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Ubisoft Announcements Abound!

Splinter Cell and R.U.S.E. get delayed; Assassin's Creed gets multiplayer.


 GAAAAAAAAAAAMES!
Earnings calls can be a real gamble. Most of the time, you spend 45 minutes basically listening to a spreadsheet. It's probably riveting to investors and business-types, but if all you really care about are the games, it couldn't be dryer. Occasionally, though, the bean-counters end up slipping in some announcements that are relevant to the end user, and today's Ubisoft call was just one of those occasions.

The general theme of the call was the lowering of sales projections for fiscal 2009-2010, due in part to the fact that both Splinter Cell: Conviction and R.U.S.E. would not make their previously announced release dates. This is another in a long string of delays for Conviction, though this one's pretty minor in the grand scheme, pushing the date back to April 2010.

Perhaps the most startling bit of news to come out of the call was the revelation that there is another Assassin's Creed "episode" in the works for this year that will feature an online multiplayer mode. I might say that sounds like a categorically bad idea, but I've dug the way Ubisoft has handled multiplayer in its Splinter Cell games, and I'm intrigued by the promise of both assassinating another assassin and team-based assassinations.

It was also mentioned that Ubisoft has plans for new Ghost Recon and Raving Rabbids games, though no further details were given. I'm personally hoping for a sequel to Rabbids Go Home, rather than the worn-out mini-game collections those looney vermin were previously associated with.

Here's a press release that was posted as a companion piece to the earnings call. Enjoy!

Paris, January 13, 2010 – Today, Ubisoft updated its 2009-10 targets.

The sales targets for third-quarter and full-year 2009-10 have been revised downwards to €495 million and around €860 million respectively, from the previously announced figures of €540 million and €1,040 million.

These downward revisions are due to the following factors:

- A further correction in the market for DS titles. After several years of very strong growth, the significant correction of the DS market in 2009 particularly affected Ubisoft. As a result, despite relatively robust sales for Wii casual games, and particularly the success of Just Dance, sales in the casual segment are expected to be down for the full year by around €160 million, representing a drop of around 50%.

- Further market concentration towards AAA high-quality games. Ubisoft has demonstrated its ability to react to this trend through the success of Assassin’s Creed 2, which has achieved sell-through sales topping 6 million. However, not all of the Company’s games have reaped the full benefits of the measures implemented, with James Cameron’s Avatar™: The game and several non-casual Wii titles reporting lower-than-expected sales.

- Underperformance by back catalog titles due to both of the above-mentioned trends.

- The postponed release dates for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction™ and R.U.S.E™, which were previously scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2009-10, and will now be released in 2010-11. Splinter Cell Conviction™ is now expected to hit the stores in April 2010.

In addition, Ubisoft now expects to end the year with a current operating loss before stock-based compensation of around €50 million, rather than the previously announced target of current operating income amounting to at least €70 million. This negative swing reflects the following:
- Lost earnings due to lower-than-expected sales.
- Additional depreciation and impairment charges for:
o under-performing products and back-catalog titles,
o abandoned projects, as well as certain games scheduled for release in future periods,
o write-downs of inventories.
- The postponed release dates for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction™ and R.U.S.E™.

Yves Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer, stated "Despite a number of highly successful titles, such as Assassin’s Creed 2 – which is expected to reach 9 million sell-in units by the end of March 2010 – and Just Dance – our great Wii success during the holiday season – Ubisoft has not met its financial targets. The considerable contraction in the DS market during the year particularly affected Ubisoft, leading to a €160 million, or almost 50%, year-on-year drop in the Company’s casual segment sales. At the same time, like in 2008, the year 2009 saw the release of many more very high-quality games than in the past. Against this backdrop and with a view to further reducing our exposure to the DS, we intend to continue to refocus our development resources on our major franchises and on the Xbox360 and PS3, the two consoles which are expected to see sales growth in games for gamers in 2010. Ubisoft has already demonstrated its capacity for success in the high-end games market thanks to Assassin’s Creed 2, with sales 40% higher than for the first title. The 2010-11 line-up – which is stronger in franchises for Xbox360 and PS3 – reflects our refocusing efforts and should enable us to both win market share and enhance our profitability.”

