Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Rayman Legends selling below expectations

In an investor's call, Ubisoft executives stated that part of the reason it has revised its fiscal year expectations downward is lower-than-expected performance of games like Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Rayman Legends.

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Two of Ubisoft's big releases have performed below expectations, the company has stated during an investor's call. The next fiscal year forecast was revised due to the delays of Watch Dogs and The Crew, but Ubisoft acknowledged that missing targets for Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Rayman Legends played a role too.

The initial forecast for FY 2013 was $1.94 billion, but that figure has been revised to $1.38 billion. CFO Alain Martinez said in the call (via CVG) that the drop was "principally explained" by the delays. "The remainder is explained by a lower expectation on already released titles, which sales are impacted by the transition to the next generation of consoles, as well as exchange rate impacts," he said. Later in the call, he specified Splinter Cell, Rayman, and "others" as games that have performed below expectations.

He said that Watch Dogs was trending towards the upper end of their predictions, while CEO Yves Guillemot pointed out that the delay will help it become a major franchise for the company.

"In a world of mega-blockbusters we have come to the conclusion that the team needed more time to realise the game's potential," Guillemot said. "We consider it to be a long term pillar of our future performance, alongside the likes of Assassin's Creed and Far Cry."

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 16, 2013 8:50 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Rayman Legends selling below expectations.

    In an investor's call, Ubisoft executives stated that part of the reason it has revised its fiscal year expectations downward is lower-than-expected performance of games like Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Rayman Legends.

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      October 16, 2013 10:05 AM

      Color me shocked. They took out all the aspects of Splinter Cell that made it Splinter Cell when they turned it into an action game rather than a stealth game. They alienated the old fans and there's nothing about the game to draw in new players.

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        October 16, 2013 10:35 AM

        That's funny. My friend said it was one of the best splinter cell games in recent years.

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        October 16, 2013 10:36 AM

        The fuck are you talking about? Blacklist is the most Splinter Cellish the series has been since Chaos Theory. Going all-stealth in that game is fucking hard.

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        October 16, 2013 10:54 AM

        If you were talking about Convictions you'd be right but Blacklist is much better and even rewards you more for stealthy play.

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          October 16, 2013 12:10 PM

          What I've heard is that Blacklist combines the best aspects of Conviction and Chaos Theory. It has a really substantial stealth component, but it also gives you a lot of flexibility to take a more aggressive approach if desired.

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            October 16, 2013 12:56 PM

            This is true. I did several full stealth missions and they were really quite difficult, with lots of restarting since some of the missions don't have checkpoints.

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          October 16, 2013 12:59 PM

          Yeah but people don't necessarily realize this and jut assume it's more of the same as Convinctions. I'm personally digging Blacklist, it's lots of fun. Finished a ghost run through the main quest and about to go back for the other styles

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            October 16, 2013 11:20 PM

            Initially I was turned off on it because of Convictions and they called the hybrid stealth-killer mode "Pather Style" which just made me laugh. Turns out it's my favorite style of play.

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        October 16, 2013 12:50 PM

        Blacklist is stealth as hell dude.

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        October 16, 2013 12:57 PM

        [deleted]

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          October 16, 2013 1:24 PM

          this one is really my fault. I need to get the new splinter cell. didn't finish conviction.

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        October 16, 2013 1:36 PM

        After reading these comments its seems I'll need to upgrade my computer and get me Blacklist ASAP when I'm finished moving.

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        October 16, 2013 4:50 PM

        This is probably one of the reasons it isn't selling to good. People just assume the game will suck because the previous Splinter Cell game sucked (I really hate this mentality). People seem to like to hate on a game the day it gets announced because the previous game in the series was below their expectations. I bet you are judging the game without even have played it.

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          October 17, 2013 1:45 AM

          I was so happy to have been wrong the same way with Assassin's Creed 2. It was the most improved game ever. I was incredibly skeptical of the time period setting but turned out to be incredibly well done.

