Ubisoft Stock Drops Over 25 Percent Following Delays, Earnings Adjustments
Yesterday’s Watch Dogs and The Crew delays have had predictable and severe repercussions for Ubisoft. The company’s stock has dipped 25 percent on the news.
The company revised its outlook severely on the move of those two games outside of the current fiscal year. The bottom line results will put Ubisoft in an operating loss scenario after previously setting expectations for a $148 million to $168 million operating surplus. This was compounded by weaker than expected sales of both Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Rayman Legends.
At this point, Ubisoft’s fiscal year hinges on the performance of Assassin’s Creed IV and South Park: The Stick of Truth. Ubisoft has not yet offered hands-on opportunities with the latter.
Delays can be good for games, giving developers a chance to improve them. The severe delay of five months (or more) alongside the fiscal timing, the co-marketing funds spent by Sony, the confusion that emerged over launch bundles, and the inevitable PR campaign reboot that will take place all deal Ubisoft a blow.
Ubisoft experienced a drop in sales of 42 percent in its first quarter, and Watch Dogs and The Crew were expected to help make up that deficit. On top of this, I’m skeptical that The Division will see the light of day during the 2014-15 fiscal year.
the author Mike Futter