Initial information on the 2010-11 line-up

The 2010-11 fiscal year will see a greater number of franchise releases than in 2009-10, including Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction™, a new game in the Tom Clancy™’s Ghost Recon® series, Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands™, Driver®, Raving Rabbids™ 4 and a new episode of Assassin’s Creed®, which will be the first in the series to have an online multiplayer mode. The 2010-11 line-up will be more focused on the Xbox 360® and PLAYSTATION® 3, the consoles which are expected to experience sustained sales growth in games for gamers in calendar 2010. Other new franchises and innovations will also be announced throughout the year.

Ubisoft will release its final sales figures for the third quarter of 2009-10 in February.

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Posted by Ryan

 GAAAAAAAAAAAMES!
Earnings calls can be a real gamble. Most of the time, you spend 45 minutes basically listening to a spreadsheet. It's probably riveting to investors and business-types, but if all you really care about are the games, it couldn't be dryer. Occasionally, though, the bean-counters end up slipping in some announcements that are relevant to the end user, and today's Ubisoft call was just one of those occasions.

The general theme of the call was the lowering of sales projections for fiscal 2009-2010, due in part to the fact that both Splinter Cell: Conviction and R.U.S.E. would not make their previously announced release dates. This is another in a long string of delays for Conviction, though this one's pretty minor in the grand scheme, pushing the date back to April 2010.

Perhaps the most startling bit of news to come out of the call was the revelation that there is another Assassin's Creed "episode" in the works for this year that will feature an online multiplayer mode. I might say that sounds like a categorically bad idea, but I've dug the way Ubisoft has handled multiplayer in its Splinter Cell games, and I'm intrigued by the promise of both assassinating another assassin and team-based assassinations.

It was also mentioned that Ubisoft has plans for new Ghost Recon and Raving Rabbids games, though no further details were given. I'm personally hoping for a sequel to Rabbids Go Home, rather than the worn-out mini-game collections those looney vermin were previously associated with.

Here's a press release that was posted as a companion piece to the earnings call. Enjoy!

Paris, January 13, 2010 – Today, Ubisoft updated its 2009-10 targets.

The sales targets for third-quarter and full-year 2009-10 have been revised downwards to €495 million and around €860 million respectively, from the previously announced figures of €540 million and €1,040 million.

These downward revisions are due to the following factors:

- A further correction in the market for DS titles. After several years of very strong growth, the significant correction of the DS market in 2009 particularly affected Ubisoft. As a result, despite relatively robust sales for Wii casual games, and particularly the success of Just Dance, sales in the casual segment are expected to be down for the full year by around €160 million, representing a drop of around 50%.

- Further market concentration towards AAA high-quality games. Ubisoft has demonstrated its ability to react to this trend through the success of Assassin’s Creed 2, which has achieved sell-through sales topping 6 million. However, not all of the Company’s games have reaped the full benefits of the measures implemented, with James Cameron’s Avatar™: The game and several non-casual Wii titles reporting lower-than-expected sales.

- Underperformance by back catalog titles due to both of the above-mentioned trends.

- The postponed release dates for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction™ and R.U.S.E™, which were previously scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2009-10, and will now be released in 2010-11. Splinter Cell Conviction™ is now expected to hit the stores in April 2010.

In addition, Ubisoft now expects to end the year with a current operating loss before stock-based compensation of around €50 million, rather than the previously announced target of current operating income amounting to at least €70 million. This negative swing reflects the following:
- Lost earnings due to lower-than-expected sales.
- Additional depreciation and impairment charges for:
o under-performing products and back-catalog titles,
o abandoned projects, as well as certain games scheduled for release in future periods,
o write-downs of inventories.
- The postponed release dates for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction™ and R.U.S.E™.

Yves Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer, stated "Despite a number of highly successful titles, such as Assassin’s Creed 2 – which is expected to reach 9 million sell-in units by the end of March 2010 – and Just Dance – our great Wii success during the holiday season – Ubisoft has not met its financial targets. The considerable contraction in the DS market during the year particularly affected Ubisoft, leading to a €160 million, or almost 50%, year-on-year drop in the Company’s casual segment sales. At the same time, like in 2008, the year 2009 saw the release of many more very high-quality games than in the past. Against this backdrop and with a view to further reducing our exposure to the DS, we intend to continue to refocus our development resources on our major franchises and on the Xbox360 and PS3, the two consoles which are expected to see sales growth in games for gamers in 2010. Ubisoft has already demonstrated its capacity for success in the high-end games market thanks to Assassin’s Creed 2, with sales 40% higher than for the first title. The 2010-11 line-up – which is stronger in franchises for Xbox360 and PS3 – reflects our refocusing efforts and should enable us to both win market share and enhance our profitability.”

