News Article

Ubisoft CEO Not Satisfied With Wii U Sales

Posted by Andy Green

But says they will improve

Ubisoft has been cruel and kind to Wii U recently. Of course there was the now infamous announcement that the publisher would be delaying Rayman Legends until September to allow for a multiplatform release, then it made a peace offering with the announcement of an online challenge mode for the delayed game that would be available exclusively in the Wii U eShop this April.

It didn't stop there in its appeasement, however, as the company announced a Wii U eShop sale in North America for all six of its current Wii U retail games, knocking 30% off the full price.

Ubisoft has arguably been very supportive of Nintendo's new system, despite the delay of Rayman Legends. As mentioned, it already has six games available on Wii U and very recently it announced Watch_Dogs would also be coming, showing that it does still back the console.

In a recent interview with GameKult, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot was asked if Rayman Legends' delay signalled that his company was lessening its support for Wii U. Guillemot responded by saying the following (translated from French):

No problem with the Wii U. In fact, we saw the opportunity, by giving more time, to have the best game ever made for the Wii U. Teams began to show what they made with the whole social aspect, which they will release in April. This makes it possible to make a social part which was impossible until now, and additional bosses.

The goal is to make one of Ubisoft's best games. The team is fully on Wii U to do that, but it also works on other generations, to arrive on several generations at the same time.

Guillemot said Ubisoft was not wholly satisfied with the sales of Wii U after the holiday period and that it was monitoring the situation closely. He appeared confident sales of the console would pick up soon though, saying that he trusted Nintendo to boost the system's prospects:

I don't have a recommendation, Nintendo is big enough to analyze the different things to do. Many games are coming soon, which should help the machine to resume sales.

What do you think of Ubisoft's support for Wii U? Let us know your thoughts by dropping a comment below.

[via gamekult.com, neogaf.com]

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User Comments (69)

True_Hero

#1

True_Hero said:

It'll be fine. You just keep making games, Ubi, and Nintendo will work its magic. ;)

C7_

#3

C7_ said:

Well MAYBE if you put your CONSOLE SHIPPING TITLES out ON TIME rather than SCREWING OVER THE PEOPLE WHO BOUGHT THE CONSOLE TO PLAY YOUR GAMES, AKA YOUR FANS, people might actually BUY MORE OF IT.

The cycle of "I'm not releasing exclusives because there isn't a big enough install base because there aren't enough exclusives" is only stopped when you stop being incredibly stupid about it, Ubisoft.

Bankai

#4

Bankai said:

@C7_ Ubisoft isn't responsible for selling Wii U consoles. Nintendo is.

Perhaps if Nintendo met its sales expectations Ubisoft wouldn't feel the need to release exclusives on other platforms to ensure they make a profit.

It's Nintendo's fault.

BakaKnight

#6

BakaKnight said:

Glad to hear he is not stepping in like everyone else saying "Nintendo should do this and that".

The only thing Ubisoft must do is keep making games and trust Nintendo :)
...
...
That and from now on avoid to change releases dates so suddenly XD

DePapier

#7

DePapier said:

@Bankai Nobody owes sales to nobody. It might seem to be Nintendo's fault, but obviously that Rayman launching on time would have help them sales to spur better.

And Guillemot said it himself: it's Nintendo's responsibility. Fault has nothing to do with that. Ubisoft is not a shareholder of Nintendo and does claim to be.

AlexSora89

#8

AlexSora89 said:

(quips about Rayman Legends delay having helped screwing these sales)

Seriously, I was about to snark about Ubisoft's neverending hypocrisy, but everyone beat me to it (like it was hard to do).

For a taste of hypocrisy, see here => http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxpF7qlBdsU

If Rayman Legends was already out, the title of this article would be "Ubisoft CEO Satisfied With Wii U Sales, Realized Delaying Rayman Legends Would Have Resulted In A Different Headline For Nintendolife And A Mistake That Would Only Have Screwed The Wii U".

I mean, seriously. It's like kicking a kid in the nuts and blaming him for writhing in pain as he helplessly lies on the floor.

It's not ENTIRELY Ubisoft's fault, but it's not like they're saints either. I guess the economical crisis is what helped Ubisoft joining the likes of Capcom, Square Enix and EA. Oh, and Activision. Kind of like some sort of "jerk plague".

Bankai

#11

Bankai said:

@DePapier Actually, that is incorrect.

