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GN Podcast #466

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Ubisoft - ZombiU not profitable, no plans for sequel

The following comes from a GamesIndustry interview with Yves Guillemot, Chairman and CEO of Ubisoft.

- ZombiU was not even close to profitable
- no plans (or even desire) for a sequel
- ZombiU's performance lead to Ubisoft's change of position on Rayman Legends

"We must find a way to ensure the creativity of those games could have a big enough audience. We hope it will take off. At the moment, we've said 'let's do through Christmas and see where we are from there.'"

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134 total comments (View all)
User avatar
08 Jul 2013 21:39

Two points worth noting:

1. E3 hype doesn't guarantee success. ZombiU generated a lot of positive buzz during E3. Seems it didn't help that much. (I can see this being proven again with the PS4.)

2. Much of the positive buzz was deflated by, if I remember correctly, mediocre reviews released pre-launch. Plus, there were early reports of bugs and game-ending glitches. With info like this around the launch of the game, it's struggles in terms of sales aren't surprising.
No Avatar
08 Jul 2013 22:05

That's fine. I couldn't get ZombiU anyway since I don't have a TV (sorry Ubi... I really wanted to support), but at least we're getting some of their best (and highly replayable IMO) games this fall so if they decide to NEVER support Wii U or Nintendo systems again, I won't really care that much.
User avatar
08 Jul 2013 22:58

McDaniel-77 wrote:They sold around half a Million copies of retail ZombiU!

There is the eShop version as well, so how on earth can it be, that a game with more than 500.000 sold units isn't profitable?
Ubisoft did at least cash in with 5-10 million bugs and ZombiU doesn't look like a game where 100 game designers worked on for 3 years!

McDaniel-77


It's because the game didn't sell 500k.
No Avatar
08 Jul 2013 23:12

People really need to learn that the chartz site is almost worthless. ZombiU didn't even come close to selling 460k worldwide at retail like that site claims. It bombed big time.
User avatar
09 Jul 2013 00:18

unfortunately was wrong on this one. sucks. i still think they should make a sequel rather than abandon the fanbase that is there. maybe it will pick up after nintendo moves systems and we'll see a sequel in 3 years.

they also could have probably marketed it better.
No Avatar
09 Jul 2013 00:55

McDaniel-77 wrote:They sold around half a Million copies of retail ZombiU!
Reliable source?
Rurouni720 wrote:I'm talking about the one's who don't own it, and have no interest in ever purchasing it, besides wanting it to stay dead.
Last Nintendo console I owned was an N64 I loved dearly at the time. Played many a great Gamecube game as well and love that system. I'm just a realist. I don't blame devs for every little problem, and I can admit when Nintendo makes some stupid decisions (and gives BS excuses). I like coming here to read about stories that are too niche for major gaming sites (like dev quotes). I've already come to realize that most posters here either blame everyone BUT Nintendo for whatever bad happens, or are the complete opposite and can see through some of the BS or flat out overstate their critical opinions.
LSF22 wrote:Lets not forget that this game started as one project, then got scrapped and turned into another project... Don't blame the consumers because you switched your game mid-development and then had to rush it to meet the launch.
Killer Freaks was just a tech demo. They used existing tech and assets they had from the Rabbids games. One of the reasons they changed to ZombiU was that they realized fast paced shooters don't work well with 2 separate screens, and that it works better for survival horror. The game actually started in 2010 though as a PS3/Xbox title with the regular Rabbids.
BlueRangerVegeta wrote:Even their AC franchise is full of bugs....
I had AC1 and 2 freeze on me maybe 3-4 times, and encountered a few minor bugs, but for the most part it was just collision errors like getting stuck running into a corner, or hitting a ledge at just the wrong angle, etc. For being rushed with too many chefs in the kitchen (something like 500+ staff, 7+ studios around the world, yearly releases), the AC games were still pretty good games, at least for story alone, and were overall worth owning I think.
Rurouni720 wrote: i'm equally tired of cynics on this site calling anyone who are still optimistic about the Wii U's future fanboys or unrealistic "Nintendrones" who aren't adamant with making hyperbole against anything about the console.
The problem isn't people who are optimistic. The problem is people who refuse to ever accept that Nintendo might be responsible for even some small part in any problems they themselves, their hardware, their software, or 3rd parties are facing. How many times have you seen a get game pre-launch and early post-launch hype only to be trashed after launch because it wasn't good enough? It seems like sometimes a game is only good so long as it's perfect. Remember when The Conduit was the little game that could? Then it launched and everyone said it sucked because they didn't defeat hackers, or there weren't enough enemies, or the graphics, or the story, etc.
patjuan32 wrote:VGChartz is more reliable than Neogaf, those guys make stuff up and never have links to data to back up their post. Data with out verification is worthless.
VGChartz gets their "data" from polling people who use their site, calling retail stores to see if they'll break policy and announce sales, using "historical data for similar games", the games trade in/used price OR (not AND) looking at publisher PR for units produced/shipped (not sold). This means their sales "estimates" are just as accurate as any Joe Smith who follows the industry and can create a free online poll. They also give weekly numbers to the individual unit, which is strange considering they just estimate sales. How can you estimate 460,261 vs. 460,262? Or 1,112 vs. 1,393 on any average week?
User avatar
09 Jul 2013 00:56

"ZombiU's performance lead to Ubisoft's change of position on Rayman Legends"

Look, I have accepted the delay. I have forgiven the delay. I am over the delay. The delay cannot hurt me.