Initial information on the 2010-11 line-up

The 2010-11 fiscal year will see a greater number of franchise releases than in 2009-10, including Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction™, a new game in the Tom Clancy™’s Ghost Recon® series, Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands™, Driver®, Raving Rabbids™ 4 and a new episode of Assassin’s Creed®, which will be the first in the series to have an online multiplayer mode. The 2010-11 line-up will be more focused on the Xbox 360® and PLAYSTATION® 3, the consoles which are expected to experience sustained sales growth in games for gamers in calendar 2010. Other new franchises and innovations will also be announced throughout the year.

Ubisoft will release its final sales figures for the third quarter of 2009-10 in February.

Staff
Posted by Zajtalan

cool

Posted by Tru3_Blu3
@Zajtalan said:
" cool "
Posted by ZombieHunterOG

Man i wish i had conviction right meow

Posted by TheLawnWrangler
@Tru3_Blu3 said:
" @Zajtalan said:
" cool "
"
story
Posted by canucks23

I'm having a hard time thinking of what the hell an assassins creed multiplayer would be. The only thing i could think of is like races or something across a city.

Posted by Red
@nofx4208 said:
" @Tru3_Blu3 said:
" @Zajtalan said:
" cool "
"
story "
bro?
Posted by Tru3_Blu3
@nofx4208 said:
" @Tru3_Blu3 said:
" @Zajtalan said:
" cool "
"
story "
Bro.
 
Ahahahehehahahahehahahehehehohohoho *fanboy face*
Posted by Milkman

Assassin's Creed with multiplayer sounds like an atrocious Assassin's Creed game.

Posted by Walreese55

I still haven't played AC 1 or 2.

Edited by Hot_Karl

I think Avatar would've sold alright if they had waited to release it a week or so after the movie came out.
 
Pretty much everyone here on the forums (as well as most people I know) were like "What the fuck is this blue alien bullshit?". Now that everyone LOVES Avatar, the game is a much easier sell. Even if it sucks.

Posted by fresh2deafbill

AC multiplayer? I don't know what to think about that

Posted by Stinky51012

Beyond Good and Evil 2. That's all I want Ubi.

Posted by ajamafalous
@fresh2deafbill said:
" AC multiplayer? I don't know what to think about that "
It's like Bioshock all over again.
Edited by RipTheVeins

Actually if they make the multiplayer co-op focused in AC then it might actually be pretty cool... like if each person has to work together in order to complete missions such as one making a distraction while the other sneaks in for the kill, or if they both have to assassinate fools at the same time...
 
..but it could also be as bad as GTA IV's multiplayer... ugh.

Edited by Not_Rage

Your bet should account for inflation.

Posted by TheLawnWrangler
@ajamafalous: at least for bioshock it makes sense even though it looks utterly stupid 
Assassins Creed multiplayer would be so damned weird. You aren't allowed to attack someone if someone else is already fighting them, so you have to kind of strafe them for a while 
 
XD
Posted by ch3burashka

BG&E2 and I am Alive, por favor...

Posted by Bubahula

hmmm i could be interested to see what the AC2 multilayer is like, splinter cell?

Posted by natetodamax

AC2 sold 6 million copies? Holy crap.

Posted by Meteora
@natetodamax said:
" AC2 sold 6 million copies? Holy crap. "
Yeah, its pretty fucking impressive for a relatively new series. MW2 sold about 10 million; if you wanted a comparison.
Posted by Synthballs

I think the Assassins Creed Multiplayer has potential. Having some Rooftop Races would be awesome. I don't know how you would do the combat though if it is a deathmatch. The swordplay comes down to waiting to counter and that wouldn't go over well. 

Posted by Rayfield


APPARENTLY UBISOFT LOST MONEY ON THIS. WEIRD.
Posted by Carnage1290

Dammit, conviction needs to come out.  This is getting really old, but if the game is great I guess it will be worth the wait, but still, damn.

