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Ubisoft rides remarkable  Watch Dogs  sales to strong Q1 growth

Ubisoft rides remarkable Watch Dogs sales to strong Q1 growth

July 10, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

Today French publisher Ubisoft announced its sales figures for the first quarter of the 2014-2015 fiscal year, reporting significant growth on the back of the company's growing digital games business and the remarkable sales success of Watch Dogs.

The company reportedly reaped €360 million ($489.4 million USD) in sales during the fiscal quarter ending June 30, 2014 [PDF]. That's roughly 386 percent (given constant exchange rates) of the €76 million ($103.4 million USD) the company reported in sales during the same quarter a year prior.

It's worth pointing out that under French accounting law, Ubisoft is not required to publicly report its actual profits until the end of the fiscal year.

Ubisoft had set a sales target of €310 million ($421.5 million USD) for this quarter back in May, when it announced its 2013-2014 fiscal year performance. At the time, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot acknowledged a year-over-year drop in sales and promised investors that the company would see big profits in the current fiscal year on the back of AAA titles like Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed Unity and Far Cry 4.

During a conference call today with investors, Guillemot confirmed that Ubisoft has sold more than 8 million copies of Watch Dogs since its release at the end of May. Ubisoft previously announced it had sold more copies in the first 24 hours of sale than any game in the company's history, and today Guillemot told investors that Ubisoft would continue to capitalize on the game's success.

"With Watch Dogs we are adding another pillar, alongside the likes of Assassin's Creed and Far Cry, to our recurring flow of highly profitable brands," said Guillemot.

The company also trumpeted significant growth in digital sales, up roughly 149 percent to €84 million ($114.2 million USD) from the €34 million ($46.2 million USD) in digital sales it reportedly saw in the same timeframe last year.

A year ago, games like Far Cry 3 and Call of Juarez: Gunslinger led the company's digital sales charts -- this time around, Watch Dogs dominated, with digital sales accounting for roughly 14 percent of the game's total sales. The company also saw strong sales of free-to-play mobile games like Rayman: Jungle Run and download-only premium titles like Trials Fusion and Child of Light.

Looking ahead, Ubisoft predicts it will have a relatively modest second quarter with a sales target of €85 million ($115.6 million USD). The company is also not adjusting its forecast for the full year, holding fast to a sales target of €1.4 billion ($1.9 billion USD) for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

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