Login | Signup

Ubisoft: ZombiU Not Even Close To Being Profitable

Matt Gardner
EA, Nintendo, Peter Moore, Ubisoft, Wii U, Wii U games, Yves Guillemot, ZombiU

Ubisoft: ZombiU Not Even Close To Being Profitable

No Plans Or Desire For Sequel

Ubisoft went big on the Wii U's launch. They eschewed the scepticism of many, and unloaded a key launch strategy for the console, committing themselves to a number of games on Nintendo's system.

And it backfired horribly.

Even their most popular title came nowhere near to breaking even.

According to Games Industry, Ubisoft head Yves Guillemot revealed recently that although ZombiU had proven popular with early adopters on the Wii U, the game proved "not even close to being profitable" and, as such, there are "no plans (or even desire) for a sequel."

Apparently, it was that game's failure to shine that led to Ubisoft making Rayman Legends multiplatform, cutting their losses with ZombiU and widening the target audience for the platformer.

"We must find a way to ensure the creativity of those games could have a big enough audience," said Guillemot. "We hope it will take off. At the moment, we've said 'let's do through Christmas and see where we are from there.'"

EA's Peter Moore is on the same wavelength. EA also went big when it came to the Wii U's launch, and he unequivocally branded the console a "disappointment".

"We were there with four games for them [at launch]," he said. "It's been a disappointment when you look at sell-through and, as a company, we have to be very judicious where we deploy our resources."

For Moore and EA, Nintendo's stubborn refusal to push online gaming has turned people off.

"The lack of online engagement that we see on Wii U [is troubling]," said Moore. "It's so integral to what we do. They're so small it's hardly worth running the servers. It seems like a box that's out of sync with the future of EA - which is one that gives a real social feel to our games. The Wii U feels like an offline experience right now."

Nintendo's mantra throughout all of this has been a familiar refrain. "Please understand," says Iwata during every Nintendo Direct. "Please wait."

But those stormclouds are only getting darker by the day.

Add a comment4 comments
JonLester  Jul. 9, 2013 at 11:06

Shame, but this was always going to happen. ZombiU is the most niche game possible, designed to brutalise a small audience craving unforgiving survival horror misery - it was never going to sell in huge numbers. Ubisoft probably ought to have been more realistic.

Whereas Ninty should have been quicker at locking down something like Rayman Legends, really.

Last edited by JonLester, Jul. 9, 2013 at 12:22
DivideByZero  Jul. 9, 2013 at 12:19

I wonder how many millions of units Valve shifted with the Left 4 Dead series? It was 11 million back in 2011...

Late  Jul. 9, 2013 at 13:12

Release exclusively on the U, and seriously damage your own company.
Release multiplatform and seriously damage the console.

It's a fairly sh1tty position for Mr. Guillemot to have ended up in, to be honest, but his priority has to be his own company - not Nintendo.

Not sure how these exclusivity deals work, but I'm guessing Nintendo give either a big lump sum to a company or they guarantee them a higher than usual percentage from each unit sale. If they're not making a profit with that agreement in place surely there's a way to buy out of it (as they've done with Rayman). Sure the game's a bit niche. But I'm sure it would a lot better on the 360/ps3...

Breadster  Jul. 9, 2013 at 14:33

It makes heavy of use of the tablet controller though. It would take a fair bit of work to change it as core game elements rely on it, and that would cost more money.

Last edited by Breadster, Jul. 9, 2013 at 14:34

Email Address:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.