It might not have ever seemed the case before release, but Watch Dogs 2 turned out to be one of the more memorable experiences of last year when it came down to it. Ubisoft had unequivocally listened to critique, delivering a sequel that was more about hacking, less about all out shooting and a hell of a lot more engaging to play. Truth is that the first title burned a lot of people, and hence sales for its superior sequel stagnated at first. Thankfully, Ubisoft is happy that’s changed.
During a lengthy earnings call yesterday, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot expressed his happiness with the way Watch Dogs 2 sales had turned around in the weeks after its launch. Ubisoft first described it as “soft”, with initial sales falling well below the first Watch Dogs. Its predecessor had a lot to do with that, coupled with the reality of the release window being incredibly crowed too. But critical acclaim and word of mouth spun that around, and Ubisoft is happy with the series overall.
Right now, Watch Dogs 2 has already exceeded sales of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate – an equally improved game that was the nail in the coffin for the series’ annual releases. And although Watch Dogs isn’t aiming to replace that spot, Ubisoft ensured fans that they would be putting out four AAA titles within the next fiscal year (ending on April 1st 2018).
The first is definitely South Park: The Fractured But Whole, which has suffered yet another delay into a vague 2017 release window. The rest are a little less certain, with the possibility of Assassin’s Creed returning still being on the table and the chance that Beyond Good and Evil 2 launches this year. Ubisoft is using the less stressed release timetable to focus on their existing titles, with For Honor and Ghost Recon: Wildlands both releasing in the next few weeks.
But things seem to be very positive over at the French publishing house. Even if Vivendi has calmed down only briefly.