Posted by FlipperDesert

Tom Clancy's Raving Rabbids.
 
Think about it, Ubisoft.

Posted by Jedted

I think the AC2 multiplayer focus on co-op assassination missions.  It sounds a little weird when you think about but i'm geussing Ubisoft wouldn't add it if it wasn't interesting. 
Posted by nasher27

"Yeahh, remember the ultra-great CTF game you had to play against a bot during the festival scene to get the golden mask? Yo dawg we're gonna make that TWO PLAYER!" Fuuck that.
 
However, I would be interested in any original modes they could come up with.
 
And I'm not surprised AC2 sold 6 million. That was a fucking great game, more power to them.

Posted by moelarrycurly

Assassin's Creed II multiplayer: Co-op? Yes.  Competitive? No.  That would be a disaster.

Posted by clubsandwich

SC: conviction demo please!! D:

Posted by Fripplebubby
@Rayfield said:
"

APPARENTLY UBISOFT LOST MONEY ON THIS. WEIRD.
"
That game cost $3 dollars to make (2 Euro, sorry) and sold four copies, so no, technically it didn't. 
Posted by MadeinFinland
@Rayfield said:
"

APPARENTLY UBISOFT LOST MONEY ON THIS. WEIRD.
"
can't imagine how. Every male gamer should be interested in this.
Actually... wouldn't that be a great way to propose on someone's birthday or something..?
 
Buy them the 'imagine: wedding designer" and a ring. :D
Posted by Hector

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Posted by HatKing

I totally agree with Ryan on the AC multiplayer idea.  Normally it'd be awful to think of, but this is Ubisoft and I think they know how to do multiplayer without destroying the game.  On top of that it is just DLC it isn't like time of the development cycle for the game is being wasted on it, if it sucks just be glad they did this experiement on DLC and not with AC3.
Posted by HistoryInRust

I think the unanimous uproar over the news of an Assassin's Creed multiplayer component pretty much reflects my feelings on the matter, too. It's built so specifically to be a singleplayer experience, is the problem.

Posted by MeatSim

Can't say I would really care about any multiplayer in AC2.

Posted by DavidSnakes

I maintain that Pandora Tomorrow's online is the best, most entertaining MP ever, so it bodes well for AC

Posted by Spike94

I'm actually stoked about the multiplayer in ACII. Ubisoft is awesome, and I am intriguied as to how it will be handled. Hopefully dueling will be good. Guess we'll just find out when we find out. I'm pretty excited about it though.
Posted by papercut

pleeeeeeeease no AC2 multiplayer achievements. PLEASE!

Posted by carlthenimrod

New Ghost Recon? Yesssssssssssssssssssss!

Online
Posted by TomA

This makes me sad and happy at the same time. Sad because Conviction is my most anticipated title of the year, and happy because Assassins Creed online will be epic.

Posted by ITSSEXYTIME
@Meteora:

It's because Assassin's Creed has always had a very strong marketing force behind it.


Your game doesn't have to be good to sell (although it certainly helps, word of mouth can work wonders such as the case with Demon Souls) it just needs a strong marketing campaign.  Just compare Left4dead 2's popularity to TF2 ( I mean even when it was release the orange box on consoles received almost no attention from anyone, nevermind post-class updates)  or even Left4Dead 2's popularity to Left4Dead 1.

Posted by luce

dang son..Assassin's Creed II sold 6 million 

Posted by Set

beyond good and evil 2 pleaaaaaaase

Posted by foggel

Oh, I thought conviction was delayed like all the way until christmas. This is alright, and suits me just fine so I can focus on my studies :P

Posted by JiuJitsuka85

Remember that Flag run against a CPU? Lets hope multiplayer is a bit more then that:P

Posted by MasterChiefLopez

I got 1000 achievement points in AC2 in just a couple days.  I'm done with that game. 

Posted by Sly_Ry

Dude GRAW 3, hell yes.
Posted by Blackout62

Wait... yeah I can see how they could do AS multiplayer, but it would need new animations.

Posted by kagekage
@ITSSEXYTIME: Demon's Souls sold because it was an amazing game and deserved it.
Posted by Jayzilla

ac2 was amazing. will the players react to me throwing gold on the ground like the NPC's do?

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