In the lead-up to a console launch, the console manufacturer will provide third party partners with information on such things as expected console sales. Market penetration is important for third parties, as it indicates to them the kind of budgets that they can allocate to game development and so on..

So by not selling as many Wii Us as projected, Nintendo has failed to deliver on its promises to Ubisoft. And so Ubisoft is perfectly justified in pulling back from some of its Wii U projects to protect its financial security.

@Dark_Angel - Ubisoft isn't responsible for selling Nintendo consoles. Nintendo is.

DePapier

#12

DePapier said:

@cornishlee It's hard to translate, but in French it did not meant to come out that way. He said "sur d'autres générations" and not "sur LES autres générations", meaning that he didn't want to go on the discussion of what is or isn't next-gen.

drunkenmaster76

#13

drunkenmaster76 said:

So these companies are spending all there money developing for the ps4 & nextbox thinking that there gonna sell better than wii u on the basis of them having better graphics lol

Void

#14

Void said:

Ubisoft doesn't believe in a game being able to sell a console, does it?

DePapier

#15

DePapier said:

@Bankai Actually, you misunderstood my last point.

Ubisoft ISN'T a shareholder of Nintendo, but a mere stakeholder, though one with a tremendously bigger influence than me, a customer. Which means that Ubisoft DID NOT invest funds directly into Nintendo to ask for money in return. They took a rightful risk based on the predictions Nintendo gave them, but that's a risk, and not a commitment. No more of a commitment than that of bring Rayman in November or February, apparently.

Rect_Pola

#17

Rect_Pola said:

If they were upfront about going multiplatform, they would have still made the same profits AND helped Wii U in it's early period, when building a base is most important, whether it was a timed exclusive or not.

When all is said and done, this may annoy the hell out of people who got a Wii U, but no real harm done if they were committed to Wii U already. The ones who I feel sorry for are the "converts", who purchased a Wii U early because Rayman (and Ubisoft's "glowing" support) was a tipping point. Probably not a big subsection, but still, they could have used that money.

Bankai

#18

Bankai said:

@DePapier Actually, Ubisoft is a customer of Nintendo. People often forget that. Console manufacturers have two customers - the consumer, and third party game makers. These third party companies pay Nintendo a not insignificant amount to be allowed to release games on those systems.

And so the third parties have every right to be annoyed when Nintendo fails to deliver on its promises to them.

Void

#19

Void said:

Bankai wrote:

And so the third parties have every right to be annoyed when Nintendo fails to deliver on its promises to them.

You wouldn't mind sharing what those promises Nintendo made to "third parties" are, would you?
Because I don't remember hearing Nintendo promise to sell X amount of consoles.

Bankai

#20

Bankai said:

@Void There's a lot of stuff that goes on behind closed doors that these corporations wouldn't share with the public.

I can guarantee to you that Nintendo would have had some very high-level discussions with major third parties like Ubisoft in the lead up to the Wii U launch, and Nintendo would have shared sales projections as part of those discussions.

There is no way a company like Ubisoft would greenlight six Wii U launch window projects on a guess or the assumption that it will sell X number of consoles.

Gigagator

#22

Gigagator said:

As long as you don't cancel the Wii U version of Watch Dogs, Yves, you can complain all you like about Wii U sales figures.

rjejr

#24

rjejr said:

@Void - "Because I don't remember hearing Nintendo promise to sell X amount of consoles"

Maybe this will help -

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/technology/nintendo-warns-of-weak-wii-u-sales.html?_r=0

If you don't like the NY Times that news was covered by several hundred other websites.

Nintendo said they would sell 5.5 million consoles by March and then lowered that number to 4 million. It's very possible that 30% drop was in a contract somewhere between Nintendo and Ubisoft letting Ubi go multiplat if console sales did not come close to expectations..

odd69

#25

odd69 said:

I dont like most ubi games, so that explains why i havent been supporting them. Snap

Void

#26

Void said:

@rjejr except Nintendo didn't say they would sell that many, as the article stated many times, those numbers were just projections and estimates, not factual knowledge and complete guarantees about the subject... Although I don't see what the rest of the stuff you were talking about relates to the question I was asking @Waltz.

@Bankai Obviously there are things never revealed to the public, a projection isn't a promise, though, it's an educated guess, and thus shouldn't be trusted wholeheartedly, it's Ubisoft's choice on wether they want to support a new console as much as they did, but it's a risk Ubisoft decided to take, like with any business venture.
The Wii U also has a month left to get to 4 million consoles sold, so they may be unhappy now, but it still has a large amount of game releases to change that number, So... They probably wouldn't change these complaints at all, as those numbers wouldn't be that great anyways, but it's not like they were unexpected.

