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Ubisoft blames Nintendo DS over weak sales

San Francisco (CA) – Ubisoft has confirmed that its first fiscal quarter sales plummeted 50 percent to €83 million. The company attributed the slowdown to a number of factors, including decreased Nintendo DS game sales and “poorer-than-anticipated” market conditions.

“We are currently experiencing a very sharp slowdown in our sales for Nintendo DS as well as sales of back-catalog titles, in the context of a market that is tougher than anticipated,” said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot. “This will have a significant impact on our first-half showing. Against this backdrop, the solid performance of our Wii titles combined with the successful launches of Anno and Call of Juarez are points of satisfaction and demonstrate that good products are continuing to sell well.”

Guillemot explained that Ubisoft would be forced to postpone the release of several long-awaited games, including Splinter Cell: Conviction and Red Steel 2. However, the following titles are expected to be released in the second quarter of fiscal 2009-10:

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Wii and PlayStation 2).
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Wii, Nintendo DS, Xbox360, PS3, PSP and PC).
  • Academy of Champions (Wii in the UK, Nordic countries and Australia).
  • New “casual” games for Nintendo DS and Wii.

“We are disappointed that we have to postpone the release of several major games but we consider that this choice is the best one in the long-term interests of Ubisoft…We are having to adjust our full-year targets to take into account the fall in business over the first half,” added Guillemot. “The excellent response to our games at E3, as well as the high buzz generated for titles such as Assassin’s Creed 2, Splinter Cell Conviction and Avatar, reinforce our belief that the company can achieve strong growth in the second half of the fiscal year.”