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Ubisoft executives said they were bullish about the prospects for the next-generation consoles even after they were chastened last year for being overly optimistic about the Nintendo Wii U game console.
Yves Guillemot, the chief executive of the French video game publisher, said in an earnings conference call with analysts that the company is encouraged that preorders for the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlaySation 4 are double what they were in the last generation.
“We are quite bullish on the success of the Xbox One and the PS4,” Guillemot said. He expects double-digit growth for the console game market in 2014.
Ubisoft is standing by its previously announced targets for the year ending March 31, 2014, for sales of 1.42 billion euros to 1.45 billion euros, or $1.85 billion to $1.9 billion.
Ubisoft said it is the fourth-largest U.S. video game publisher and the third-largest in Europe. The company has six major games coming this fiscal year: Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Rayman Legends in August; and this fall, new arrivals include Just Dance 2014, Watch Dogs, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.
Guillemot was bullish on open-world games and titles that engage users in online multiplayer, social networking, and user-generated content. Ubisoft chief financial officer Alain Martinez said on the call, “With our Wii U commitment, we got it wrong,” so he did not dare to be more specific on the Xbox One and PS4 preorders. But he said that Ubisoft’s own next-generation games are tracking well and that he was encouraged at the retailers’ comments about increases in preorders for the machines in this generation.