Ubisoft’s Q3 sales show why the Wii U might be doomed

Along with a bunch of other game companies, Ubisoft just released its Q3 2013 financials, and they’re not great. The company saw more than a 35% decrease in sales year-on-year, and ended up posting a loss.

But looking more closely at those results might actually be more worrying for Nintendo than they are for Ubi. See if you can spot why:

ubi-chart

As you can see, Ubisoft’s sales on Nintendo platforms are all down. And while a drop in Wii and 3DS sales isn’t that damning for Nintendo—both are a little old at this point—the more-than-50-percent drop in Wii U game sales is frightening.

These are just Ubisoft’s sales numbers, of course, but Ubisoft is one of the world’s biggest multiplatform game developers, and its biggest selling Q3 games—Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Just Dance 2014—are both available on the Wii U.

The fact that they don’t seem to be selling well there could be a signal to Ubisoft that it’s time to cut and run. Porting and marketing games for a new platform takes time, effort, and lots of money. And given that other platforms (PS4, Xbox One, and PC) are making up a bigger chunk of Ubisoft’s sales these days, it might make sense for the company to expend more effort prepping and shipping games for them. Indeed, the company has already pushed back the Wii U version of its highly-anticipated new IP Watch Dogs, which will be available this spring on other consoles but is not on the Wii U.

Why should Nintendo care? Although the best-selling titles for its platforms are inevitably first-party games, console gamers these days do expect that the biggest global titles will be available no matter which platform they choose. The Wii U is already hurting, but if major multiplatform publishers like Ubisoft start abandoning Nintendo’s hardware, the company is really going to be in trouble.

So what’s to be done? Unfortunately, it’s probably already too late. My colleague Iain outlined a few ways Nintendo might be able to save the Wii U last month, but if third-party publishers are all seeing sales drops like this, it’s probably already too late. At the end of the day, after all, gaming is a business, and no company is going to invest precious time and resources developing and marketing games for a platform that represents such a minuscule proportion of its sales.

(h/t to Nintendo News for spotting this)

The post Ubisoft’s Q3 sales show why the Wii U might be doomed appeared first on Games in Asia.


The post Ubisoft’s Q3 sales show why the Wii U might be doomed appeared first on Games in Asia.

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