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        October 16, 2013 5:55 PM

        [deleted]

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        October 16, 2013 11:15 PM

        I'm going to add to this pile just to underline the fact that Blacklist ruled and people should consider knowing WTF before opening their mouths.

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        October 17, 2013 12:31 AM

        Blacklist was awesome and not like what you described at all. There are even missions where serious shit is going down (active attacks on bases etc) that you intercept in the midst of and still are put in non-combat mode and expected to stealth through. Those types would have been so easy for them to simply make an 'action mission' but they didn't.

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      October 16, 2013 11:27 AM

      People are tired of paying $60 for 3x+ deep sequels. Blacklist is a good game and I enjoyed it but i would not have bought it at full price.
      UBI also has a reputation for shipping half baked games and patching later going back many years. If they want loads of pre-orders and full pop buyers lined up this is a reputation they will have to address as well.

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        October 16, 2013 11:33 AM

        So, sorta like Gearbox then, right?

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        October 16, 2013 12:18 PM

        Bingo. I'm not willing to drop $60+ on games I'm semi-interested in.

        If SC was $40-$50 I'd have bought it.

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      October 16, 2013 12:08 PM

      no reason Rayman shouldn't be selling well, not sure Ubi has figured out how to market that to people who like Mario

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        October 16, 2013 1:01 PM

        By not alienating itself to the very same population?

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          October 16, 2013 2:13 PM

          they should've already built a legacy with Origins. The types of Mario fans we're talking about are not the few million people who already have a Wii U and read about video game news and feel like a game being delayed due to standard business issues is a slap in the face or some similarly dumb thing.

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        October 16, 2013 3:34 PM

        1. Don't tell your customers to go fuck themselves and cancel the game from launch.
        2. Don't give the customers you just told to go fuck themselves 5 months of daily grinds before the eventual launch.
        3. Simultaneous PC and console release. A good idea? You make the call.

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          October 16, 2013 3:47 PM

          like I said, the tiny existing Wii U install base is not the problem. The previous game was worthy of accolades and should've built a following on 360/PS3. There're 120+ million 360/PS3 owners who could be buying Rayman Legends. There're hundreds of millions of mobile users who could be getting introduced to the franchise with the Rayman Origins based game there. The Wii U customers are not important next to those groups. The number of Wii U owners who're so butthurt by the delay that now out of spite they're not buying a great game for their new system that lacks games is a completely ignorable market segment. They got far more content for their money than they would've 6 months ago.

          Boo hoo, game was delayed because your favorite system is selling like shit, move on, buy the good games for it when they do come out if you don't like that practice.

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            October 16, 2013 4:44 PM

            Maybe the game just isn't that good. You ever think to consider that, not in the same leagues as a Mario game period!!!

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              October 16, 2013 4:55 PM

              I haven't played legends, but Origins was a lot more fun than the last few New Super Mario Bros games.

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              October 16, 2013 5:00 PM

              Aggregate scores for Rayman Origins and Legends are as good or better (in the case of Legends significantly better) than NSMB DS, Wii, Wii U and NSMB 2 for 3DS. The Wii U version of Rayman Legends has an aggregate 92% score (via gamerankings), NSMB DS has a 89% and every newer iteration has only been lower, with NSMB2 all the way down at 78%.

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                October 16, 2013 6:54 PM

                Yes the press always loves a under dog. The press has the agenda of wanting, thinking their voice and opinion matters... It doesn't, the public votes and raymans scores a few hundred thousand copies, Mario scores tens of millions!

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                  October 16, 2013 7:02 PM

                  oh god, it's a nintendo version of fin4lspartan

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                    October 16, 2013 7:10 PM

                    Dude you can't fool the public. No amount of advertising, or reviews can sway them, quality is what they want, and will find.

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                      October 16, 2013 7:30 PM

                      You can fool the public. Nintendo could slap the Mario logo on a turd and millions of people would still buy it just because it says Mario. ex: any of the recent Mario Party games.

