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Watch Dogs, digital titles help boost Ubisoft's Q1 sales up 374 percent

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Ubisoft has announced a record first quarter sales of €360 million ($489 million) for the 2014-15 fiscal year. Compared to the €76 million in sales from the year-ago quarter, that's an increase of 374 percent.

In its report, Ubisoft attributed its strong performance to the success of Watch Dogs, which broke Ubisoft's sales record for the launch of a new game, as well as the industry's record for the launch of a new brand. So far, the game has sold-in over 8 million units.

Other factors in the higher-than-estimated quarter include "strong growth" in the digital segment. Digital sales were up 149 percent to €84 million ($114 million), Ubisoft noted. This increase was due to the combined success of Watch Dogs, Ubisof'ts free-to-play mobile games, and the release of Trials Fusion, Child of Light, and Valiant Hearts: The Great War

"The success of Watch Dogs and the quality of our games portfolio presented at this year’s E3 highlight our strategic positioning as well as our continuous drive for innovation, and affirm our long-term approach," said Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot. "Watch Dogs is now well positioned as a major franchise and we will be able to replicate and build on its success in the coming years. Its sales performance testifies to Ubisoft’s expertise as a creator of blockbuster brands. That expertise enables us to stand out from our competitors at the beginning of each console cycle and therefore to reach a new dimension. Additionally, Ubisoft created a strong impression at the last E3 with titles such as Assassin’s Creed Unity, The Crew, The Division, Far Cry 4, Just Dance Now and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege.”

“Although the financial year has only just started, our confidence for fiscal-year 2014-15 has been reinforced by our first-quarter performance and the keen anticipation for our upcoming games," he concluded.

Looking ahead to the second quarter, Ubisoft expects sales to amount to approximately €85 million, down by around 61 percent compared with the second quarter of 2013-14, which saw the release of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist, Rayman Legends and Just Dance 2014. For the full 2014-15 year, Ubisoft remains committed to its previously-announced target, "namely sales of at least €1,400 million and non-IFRS operating income of at least €150 million."

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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