

Posted by Phatmac

Glad to hear that Rayman was actually profitable. I love that game so much.

Posted by Bribo

I could only be more delighted by the fact that Rayman turned a profit if it were accompanied by the news that sales of didgeridoos and jaw harps were at an all time high.

Posted by MikkaQ

Good for them I guess. I don't really care about Assassin's Creed anymore, got halfway though the latest one and found it pretty boring. I'm burned out on them, so I'll probably skip this one. Story got way too stupid in a way I couldn't appreciate.

Posted by PurplePartyRobot

I am currently waiting for Ubisoft to just combine their two biggest selling franchises and create Tom Clancy's Assassin's Creed.

Posted by DrDarkStryfe

Of all the major publishers, Ubi Soft seems to have the best grasp on the current marketplace. It does not mean they will have a ton of top five sales titles, but they look to be releasing a lot of stuff based on what this varied marketplace wants.

Rayman doing something brings a smile to my lips, it is one of the funnest games I played in the last few years.

Posted by MindChamber

@CommissarDuke: Im waiting for RayMan Six

Posted by Marz

man, people really like to dance don't they? can't believe just dance sells monstrous amounts of copies.

Posted by Winternet

Why doesn't Ubisoft pick all that AC money and dump it into B&G 2?

Posted by VeRKK

How about Rocksmith in the UK? Also, how about some good songs on that? Thanks Ubisoft. On a more serious note, I really liked the ending of Revelations (not so much the rest of it for the most part) and want to see what AC3 will feature.

Posted by TheBrainninja

The second-most interesting bit to me, after the delightful Rayman announcement, was that AC3 has been in development for three years. Since Revelations was worthless filler (story-wise, though criticisms could be made of the gameplay as well), I've gotten a lot more nervous about that franchise. I'm glad they let the next iteration stew for a while.

Though...I'm kind of bummed that they definitely won't let it rest next year, which it needs to once it finishes Desmond's story. And I'm still waiting on closure from Brotherhood! Bastards just casually referencing things in sound clips in Revelations is insufficient.

Posted by CJduke

Glad to hear Assassins Creed III has been worked on for three years, that gives me hope they haven't ruined the series.

Posted by NekuCTR

Rayman was profitable? BITCHIN'!!!

Posted by Tim_the_Corsair
@rimmonhouse

Prediction: Assassin's Creed 3 will be a first person shooter!

If this was an Activision game, it'd turn out that Desmond's next ancestor is Captain Price.
Posted by CharAznable

@Hyuzen said:

great idea, make more games in the 30% shooter section of the industry, because we all could use a few more shooters

haha Yeah, I had the exact same reaction. I guess the business people that make these decisions know what they're doing, but my (admittedly uninformed) strategy would be the complete opposite.

Posted by NellyK

Good to hear Rayman Origins turned a profit. Maybe we'll see more of them in the future.

Posted by Brendan

@Tim_the_Corsair said:

@rimmonhouse

Prediction: Assassin's Creed 3 will be a first person shooter!

If this was an Activision game, it'd turn out that Desmond's next ancestor is Captain Price.

That's actually fucking badass.

Posted by jillsandwich

I'm pretty pumped about Ubisoft's line up. I'm way into Tom Clancy games(That new Splinter Cell "Retribution" will probably be out this year, Rainbow 6 looks cool, as always, but I've never been into Ghost Recon), I can't wait for AC3, and the idea of another 2D Rayman coming out in the future is making me sweat bullets.

Those French-Canadians know how to make some damn games.

Posted by The_Nubster

@wumbo3000 said:

My giddiness for Assassin's Creed III is indescribable.

I can describe it. Wumbo.

Posted by Sooty
@jillsandwich said:

Those French-Canadians know how to make some damn games.

and how to totally fuck them up for PC
Posted by Tim_the_Corsair
@Brendan

@Tim_the_Corsair said:

@rimmonhouse

Prediction: Assassin's Creed 3 will be a first person shooter!

If this was an Activision game, it'd turn out that Desmond's next ancestor is Captain Price.

That's actually fucking badass.

I know, right?

I admit at first I was being a smartarse, but then I started imagining Captain Price in third person shanking a Russian and jumping off a skyscraper into a strangely located hay bale, and I came a little.
Posted by SethPhotopoulos

I kind of saw Assassin's Creed 3 coming. i mean after they said Revelations was the last of the Ezio stories and the story being heavily focused on 2012 it seemed like 2012 would've been the year for AC3.

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