                      Having a franchise character that's super popular and sells regardless of the game's quality does not mean a lesser known quantity like Rayman Origins is bad. You can't judge everything on popularity and sales alone. Do you only listen to top 40 pop radio stations and not music you sought out and genuinely like? Do you only watch big budget summer blockbusters and ignore all other movies? I could go on and on here.

                      Rayman Origins is a top notch game with fun and varied gameplay and levels, tight controls, incredible art and animation, and sound that rivals and even surpasses most other platformers. I personally wasn't a fan of the old Rayman games but I'm glad I did not let my bias or the fact that it didn't sell millions prevent me from playing Origins. It's fantastic.

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                        October 17, 2013 8:30 AM

                        What's more likely that millions of people are wrong or you and a few others are right? It's the millions that are right.

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                          October 18, 2013 9:51 PM

                          This is really too complex of a discussion to try to analogize. You're forcing square pegs in round holes.

                          There are terrible games that sell a million copies (Colonial Marines) and there are great games that struggle. The public is not always right and the notion that the market alone or reviewers alone are the best judge of quality is absurd. Quality can be largely subjective. Even the most seasoned reviewer or consumer can't possibly measure two games with the same measurement (hence why we on the boards always accuse them of being hypocrites).

                          Spend 10 minutes on Google and you can find any half baked analogy you want going either way.

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                      October 16, 2013 7:45 PM

                      sales = quality, Twlight is one of the greatest pieces of fiction of all time. N'Sync is the best artist of a generation. Gamecube is one of the worst consoles ever. It's so simple.

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                        October 17, 2013 8:27 AM

                        Greatest piece of fiction, no. Very quality piece yes.

                        Best artist no, really good artist yes!

                        Neither of those where best selling all time by the way. That's Michael Jackson, and Shakespeare.

                  • ArB legacy 10 years
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                    October 17, 2013 12:31 AM

                    fin4luigi

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                    October 17, 2013 1:47 AM

                    I thought kenblopz already took that title.

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              October 16, 2013 6:49 PM

              bullshit. if this game has mario in it would hailed as the second coming.

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                October 16, 2013 6:52 PM

                It was hailed as the 2nd coming by reviewers and what did people think about the game. Well they thought it was dumb hence the sales. Ray man isn't a good game, it's a mediocre platformer from the early 90's that lacks innovation.

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                  October 16, 2013 6:53 PM

                  lol

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                  October 16, 2013 10:50 PM

                  They didn't buy it because it doesn't have freakin mario on the cover not because it's a bad game.

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                  October 17, 2013 12:27 AM

                  Lol, WRONG! The only reason I believe people aren't buying many games is because they are either being marketed poorly and gamers aren't ready to drop full price on games they aren't quite sure about. Personally I'm waiting for Rayman Legends to drop to half price and I'll finally go out and buy it. With new consoles around the corner and being stuck in this economical climate, it really makes it hard to justify spending £45/$60 on a game that you could maybe wait to play.

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      October 16, 2013 12:12 PM

      At one point Splinter Cell was my favorite game series*, and I haven't bought 'Blacklist' yet.

      I guess I am not surprised at the sales report, though I would be interested to know the hard data.

      I haven't seen Blacklist drop in price yet (which usually is a clear indicator that it's not performing well).

      The fanboy in me was really irked by the dismissal of Michael Ironside. I'm sure it was handled professionally but it still sucks.

      Incidentally, I really liked Conviction.

      I know a fellow Shacker who worked on Blacklist (not personally, just thru chat) but I haven't been sold on it yet.

      *}y Check my post history. First game I ever pre-ordered was SC: Pandora Tomorrow.

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        October 16, 2013 12:51 PM

        Blacklist is really good. One of the better games to come out this year. While I was playing it I was constantly reminded of Deus Ex: HR and praise doesn't come much higher than that.

