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 Watch Dogs  surpasses 4 million copies sold in its debut week
Watch Dogs surpasses 4 million copies sold in its debut week
June 3, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

Newsbrief: Ubisoft continues to report remarkably strong sales of Watch Dogs, claiming it has sold through more than 4 million copies of the game in the seven days since it launched.

The news is surprising but not unprecedented -- Watch Dogs reportedly set a new record for first-day sales of a Ubisoft title in the 24 hours after it launched across the major Western territories on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC last week, becoming the fastest-selling new IP in the United Kingdom according to U.K. market research firm Chart-Track.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot also said that "Watch Dogs pre-orders are at record levels" during the company's most recent financial report, which revealed slumping sales attributed to company's decision to delay Watch Dogs to 2014. Guillemot went on to promise a "return to double-digit profitability" in the 2014-2015 fiscal year on the back of games likes Watch Dogs, Far Cry 4 and Assassin's Creed Unity.

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Paul Furio
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Okay, so $240M in revenue, but what were development costs? The 6 month overrun probably cost Ubi at least $10M (100 devs/workers at an average total burdened cost of $200k/year), so maybe $60M lifetime development costs given rampup since 2009, another $20M in advertising and publicity over the last year... Okay, if they're up $160M then it was a good payout.

Dane MacMahon
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$60M lifetime dev cost seems super small considering how much staff they put on each product and how long it was in development.

Paul Furio
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Yeah, that was a total swag. 100 devs? Probably more like 200-300 close to launch considering the size and scope. My two big team game projects (Forza Motorsport, 1v100) were both around 120 people at peak. Still there was rampup... Even it it was doubled or tripled, $120M? $180M? That's bumping against blockbuster movie costs. Still profitable.

Merc Hoffner
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For context, Ubisoft had more than 400 people working full time on the first Assassin's Creed at its peak. For a similar context, Rockstar had 1000 people working full time at peak on GTA 4. Considering the step up in technology and expectation, it's likely Watch Dogs would be in these ranges at a minimum.