The lights are on
Ubisoft has announced its first quarter 2014 financial performance, with significant drops year over year. Compared to first quarter 2013, which included the release of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Ubisoft's sales dropped just over 42 percent.
The good news is that sales reached 76 million euros ($91.6 million), surpassing the expectations of 70 million euros. Positive performance against target was attributed to a 56 percent increase in back catalog sales of Far Cry 3, Assassin's Creed 3, Just Dance 4, Rocksmith, and Rayman Origins.
Additionally, Ubisoft's new mini-AAA titles (Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon and Call of Juarez: The Gunslinger) drove digital performance up 26 percent to 34 million euros ($44.5 million). Second quarter sees Splinter Cell: Blacklist on August 20 and Rayman Legends on September 3. Sales targets for the upcoming quarter are 200 million euros ($262 million).
Ubisoft also announced that online racer The Crew is still on track for release by March 31, 2014. An unannounced title, which was previously also slated for 2013-14 will now be included in 2014-15 (April 2014 to March 2015). No mention was made of The Division, Ubisoft's MMO shooter set in a post-pandemic world.
Our TakeThe remainder of Ubisoft's year looks strong, leading off next quarter with Splinter Cell and Rayman Legends. Third Quarter is even more powerful with Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and the eagerly anticipated Watch Dogs. Ubisoft should be ready at the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launches, giving them a leg up with cross-generation titles that take advantage of the new hardware.
Email the author Mike Futter, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.