        I never played conviction, and I can see how it put a sour taste in gamers mouths, but Blacklist is great!

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          October 17, 2013 1:48 AM

          It was certainly a surprise for me too. I had totally been blowing it off until happynoodle gifted it to me. That guy has a good eye for games.

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      October 16, 2013 12:49 PM

      Please, bottom line is gamers are either broke, burned out or simply not interested. Next-gen is looking like ass cause its more of the same. Unless there is a MAJOR gaming revolution I see 1983 happening all over again.
      Rayman and Blacklist not selling well, Tomb Raider? There is a LOT of fatigue out there. A lot of it. I also see lots of niche games getting played to the fullest and quietly. Gamers are just bored to tears and strapped for cash. There is nothing moving them to even turn on their favorite platform let alone buy anything.

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        October 16, 2013 12:59 PM

        people seem to have no problem dropping $60 on GTA, COD, BF4, AC3, etc. Poor budgeting and poor marketing for good games leads to disappointing sales.

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        October 16, 2013 1:11 PM

        Thanks for speaking for all gamers.

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        October 16, 2013 1:20 PM

        Not sure of the numbers on the others but Tombraider sold something like 4 million and still got labeled as under performing.

        I don't think the market is the problem here, it's the unrealistic expectations of the publisher.

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          October 16, 2013 1:35 PM

          ^^^ This.

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          October 16, 2013 4:33 PM

          its an industry that has allowed itself to get into a state where a 4 million seller game cant turn enough of a profit to be considered a success.

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            October 16, 2013 4:37 PM

            Have you ever tried to sit through credits of a modern game? It can take up to an hour. There are so many people - marketing, localization, etc. Then when you think the credits are finally done, you've got credits for people in other countries. It's a ridiculous amount of manpower for one video game.

            ...and after the game is done, they lay off the whole team.

            I miss the good ol' days when the credit screen was just one screen (see: id Software back in the day). Those old game developers were mofo'in rock stars.

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              October 16, 2013 5:20 PM

              i still have that PC gamer poster of the "25 Gods of Gaming". i do miss those days, it seems like all those people are either so high up in companies that they dont matter anymore or have left the industry.

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          October 16, 2013 11:09 PM

          yeah that's Ubisoft with all their games really. They can't expect bestsellers with almost yearly sequel releases. They don't have a Madden or CoD franchise on their hand.

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      October 16, 2013 2:27 PM

      Hard to market a game like Rayman these days. Honestly, if I hadn't grown up on Mario and Sonic I don't know if I'd be drawn to it.

      Sucks because I'd like to see another one.

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      October 16, 2013 3:20 PM

      :( both of these games own, if you don't own them you really should.

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        October 16, 2013 4:46 PM

        I should have bought Splinter Cell: Blacklist the last time it was one sale. Now I'm just waiting for it to go on sale again.

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      October 16, 2013 6:09 PM

      [deleted]

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      October 16, 2013 6:16 PM

      They got my money and it was very good but with GTAV I haven't played it (or anything else) since that came out. I thought SC sold good. Knowing Convictions faults I guess that could draw people away.

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      October 17, 2013 12:29 AM

      Rayman Legends is the best platforming game I've played in years.

      That makes me sad. :(

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      October 17, 2013 2:02 AM

      Damn well I'm looking forward to getting both on a good discount.

      The irony is by most accounts Blacklist does stealth very well but I didn't pick it up cause of all the negativity here. Sometimes I feel the fans really shoot themselves in the foot.

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      October 17, 2013 9:27 AM

      The decision to postponed Rayman Legends was STUPID.

      As I said it when it happened, this WOULD NOT help sales and it did NOT.

      The game had such a hype on Wii U, it would have been a killer ap.

      But instead bringing it to PS3/360 killed the hype around the game.

      And the PS3/360 owners who were so vocal about that title being exclusive to Wii U didn't even bother buying the game on their platforms.

      Time to take some long vacations Guillemot...

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