But this is, like, the fifth different excuse you have offered for it. :lol:
User avatar
09 Jul 2013 03:41

Hamr wrote:"ZombiU's performance lead to Ubisoft's change of position on Rayman Legends"

Look, I have accepted the delay. I have forgiven the delay. I am over the delay. The delay cannot hurt me.

But this is, like, the fifth different excuse you have offered for it. :lol:


I thought i was the only one who noticed that. :lol:
User avatar
09 Jul 2013 07:37

I wonder how much it sold digitally [this is not yet incorporated into any global sales figures, right - I'm in the UK, btw, I just know the US powers don't at the very least]?

All 'X title sold X amount' statements thus aren't accurate yet [and haven't been for years] until digital sales are also incorporated, imho.
User avatar
09 Jul 2013 09:09

How can anyone sit there with a straight face and claim they want the console to succeed, yet they haven't done anything themselves to help it along, and all they do is bash it? If you truly want it to succeed, then BUY the damn thing. The Wii U is my favorite system since the N64, and maybe even the SNES. I don't understand the negativity AT ALL. All I do know is people have been calling for its demise since the frigging thing was announced. Well, I'll say it now, I hope both the PS4 and the XB1 fail miserably. The game industry needs a reboot, so maybe it's time for another crash. Maybe if all three fail, things will change.
User avatar
09 Jul 2013 16:06

Interestingly enough ZombieU was probably the only WiiU title that caught my attention... Too bad though.

Obviously the problem was the console's initial lack of appeal.
User avatar
09 Jul 2013 17:42

Rurouni720 wrote:
Hamr wrote:"ZombiU's performance lead to Ubisoft's change of position on Rayman Legends"

Look, I have accepted the delay. I have forgiven the delay. I am over the delay. The delay cannot hurt me.

But this is, like, the fifth different excuse you have offered for it. :lol:


I thought i was the only one who noticed that. :lol:

Yeeeeep, they just keep coming up with excuses for that even when most people are over that by now.
No Avatar
09 Jul 2013 21:10

I figured this would happen since Ubisoft hasn't been talking about the Zombie U too much and the Wii U hasn't even been out for a year yet. If Zombie U was released maybe during the 2nd or 3rd year of the Wii U being released I think it would of had a better chance of selling more copies.
User avatar
10 Jul 2013 01:23

i think eggs may be being counted before hatched. the game already has a cult following, and when u get millions of gamers buying for Smash, Kart, etc., i see more than a few picking this up.

Also, i seen someone mention the losses may be included in the fact this game was a different game at one point(killer freaks). If that's the case, it's a little bit unfair to the fans.

You also gotta think it was kind of a dumb decision to go from mainstream FPS to a rogue-like.
User avatar
14 Jul 2013 08:30

Did anyone notice that there was no direct quote about ZonbmiU sales from Yves.

This appeared to be an opinion essay using selected quotes rather than a new news story.

I thought Chris Morris was better than that.
User avatar
14 Jul 2013 12:34

sonicspike41 wrote:
McDaniel-77 wrote:They sold around half a Million copies of retail ZombiU!
Reliable source?


While looking for that source of number of copies sold, could somebody also please find the direct quote about ZombiU not being profitable, because I don't see it. THERE IS NO QUOTE. NONE. How can every, single, site...run a non-quote quote, as a quote?
User avatar
14 Jul 2013 13:47

Maybe hope isn't quite lost? I know they have talked about making a sequel and how they would add more melee weapons because fans used the cricket bat more than they anticipated. You also have to wonder, if it wasn't profitable, why release the patch they did so late.

On that same note, I also remember there being "quotes" saying there wasn't going to be a patch. I mean, some people were even saying thete wasn't going to be one well after it was announced within the game.
User avatar
14 Jul 2013 14:06

FadedAreWii wrote:Maybe hope isn't quite lost? I know they have talked about making a sequel and how they would add more melee weapons because fans used the cricket bat more than they anticipated. You also have to wonder, if it wasn't profitable, why release the patch they did so late.

On that same note, I also remember there being "quotes" saying there wasn't going to be a patch. I mean, some people were even saying thete wasn't going to be one well after it was announced within the game.


