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Ubisoft Reports $652m Holiday Quarter, Further Delays Haze

Publisher Ubisoft has announced that its third quarter sales rose 44.4 percent to €450 million ($652 million) on strong cross-platform performance of Assassin's Creed, and further delayed Haze from the upcoming quarter to an undetermined tim
Publisher Ubisoft has announced that its third quarter sales rose 44.4 percent to €450 million ($652 million) on strong cross-platform performance of Assassin's Creed, and further delayed Haze from the upcoming quarter to an undetermined time in the coming year. The publisher's third quarter sales outpaced even the guidance it had raised in December to €410 million ($594 million). Success in the quarter came from Assassin's Creed, which it notes was the second best PS3 seller and third best Xbox 360 seller, and its casual lineup including Babyz, Animal Doctor and the MyCoach series. Ubisoft says sales for the first nine months of this fiscal year are up 47.2 percent to €711 million ($1.03 billion), and that next-generation consoles are making up 84 percent of its sales, up from 55 percent the year prior. Looking forward to its forthcoming quarter, Ubisoft says it expects sales of €165 million ($239 million), down 16 percent from the year prior. The publisher says it will release Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, Assassin's Creed on PC and DS, its TV tie-in Lost for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, and a number of casual games for DS and Wii such as Nitrobike, Petz: Bunnyz and Puppy Play during the quarter. Its Free Radical developed FPS Haze, however, having already been delayed in November to sometime between January and March, has now been pushed back again to an unspecified time in the year following. Because of the delay, the publisher has raised its guidance for the coming fiscal year to €1 billion ($1.45 billion), up from its prior forecast of €975 million ($1.41 billion). For this current fiscal year, the company has raised guidance as well from €840 million ($1.22 billion) to €875 million ($1.27 billion). Said CEO Yves Guillemot, "Ubisoft moved up from fourth to third place in the overall ranking of independent publishers in 2007 - a year that saw the video game industry enter new dimension with previously unheard-of visibility. This revolution stems from the greater accessibility of Nintendo's consoles as well as from the superb cinema-like visual experience provided by Sony and Microsoft consoles." "We expect this situation to significantly drive up market performance once again in 2008," he concluded, "with overall market growth representing at least 10%. Against this backdrop, Ubisoft will continue to leverage its strong brands and design capacities with a view to outperforming the market."

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