Ubisoft has revealed their latest company reports and in the mix is the news that a new Assassin’s Creed game will be released in their fiscal 2010-11 year featuring online multiplayer. There’s also news about Splinter Cell: Conviction for the Xbox 360.
One of the most delayed games of this generation, apart from perhaps Gran Turismo 5, is Splinter Cell: Conviction for the Xbox 360. And this isn’t going to change any time soon. Ubisoft has announced in their latest financial reports that the game, along with R.U.S.E, will again be delayed until the 2010-11 fiscal year. Splinter Cell is expected to hit in April of this year.
The company has felt the need to reduce their sales targets for 2009-10, down from €1,040 to €860 million. This is due to some titles not performing as well as predicted, including James Cameron’s Avatar. However, a game that performed above expectations was Assassin’s Creed 2, selling through 6 million units, and this has resulted in Ubisoft funding another title in the series. The next Assassin’s Creed episode will bring online multiplayer to the series for the first time. This was revealed in the company’s 2010-11 expectations:
The 2010-11 fiscal year will see a greater number of franchise releases than in 2009-10, including Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction, a new game in the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series, Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands, Driver, Raving Rabbids 4 and a new episode of Assassin’s Creed, which will be the first in the series to have an online multiplayer mode. The 2010-11 line-up will be more focused on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the consoles which are expected to experience sustained sales growth in games for gamers in calendar 2010. Other new franchises and innovations will also be announced throughout the year.
The wording in the above extract does not necessarily suggest Assassin’s Creed 3; a “new episode” could imply downloadable content. Yves Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer, commented on Ubisoft’s results:
Despite a number of highly successful titles, such as Assassin’s Creed 2 – which is expected to reach 9 million sell-in units by the end of March 2010 – and Just Dance – our great Wii success during the holiday season – Ubisoft has not met its financial targets. The considerable contraction in the DS market during the year particularly affected Ubisoft, leading to a €160 million, or almost 50%, year-on-year drop in the Company’s casual segment sales. At the same time, like in 2008, the year 2009 saw the release of many more very high-quality games than in the past.
Against this backdrop and with a view to further reducing our exposure to the DS, we intend to continue to refocus our development resources on our major franchises and on the Xbox360 and PS3, the two consoles which are expected to see sales growth in games for gamers in 2010. Ubisoft has already demonstrated its capacity for success in the high-end games market thanks to Assassin’s Creed 2, with sales 40% higher than for the first title. The 2010-11 line-up – which is stronger in franchises for Xbox360 and PS3 – reflects our refocusing efforts and should enable us to both win market share and enhance our profitability.