Ubisoft acknowledged the weak launch, but has faith it'll get better.
Ubisoft has released their third quarter 2017-17 sales report, and there's plenty of interest to see, not least of which is the acknowledgement that Watch Dogs 2's release wasn't as strong as they would have liked, but they still have faith in it.
In terms of overall sales, Ubisoft reported sales of 529.9 euros for the third quarter, and 811.3 euros for the first nine months, and in the same nine month period there was also a record back-catalog sales, and a record digital revenue.
Player engagement also increased in the same space of time, with 15 million registered players for Rainbow Six: Siege and a 152.3% jump in daily active users for the Division.
Here's what Ubisoft had to say about Watch Dogs 2, however: "Launch not as dynamic as expected, but momentum now positive." Momentum, then, implies that moving forward it can garner more popularity.
Steep also had a "higher-than-expected performance" and, as we know, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, has been delayed.
Yves Guillemot, the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ubisoft, commented: "We are successfully pursuing our transformation into a more recurring and more profitable profile. The positive effects of this transformation are remarkable. They illustrate how far ahead of schedule we are in our digital development, which is one key element of our three-year targets. Our overall player community is growing rapidly. We hit record engagement levels during the period, with 33% more MAU year on year. The number of daily players of Rainbow Six Siege is at its highest ever, an exceptional performance given that the game was released 14 months ago. Meanwhile, The Division has continued its successful come-back, with engagement up by more than 150% by the end of December. This resulted in record back-catalog sales and digital revenue for the third quarter, and we saw another sharp rise in player recurring investment."
"In light of the positive impacts of our transformation, combined with our overall solid performance and tight cost control, we are standing by our objective of achieving record operating income and operating margin for fiscal 2016-17, despite lower-than-expected sales. Our targets for fiscal 2017-18 will be announced mid-May and will include an increase in our topline and operating income, while factoring in the very competitive environment that we expect to see throughout the year. Longer term, with the current successful implementation of our strategic plan, we are confident we will achieve our targets for fiscal 2018-19. In fact, by the end of fiscal 2016-17, we expect to meet, or even exceed, the 45% digital revenue and 17% player recurring investment targets we had set for fiscal 2018-19."
The press release also talked about the recent Assassin's Creed film, as worldwide box-office receipts have exceeded $213 million USD, putting the film as the seventh most successful video game adaptation, and that's without a Japanese and Chinese release.
Going back to Watch Dogs 2 though - is this weak launch going to be an issue, or can the game garner significantly more sales in the future?