Last year was tough for Ubisoft. Watch Dogs never really hit it off with critics, the Rainbow Six Siege Alpha received a "so-so" reception and Assassin's Creed Unity was a glitchy mess. The publisher's reputation took a serious hit — but what about the sales?
Well, that's a two-fold question. If you're talking about Ubisoft's own, internal goals (via IGN), then they're just fine: the publisher was hoping to make €80 million (just over $89 million), and they managed to pull in roughly €96 million (approximately $106 million). It's clear that Ubisoft is far from going under, especially with numbers like that — but what about its year-on-year numbers?
That's where the trouble starts: at the same time last year, the company was reporting just over $402 million in sales. That's a 73% decrease — something that no company ever wants to see.
So, why the sharp decrease? Basically, it comes down to Watch Dogs: while the game received a somewhat middling reception from reviewers, it sold extremely well. Without a similar success in 2015, Ubisoft was never going to hit the same numbers again.
That said, things aren't as bad as they might sound: Ubisoft is still selling plenty of games, and the higher-than-expected numbers can be attributed to continued sales of both Assassin's Creed Unity and Far Cry 4, among others. Digital sales are also up (they're currently sitting at around 56 percent, compared with 23 percent last year), as are next-generation sales.
Specifically, the PlayStation 4 is turning out to be a big boost for Ubisoft: roughly 27 percent of the publisher's sales came from Sony's latest console. Compare that with the 23 percent from PC sales and the 11 percent brought in from the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 combined, and it's easy to see how much money the PlayStation 4 is bringing in.
Ubisoft's 2015 holiday lineup is also looking to be far stronger than 2014's: For Honor, Assassin's Creed Syndicate and Rainbow Six Siege should help make up for last year's lackluster offerings... if they work straight out of the box, that is.
The first of Ubisoft's triple-A 2015 holiday titles, Rainbow Six Siege, is due out on October 13.