I don't see a reason to discuss this further either, as there are other things I find far more entertaining which I would rather do.

Bankai

#27

Bankai said:

@Void A projection is guidance. Nintendo tells Ubisoft it expects to sell X number of consoles. This 'X' number isn't picked at random, it is thoroughly researched and set based on a very wide range of metrics.

But it doesn't sell that many. Not even close. And Nintendo's rhetoric - both in public and no doubt behind closed doors - that it is working hard to support third parties comes for naught as the attach rates for third party games remain the lowest in the industry.

Nintendo failed to give Ubisoft what it needed as a customer of Nintendo's and so Ubisoft is doing what any smart customer does and voting with its wallet.

Blizzaga

#30

Blizzaga said:

So let me get this straight. Ubisoft pulls Rayman Legends, a guaranteed Wii U system-seller, to way until September. And he's complaining about Wii U sales?

Does anyone else catch the irony?

Redfield_Lynch

#32

Redfield_Lynch said:

Truth is, games sell consoles, i think we can all agree onthat right?

So, if the WiiU wasn't so thin on new releases, specially AAA titles like Rayman right about now, i belive that would give a push to overall sales... truth is, this decision isn't doing nothing good to Nintendo....

Meaty-cheeky

#33

Meaty-cheeky said:

Rayman is not a system seller people! This is not the 90's or the early 2000's anymore where any game developer would take a risk when creating a video game, since back then taking a loss on a game didn't break the bank. Today major high profile games are extremely expensive to develop, and if these games don't deliver a profit these video game companies will be in some deep financial mess.
Look at what happened to THQ, Hudson, and Midway.

It seems like the only people on Nintendo Life that under stands Ubisoft's situation is me and Bankai.

AntiGuy

#34

AntiGuy said:

Just give us this year Smash and a 3D Mario game, a 3D NON-LINEAR Mario game...

hydeks

#35

hydeks said:

if only other companies cared about Nintendo like UbiSoft does

Watch_Dogs on Wii U definitely makes me interested in the system, but that's not till fall that it comes out, so no point yet to get the system :( Maybe ZombiU and Mario, but I need more than two games.

Tasuki

#36

Tasuki said:

And now we know the real reason for Rayman Legends delay and non exclusiveness now.

C7_

#37

C7_ said:

@Bankai
It's Nintendo's fault third-parties are backing out?
Hardly, they've announced Mario, Mario Kart, Zelda HD, Windwaker HD, Pikmin 3, Smash Bros, and are working for a better virtual console as well as more content for the eshop. I'm surprised they've announced so much at once actually; feels like they were expecting more people to support it.

Mizore

#38

Mizore said:

Well if you didn't delay Legends for no freakin' reason... >_>
Whatever, sales will pick up when Ultimate hits.

Bankai

#39

Bankai said:

@C7_ Given that historically Nintendo games have been a direct reason for third party games not selling well at all on Nintendo consoles, the more Nintendo games Nintendo announces the less attractive the Wii U is going to look to third parties.

And yes, it is Nintendo's fault that third parties are backing out. If Ubisoft was making millions in profit from the Wii U you guys would have Rayman already.

Meaty-cheeky

#40

Meaty-cheeky said:

Another reason why it's Nintendo's fault is because of the lack of advertisement to the general public. The Wii U has had very little advertisements here in the US. Where is the Nintendo that lunched the Wii seven years ago!? Everyone and there grandma know about the Wii. Because Nintendo had adds like this. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Bygdnz2gZIQ

Nintendo needs to reach out and educate the public that the Wii U is a new system with lots of new possibilities and future potential.

Meaty-cheeky

#41

Meaty-cheeky said:

We should be grateful to Ubisoft since they have given the Wii U lots of support with Zombi U, Assassins Creed, and many other games.

And we're getting Watch Dogs for crying out loud! That game looks awesome!

TheAdza

#42

TheAdza said:

I don't think Monster Hunter is going to provide the big sales push Nintendo needs. I have no idea what will. MH is a core type experience but core gamers abandoned Nintendo a long time ago. I hope the Nintendo faithful are a large enough group to keep the system selling.

LavaTwilight

#43

LavaTwilight said:

At the end of the day, they DO clearly support the WiiU and that's really good to know and you can't fault them for that. Just keep supporting it and we'll support you!

