The video game industry is not an easy business. With so many games being released in quick succession, it can be hard for any individual title to perform well financially. Poor naming, bad marketing and advertising, high development costs, and releasing a game in at the wrong time could all impact a game’s performance. This is what Ubisoft has learned the hard way with The Division 2 and Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
In recent financial report which saw Ubisoft readjust its earnings forecast, the publisher stated that while The Division 2 sold really well, it did not live up to their expectations, whereas Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s quality is apparently to blame for the title under performing. It was also noted that many players are still playing the two games’ predecessors. Commenting on the situation, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot stated it did not help that both games were similar to their previous entries. The announcement saw Ubisoft’s stock plunge 29% after they cut their net earnings from €2.19 billion to €1.45 billion.
Ubisoft also cut their projected operating income to between €20 and €50 million from its previous target of €480 million. The publisher thought a gap of about 30 to 36 months was long enough for a sequel but it seems that they were wrong. These poor sales figures also saw some of Ubisoft’s upcoming releases delayed, such as Watch Dogs Legion, Rainbow Six Siege, and Gods & Monsters.
It has not been a good year for Ubisoft but it is not the first time the publisher has experienced a bad launch (just look at Rainbow Six Siege). It will be interesting to see how their response affects the situation.