For much of 2014, any headline associated with Ubisoft games was likely to be negative – but that appears to have had little effect on the company’s bottom line. Q3 financial reports released today by Ubisoft show some pretty healthy “sell-in” (ie, sold to retailers) figures for their titles.
Despite terrible performance issues, glitches and idiotic statements about 30fps being all “cinematic” and stuff, Assassin’s Creed: Unity managed to do pretty well. In conjunction with Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, it apparently shipped off 10 million copies.
There are some caveats here. At the same point last year, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag had sold 10 million to retailers on its own (which, in itself, was reported as being 2 million lower than Assassin’s Creed III before it.) However, Black Flag was sold across six platforms (PC, PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3 and Wii U) while Unity and Rogue combined have so far only appeared on five (PC, Xbox One, PS4 for Unity, 360 and PS3 with PC to come for Rogue.)
Confusing the issue further, it’s not clear whether “sell-in” includes games in console bundles or given away free with PC graphics cards. It probably does, but that’s just speculation on my part. Having a clearer idea how the game sales break down by platform would be nice too, as we’re obviously most interested in the PC numbers here. A general figure of 9% is given for the PC sales ratio as a whole (down 1% from last year.)
Away from Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft still appears to have done very well. Watch Dogs has figures of 10 million too, despite all the graphics downgrade business on PC. Far Cry 4 is said to have sold-in 7 million copies, an increase on the 4.5 million Far Cry 3 had done in Q3 2013.
Even The Crew (which received a pretty tepid reception,) is said to have recorded “the best sales for the racing games released in late 2014.” That said, The Crew (unlike DriveClub and Forza Horizon 2) was released on multiple platforms. Still, even with the Ubi-spin, the given figures of 2 million copies sold-in are pretty decent.
What we can learn from all of this is that people really, really love climbing/discovering radio towers, landmarks and other buildings, pressing a button, and revealing thousands of side activities.