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Ubisoft sells 11 million copies of Assassin's Creed IV — and looks to release franchises 'more regularly'

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Above: Indie developers aren't looking to direct the next Assassin's Creed.

Image Credit: Ubisoft

Publisher Ubisoft had another strong year thanks to perennial hits like Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance, but it still experienced a loss for its fiscal 2014.

The company reported its annual financial results today, and it revealed that it generated revenue of $1.38 billion. Major hits like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (11 million sold to retailers and digitally), and Just Dance 4 (6 million) were among the biggest contributors to that figure. Despite the success of these games, Ubisoft reported an operating loss of $90 million.

“Although Ubisoft did not reach the targets announced a year ago, we did see a number of significant achievements during the period,” Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot said in a statement. “Above all, we consistently achieved high quality across our games, notably for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag — the best-rated game of the Christmas season for PS4 and Xbox One — and for South Park: The Stick of Truth, which delivered a solid sales performance for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.”

Guillemot also pointed to the company’s growing digital revenue as a newly “substantial contributor.” This segment of Ubisoft’s business accounted for 19 percent of its total sales, and the CEO expects that to grow in fiscal 2015. This includes downloads for full games on PC and consoles as well as transactions for its mobile and online games.

Looking forward, the company announced that it would have five major games for this calendar year. That includes Far Cry 4, which it revealed today alongside its financial report. The other four are Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Just Dance 2015, and The Crew.

For Watch Dogs, which is due out later this month, the company claimed the open-world action game is setting preorder records for a new intellectual property. Ubisoft expects the game to reach sales of more than 6 million, which is better than the first Assassin’s Creed performed.

Ubisoft is forecasting sales of $1.91 billion for fiscal 2015 and an operating income of at least $205 million.

Looking even further down the line, Guillemot explained how Ubisoft is laying the groundwork for annual profitability. That includes doubling down on annual franchises that have multiple studios working in unison. He thinks that this strategy will give the company an edge.

“We will be able to release our franchises more and more regularly, providing solid visibility on our future revenue and profitability streams,” said Guillemot. “All that, combined with the open-world and online expertise that we have been growing steadily internally, makes us believe that we will benefit disproportionately from the arrival of the new generation and from the continued growth of the online market.”

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More information:

Ubisoft is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. Present in 28 countries with 26 studios and a distribution network that spans more than 55 territories, Ubisoft has won over gamers worldwi... read more »

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