Peach64

#44

Peach64 said:

90% of posters here either have no idea how a business works or fail to grasp that that video games are an industry, and like every industry, it's about making money.

The guy is well within his rights to bemoan poor Wii U sales and take his game multiplatform. Legends as a Wii Exclusive would have almost certainly lost then money, and no sane business person would make a decision that loses them money but helps out another company (Nintendo).

It's not Ubisoft's job to sell consoles. There is no irony in this. He's not picking on the Wii U or saying it's doomed. He knows it will come good eventually and years why they're making games for it, but the numbers now are not good and there was no sense in releasing legends now, none at all, as releasing now on Wii means no 360 version and that's what us going to get the their money.

AddDavey

#45

AddDavey said:

I know quite a few people who have either bought a Wii U or were going to buy one just for Rayman Legends, if Ubisoft had released Legends when it was intended to be released then Nintendo could of reached their target, now though it will be even more difficult. Exclusive titles do sell console's, almost all of you have bought a Wii U just to play the next Zelda or Mario.

neumaus

#48

neumaus said:

@AmishThunder I don't think the PS4's gonna flop. It looks very promising and I already want one day one; whereas I'm satisfied enough with my XL and feel no need to get a Wii U :/

theblackdragonAdmin

#50

theblackdragon said:

@Waltz:
"Nintendo failed to give Ubisoft what it needed as a customer of Nintendo's and so Ubisoft is doing what any smart customer does and voting with its wallet."

So it's okay when a big company decides to vote with its wallet when another company does something they're not thrilled with (in this hypothetical it would be Nintendo going back on their previous projections), but it's not okay for a customer to do so when a big company does something they're not thrilled with (yanking them around on a release date)? Nice.

VesperPrism

#51

VesperPrism said:

Ubisoft has brought out 6 games since the Launch of the Nintendo Wii U. The console is apparently not selling well. Shall we blame the Hardware or the Software???

duskao

#52

duskao said:

Thats funny, I'm not satisfiedwith the Ubisoft CEO.

@AmishThunder That is likely to be one pricy piece of hardware, plus then you'll prob wanna get a vita as well, then a game. expensive proposition. I'm not sure how well sony is actually going to support the functions between the ps4 and vita, they don't really have a good track record of supporting their move or gyro in their controllers. I'm gonna have to take a wait and see approach to this. MS might be taking the kinect to a whole other level along with their hardware, and they do support their adds. Could easily see the ps4 being over shadowed.

EdwardCORE

#53

EdwardCORE said:

Sorry for saying that, Rayman is cool and all that, but it is not an important game at all. It's not important for Wii U, Xbox or PS3. Rayman is as generic as it could be and for what it's worth, it made a better and more adequate iOS game than it did on the consoles. Rayman Origins only merit is to show us what a real developer could do with 2D graphics and top notch animation, because, frankly, Rayman doesn't cut for me, it was a stupid character back in the day, and it is as much now as it was then. Sorry for the fans, but Rayman only success is to make me feel sad for what I could be playing if Capcom or Konami ever decide to bring us again their best 2D action and adventure games, such as Megaman, Castlevania, Ghouls and Ghosts, Contra, to name a few at the top of my head. Playing a artistic 2D full HD Castlevania or Ghouls and Ghosts would simply be a dream to come true.

Rayman Origins was ok, but is an one way ride you will take only once. Glad Ubisoft shoot themselves in the foot with that, because I would have bought that Rayman Legends game at launch like I did with the first and would have played it till half way through and never touch it again. So I'm done with Rayman. Now, by the time it releases, there will be so many good games that it won't even be noticed. At least not by me. Ubisoft is thinking of themselves as EA. And that can't be good for anyone.

Falco

#54

Falco said:

I think what is happening is fantastic. Ubisoft are worried, they make games and they are not selling on Wii U because there aren't many Wii U's out there, I'd be worried too. It can only be good for the consumer and I'm looking forward to seeing what Nintendo do to tackle this disaster. Consumers are voting with their wallets the same way they did with Sega years ago. Nintendo still have a chance to save Wii U and that is to make some decent Nintendo games for it and I'm not talking about Wii fit U or even Pickmin 3. F zero made by Nintendo, Waverace, some new IPs do a follow up to stunt race fx or something. Nintendo made the best racing games in the past now every second game they make has mario in it or some kind of mini game/ demo complication. Then they look surprised when Wii U is not selling, they give the fans nothing and expect everything in return. I'm actually glad it blew up in their face because it will force them to go back to the drawing board and maybe they will start doing what people actually want.