The "no patch" came from a random forum poster who claimed he talked on the phone with tech support wondering if there would be a patch or not. The article says this is straight from Yves Guillemot. There isn't a direct quote, as the GI article isn't an interview piece per say, but it's right in there, and I trust GI to not make up info. It's exactly what I expected (and what you should have expected too after I linked all those quotes months ago) after reading how poorly the game sold according to an insider on NeoGAF.
User avatar
14 Jul 2013 20:53

The book isn't closed yet.
User avatar
14 Jul 2013 21:47

gbpackers31 wrote:The "no patch" came from a random forum poster who claimed he talked on the phone with tech support wondering if there would be a patch or not. The article says this is straight from Yves Guillemot. There isn't a direct quote, as the GI article isn't an interview piece per say, but it's right in there, and I trust GI to not make up info. It's exactly what I expected (and what you should have expected too after I linked all those quotes months ago) after reading how poorly the game sold according to an insider on NeoGAF.


Again, no proof, and the article does not state where or who he said this supposedly to. THAT is a problem. This is not proof, or evidence of anything. It's some article thrown together with some SUPPOSED thing that was said, but that supposed thing has no direct quote, was not said when/who it was told to, and we're just supposed to "trust" GI?

Sorry, trust isn't something I associate with many video game related sites, for a number of reasons. Every site that ran a story with a non-quote is exactly part of the problem.
User avatar
14 Jul 2013 22:35

If someone said it on NeoGAF then it must be true. Especially all those insiders who knew what was gonna happen at E3 from their "sources".
User avatar
14 Jul 2013 23:30

Autosaver wrote:@LSF22@coffeewithchess

Good points, where's the source?

Here's the links I was referring to from the prediction thread in the Wii U board.
gbpackers31 wrote:For starters, ZombiU is definitely not at 400k+. It's almost certainly not even at 200k yet, and yes, I believe that it including digital sales. Here's some links I dug up, taking place over the course of ~1 month.
Feb - Zombi U Not at 150k yet
Sales below expectations for most
March - Zombi U Not 200k
Digital sales lower than expectations
Zombi U Sold 8k in Feb in NA (?)
...

Wii U Prediction Thread

Here's some more quotes from NeoGAF in the thread about Zombi U not being profitable. The second link is really good.
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.ph ... tcount=193 (The banned site being VGChartz)
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.ph ... tcount=684

And one more that indicates Zombi U hasn't sold 150k in US:
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.ph ... count=1182

coffeewithchess wrote:
Again, no proof, and the article does not state where or who he said this supposedly to. THAT is a problem. This is not proof, or evidence of anything. It's some article thrown together with some SUPPOSED thing that was said, but that supposed thing has no direct quote, was not said when/who it was told to, and we're just supposed to "trust" GI?

Sorry, trust isn't something I associate with many video game related sites, for a number of reasons. Every site that ran a story with a non-quote is exactly part of the problem.


While it's not the best journalism practice, yes, I think we should trust GI. Sure, the direct quote would be nice, but what he says gets the point across just as well, and considering it's more of an opinion piece with statements from Ubisoft and EA as evidence, I think it's okay to use. It also backs up exactly what we've heard. I don't think it's wrong.
User avatar
15 Jul 2013 01:10

gbpackers31 wrote:
While it's not the best journalism practice, yes, I think we should trust GI. Sure, the direct quote would be nice, but what he says gets the point across just as well, and considering it's more of an opinion piece with statements from Ubisoft and EA as evidence, I think it's okay to use. It also backs up exactly what we've heard. I don't think it's wrong.


What statements from Ubisoft are you talking about in the piece? The non-quote stuff written in it isn't attributed to when it was said, much less if it was even said to GI for that piece. It could be 100% made up, because yes, sites do that stuff (fake rumors for hits, not doing proper research before rushing a piece for hits, using quotes out of context, etc.). It could be a misinterpretation of something else said. It could be they thought he said that somewhere one time, but didn't look for it and couldn't find it for the piece.

BUT, considering so many sites ran a non-quote, I think is the bigger issue here, and continues to show why "game journalism" is considered a joke to many.

What have we heard? It depends when you ask I think, because in February, Mr. Guillemot was apparently satisfied with their market share on the Wii U:
http://nintendoeverything.com/ubisoft-s ... ow-launch/

Then in May, there were the ZombiU 2 development rumors, by at least one developer at Ubisoft. The entire piece put together by GI was horribly written (like many on many sites), considering they used quotes from people at EA and didn't challenge them.

IF EA was so forward thinking, perhaps they wouldn't be in the current situation they are now with firing 1,000s of employees, while not being able to keep a few on to figure out how button press port their games (Treyarch seems to have it figured out, and has for the last 6+ years). BUT, perhaps that says more about what they really think about the PS4's and Xbox One's future? Or, it could be GI put together a crap piece, and nobody wanted to call them out on it, because it would get them more hits?
User avatar
15 Jul 2013 02:05

@Autosaver

I was being sarcastic.


@gbpackers31

You can link to NeoGAF, but I'm not really interested in checking it out. It's cool if you believe what they say there, and they may even be right. But I'll stick with official statements from developers and publishers if I need to know something.

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