Ubisoft Shipped 8 Million Copies Of Watch Dogs, But May Have Sold 20 Percent Fewer

by Mike Futter on Jul 15, 2014 at 01:00 PM

One of the key features of Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs is hacking into the phones of the many civilians walking through Chicago’s streets. Whether you’re doing it to steal money (possibly from people with terminal illness) or simply listening in on phone calls, everything is yours at the push of a button.

According to Ubisoft, over 1 billion civilians have been hacked (1,773,131,550 to be exact). The publisher says that averages out to 280 per player. 

Ubisoft recently reported that it has shipped 8 million copies of Watch Dogs (beating its target of 6.3 million units, which lines up with the first Assassin’s Creed’s sales). According to the math though, Ubisoft has sold just over 6.3 million copies of Watch Dogs to customers (6,332,970 or thereabouts to be more precise).

In regard to Watch Dogs’ success, CEO Yves Guillemot affirmed that the publisher considers it to be “positioned as a major franchise.” In other words, expect to see more titles in the series (possibly as early as next year, given Ubisoft’s affinity for annual releases). For more on Watch Dogs, check out our review.

We've reached out to Ubisoft for confirmation on shipped versus sold numbers. We'll update should we receive a response.

[Source: Watch Dogs on Twitter]


Our Take
For the purposes of financial reporting, sell-in (the amount of copies sold to stores) is absolutely relevant. Provided Ubisoft doesn’t need to buy back product later down the line (which is uncommon) or subsidize retailer discounts to move product, the 8 million sell-in number is still good news (even if 20 percent higher than sell-through).

For consumers, this does reminds that there is a discrepancy (sometimes significant) with copies in the hands of customers. Ubisoft has reason to be happy about Watch Dogs’ performance, but this helps put the picture in focus a bit more.