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The dancing is starting to slow down for Ubisoft, but it’s still squeezing plenty of money out of Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry.
French publisher Ubisoft reported that its game sales for fiscal 2013, which ended March 31, were up 18 percent for the year. Games like Assassin’s Creed 3 and Far Cry 3 led a 60 percent increase in revenue from core titles. At the same time, the sales of Ubisoft’s casual games dropped by 32 percent despite Just Dance 4 selling 8.4 million units.
The company also reported an 86 percent increase in digital sales. That segment composed 11.7 percent of Ubisoft’s total sales.
“The expertise and talent of our teams enabled Ubisoft to manage the year’s difficult market conditions and the drop in the casual segment remarkably well,” Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot said in a statement. “In addition, the success of Far Cry 3 confirmed our strong comeback in the major segment of shooter games.”
Looking forward, Ubisoft pointed to the diversification of its lineup. It believes the rejuvenated Far Cry franchise and the upcoming open-world Watch Dogs game will bolster its already strong roster of titles.
“We began fiscal 2013 with two major franchises: Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance,” said Guillemot. “Twelve months later, we have substantially extended our reach by establishing Far Cry as another major franchise, building upon the great potential for our newest brand, Watch Dogs, and making our online/digital segment an increasingly significant part of our business.”
For fiscal 2014, Ubisoft expects a favorable comparison. It will launch five major games: Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Watch Dogs, and two unannounced title. One of these is a new property. For comparison, Ubisoft only launched three major games in previous annual period.
“The steady rise in our operating and financial performance during the last three years is the direct result of the long-term investments we have made, with the continued development of our creative capacity and the bolstering of our expertise in online activities.”