SpaceApe

#55

SpaceApe said:

Now you know why Rayman is not an exclusive anymore. Sales are tanking on the Wii U so Ubisoft pulled the exclusive. Can't say I blame them.

Cirno

#57

Cirno said:

Of course the Wii U hasn't sold much, It's only 4 bloody months old! Everyone seriously needs to stop being so impatient and realise that it takes time to build enough games to attract an audience the. Rayman Legends delay will most likely stunt the Wii U for a bit and is all around an odd desision. While the Wii U has only a fraction of the userbase, platformers are the dominant genre on nintendo's systems just because they can do them so well, while on Xbox and to a much lesser extent the ps3 platformers are a more niche genre. Not to mention that febuary where there is a lull in Wii U games is far better than september when it will have to compete with GTA5/WWHD/PS4 save ups.

Tl:dr 4 months is only a fraction of the Wii U's story, delay is really a bit wierd to be honest.

AlexSora89

#58

AlexSora89 said:

@Magolor

Exactly. Having only Wii Sports, the Twilight Princess port and Wario Ware Smooth Moves in its lineup didn't do the Wii any favors... at first. Then came Super Mario Galaxy, and look at it now!

arrmixer

#59

arrmixer said:

It's seems we have a lot of business analysts and legal analysts on this comment thread today... :)

Either way I'm most probably gonna get Rayman and wonderful 101 and watch dogs ...

As much as u may want to predict... It's never right.. As it is said in statistics " our model is never right but its useful"

Schprocket

#61

Schprocket said:

So @BankaiPacther is at it again. Five posts before we get past the gainsaying and even then, no definitive answer, no solution.
How does one sell a console when game developers pull an already completed game from release?

Forget exclusivity - the only difference between releasing Legends now and in September is the short-term high-volume sales.
By releasing Legends for the Wii U earlier than for other platforms, how can that not have anything but a positive effect on Wii U sales and Legends sales?

The ROI may not be as rapid as Yves would like but it would surely make for a terrific hype campaign whilst the poor old under-nourished PS360 camp wait until September if the game is truly that good?

If you are going to comment as some sort of an authority on the gaming industry, take some time to explain it to us less worthy types.
It's the undertone of dismissive arrogance which I find diminishes the comments - it's no use being "brilliant" if you don't know / can't be bothered to share/ explain your reasoning.

rtr0GMR1

#62

rtr0GMR1 said:

This is quite interesting as I'm sure that there are many Wii U owners that aren't too pleased with the Ubisoft CEO.

banacheck

#63

banacheck said:

This just goes to show which consoles they really favour, and with a few 3rd party games releasing soon why are there not on the Wii U? seeing the Wii U has the Pro Controller. Devs seem to think releasing a game on the Wii U you need to play the game with the GamePad, so i think we are going to see if the Wii U GamePad really is a game changer or just a hindrance.

the-daddy

#64

the-daddy said:

what a tool this man is.nobody going buy console if there hardly any games.go and give yourself a shake man.

kereke12

#65

kereke12 said:

YEA ubisoft the reason why ur not happy is that your ZombieU sucks and it not as popular as the other ones on Wii U

DePapier

#66

DePapier said:

@Bankai #20 (Guess I was sleeping...)

Well, so are we customers of Ubisoft, and we got delayed. Guess they decided to give us hard because Nintendo did them to the same? Then everyone has the right to complain on promises: Ubisoft for you, Wii U owners for me.

tddct89

#67

tddct89 said:

He may not be satisfied with Wii U sales but wait until 50 million people own a Wii U and they screw us over like this again. Wait though, they wouldn't screw us over if Wii U was selling like hot cakes. But people don't forget. If Watch Dogs didn't look so damn awesome I would never buy from Ubisoft again. But ZombiU and AC3 sucked in my opinion but I still purchased for full price and TRIED to enjoy them because Ubi was my favorite company. I hope when there are 50 Million Wii U's in peoples homes gamers don't just forget what Ubisoft did.

tddct89

#68

tddct89 said:

@the-daddy Exactly, it's the classic Game Dev: "I won't put my games on this console until more people own it". Gamer: "Iwon't buy this console until there are more games".

Luffy

#69

Luffy said:

as a wii u owner who was gonna buy Rayman UBI you lost my business. I'm boycotting you because well I'm stubborn and have pride issues! lol. I also, sold my AC3 to help take away a potential sale for you. F You Ubipoop.

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