It seems like publishers are saving all the bad news for their financial results this year. Well, Ubisoft's business news is great – sales are up 52% to 261.4 million euros – but the news for gamers isn't so good.
But we'll start with the positive: according to GamesIndustry.biz, first-half profits for the big publisher hit 167.6 million euro, way up from the 102.2 million they posted during the first half of the '06-'07 fiscal year. Best of all, their net income was 30.6 million euro, which is in stark contrast to the 20.5 million they lost last year.
"Ubisoft's excellent sales performance during the first half of fiscal 2007-08 has considerably boosted our earnings figures for the period," said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot. "In addition, the early indications for our Christmas game launches have been positive, especially for Assassin's Creed, whose sell-through sales have already topped the record level of 1 million units."
Well, it's no surprise to see Assassin's Creed selling well; the advertising campaign is huge and the game is great. Ubisoft, like most other publishers, continues to move further into the new generation while leaving the last generation behind. 75% of their overall sales came from next-gen software; that number was only 39% last year, although only one "next-gen" system (the Xbox 360) was around for all of 2006. Lastly, the company confirmed their expectations for the third quarter and remainder of the year, predicting 330 million euros-worth of sales in Q3 and 825 million by the end of the fiscal year '07-'08. As you can see, it's coming up all roses for Ubisoft right now, but here's the bad news:
Haze , one of the most anticipated titles of the year, has been delayed until the fourth quarter, which ends on March 31, 2008. The PS3 is to be the lead platform for this FPS, and it was originally scheduled for a Q3 release. Some rumors even said we would see it on December 14 in Europe, but obviously, those rumors aren't true. Furthermore, Splinter Cell: Conviction has been pushed to fiscal '08-'09 (initially slated for Q4 this year), and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 is now tentatively scheduled for Q4 '07-'08. But for PS3 owners, the Haze delay is definitely disappointing. Here's hoping Epic can bring us Unreal Tournament 3 before Christmas to make up for it…
Related Game(s): Haze