Gamers often complain of franchise fatigue. It’s strange to get excited about the same thing every year. That’s why it might seem a little crazy that Ubisoft’s two 2014 Assassin’s Creed games are actually giving the franchise a boost.
Next gen’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity and last gen’s Assassin’s Creed: Rogue look like they could tag-team the holiday and outperform the franchise’s best-selling game, Assassin’s Creed III. At least that’s what it’s looking like according to the preorder data so far. Analyst Doug Creutz of investment firm Cowen & Company uses the Amazon best-selling charts to give each game something it calls the “ordometer score.” Basically, this just gives us a picture of which upcoming games consumers are spending their money on. His results so far show that two Assassin’s Creed are actually significantly stronger than only one.
“The announcement of the last-gen version of Assassin’s Creed was met with a strong enough response to push the combined ordometer score for Unity and Rogue to 47 percent above 2012’s Assassin’s Creed III,” said Creutz.
Gamers apparently weren’t losing interest in Ubisoft’s open-world action series due to annual releases, and it doesn’t look like upping that to two games a year is having a detrimental effect on the franchise, either, at least according to Creutz’s view.
Cowen & Company starts tabulating its ordometer scores starting the week after the Electronic Entertainment Expo tradeshow in early June. Over the last three years, Creutz claims that his model has had 90 percent accuracy compared to the actual sales. While he’s only working with 10 weeks of data, he expects the current prediction for Ubisoft’s biggest franchise to hold through until each games’ release date.
While having two games in a year for a single triple-A gaming property might seem like a lot, Ubisoft’s strategy of splitting the games among new- and last-gen systems is likely the reason it isn’t hurting Assassin’s Creed’s reputation. People who spent a lot of money on an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 can feel like they’re getting something totally new that isn’t held back by aging technology. At the same time, gamers that only have last-gen systems might feel like they’re getting something special rather than a hobbled version of the “real” game.
While Assassin’s Creed preorders may be doing well thanks to Unity and Rogue, Cruetz’s ordometer score has the upcoming sci-fi shooter Destiny, from Halo developer Bungie, easily as the most-preordered upcoming release. Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare come up in at second, third, and fourth, respectively. Unity is fifth while Rogue is ninth.
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