Montreuil, France – Following the release of Ubisoft’s results of the first quarter of the current fiscal year, the company has stated that a large portion of the 51% drop in year-on-year sales was due to piracy. Though the company had already expected a reduction in revenues, it still finished at 12.6% below expectations.
While Yves Guillemot, the company’s CEO, admitted that overall piracy on the main consoles was low, software sales for the Nintendo DS were harmed significantly by the increasing popularity of piracy for these games. Together with Nintendo, Ubisoft is currently working on ways to prevent widespread use of pirated software for the DS. When a similar situation was faced on Sony’s Playstation Portable in the past, Ubisoft slowly abandoned the handheld platform. The company is now willing to return to the PSP market however, as Guillemot states that there are now new ways to counter piracy on the handheld.
Though piracy on the PC has been an issue for a much longer time, Ubisoft expressed hope that a new tool which they will introduce either later this year or early 2010, will aid the company in bringing the dwindling PC-sales back under control.
For the entire year Ubisoft has revised their expectations downward, yet still at a minor year-on-year growth. Though the upcoming Ghost Recon and I Am Alive games were pushed forward to the next financial year, Ubisoft has raised expectations for Assassin’s Creed 2 and expects that this game will partially offset any losses associated with the postponement of these titles.