During its conference call to investors yesterday, Ubisoft unveiled that both Rayman Legends and Splinter Cell: Blacklist failed to meet internal sales targets. Despite the current-gen couple receiving largely positive acclaim, the publisher admitted that their under-performance informed the revision to the company’s revenue expectation for 2013; slipping from $1.94 billion to $1.38 billion.
In a statement provided to CVG, Ubisoft’s financial officer Alain Martinez discussed the announcement.
“As we have said we have experienced lower sales than we anticipated when we gave our targets; already released games such as Splinter Cell, Rayman [Legends] and others. Watch Dogs was trending towards the higher part of our guidance because the pre-orders were very good. We had more units than we had on the original plan.”
Echoing the same sentiment expressed by many publishers recently, Ubisoft pointed the blame to the upcoming transition to new hardware and the subsequent consumer apprehension. Rayman Legends launched in late August after a series of delays, including the internal decision to bring the once Wii U exclusive to various platforms including PS3, Xbox 360 and PlayStation Vita. Splinter Cell: Blacklist, on the other hand, swapped series stalwart Michael Ironside for newcomer Eric Johnson, though it could well be that Ubisoft is suffering from a Square Enix-like case of overestimation.
In terms of lowering the revenue expectation, however, it’s clear that the company’s decision to delay The Crew and Watch Dogs had a knock-on effect, too. The two next-gen titles have been pushed back to 2014, with Ubisoft stating that it “won’t compromise on quality.” Fine tuning aside, it’s evident that the publisher is shifting its internal plans. After all, we understand that Ubisoft want to stoke Watch Dogs’ franchise potential in the future; a move that would see it join the likes of Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed as a pillar in the publisher’s catalogue.
What do you make of Ubisoft’s financial announcement, though? Do you think Rayman Legends and Splinter Cell: Blacklist deserved higher sales? Let us know below.