Few publishers have ever embraced a new system with the fervor Ubisoft took to the Wii. Back in August, the French publisher promised to have seven new games ready for the system's launch. Even though some of those titles failed to hit shelves on day one (Open Season, Far Cry Vengeance, and Blazing Angels all slipped), the games that were released sold well enough to make Ubisoft the top third-party publisher on the system in both the US and Europe, according to a financial report released by the company today.
Even beyond the Wii, Ubisoft trumpeted a strong third fiscal quarter (October through December 2006) that saw its sales jump 24 percent over the year before to 311 million euros ($408 million). For the first nine months of its fiscal year, Ubisoft posted 483 million euros ($628 million) in revenue, a 20 percent jump over the 403 million euros ($524 million) it managed in the first nine months of last year.
Xbox 360 games were the biggest driver of the company's sales, accounting for 28 percent of its quarterly revenues thanks to releases like Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent. In the previous year's third quarter, sales of Ubisoft's Xbox 360 game catalog--which contained only Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie--only made up 5 percent of Ubisoft revenues.
Meanwhile, games for the Wii--which wasn't even launched until more than halfway through the quarter--made up 21 percent of Ubisoft's take for the period, with Red Steel being a top seller for the company. The Wii and the Xbox 360 combined accounted for 49 percent of Ubisoft's quarterly revenue. The publisher did not include the PlayStation 3 by name in its sales breakdown for the quarter, but the December release of Blazing Angels on the system is presumably covered by the 1 percent of the company's revenue it attributes to "other" platforms.
Ubisoft also released a few tidbits of game specific news in its filing. First off, the company's first-person shooter Haze, originally scheduled for release on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC by March 31, has slipped into the next fiscal year. Also, the publisher confirmed that a Blazing Angels follow-up spotted on online retailers is coming to the Xbox 360 and PC by the end of March.
Going forward, Ubisoft looks to continue its support for the Wii in the future, with four new games planned for release by the end of its fiscal year (Blazing Angels, Driver: Parallel Lines, TMNT, Prince of Persia: Rival Swords). Three more had been penciled in for the company's fourth quarter, but were bumped back to the next fiscal year, much like Haze.
Finally, the company increased its revenue projections for the year in light of its third quarter results. For the full fiscal year, Ubisoft now expects sales to be up 16 percent as opposed to its previous 10-12 percent projected range.
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