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Ubisoft – Zombie U “wasn’t even close to being profitable”

Monday, 8th July 2013 17:40 GMT By Debabrata Nath

The highest selling third-party game on the Wii U wasn’t even close to being “profitable”, Ubisoft’s CEO Yves Guillemot has confirmed.

Zombie U, a launch title for the Wii U, failed to make a profit and the publisher has no plans for a sequel.

Speaking to GI.Biz, Guillemot said the Wii U exclusive didn’t even come close to recovering the investment the publisher made on the game.

He went on to say that the failure of the game as a Wii U exclusive was the main reason for switching Rayman Legends from being a Wii U exclusive to a multi-platform game.

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

Peter Moore, EA chief operation officer, has also elaborated about why the publisher isn’t actively supporting the Wii U.

“We were there with four games for them [at launch]. 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,” he told GI.Biz.

Moore cited the lack of online engagement on the console as being one of the main reasons for its titles making little impact on the system.

“The lack of online engagement that we see on Wii U [is troubling]. 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.”

Thanks, CVG.

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40 Comments

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  1. CyberMarco

    Ouch…

    #1 9 months ago
  2. Francis O

    ZombiU was an ok experiment but the game was not that good to begin with. No replay value, no online multiplayer, no multiple melee weapons, framerate issues, and currently has a 77% average on gamerankings.

    Meanwhile Xbox One and PS4 get The Division for a new IP – full online multiplayer, stats, multiple weapons….ect.

    sighhhh…..

    #2 9 months ago
  3. SplatteredHouse

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ytCEuuW2_A

    The toughest part of it, though, is that ZombieU was practically THE launch game for the system. Ubisoft put so much into pushing that game everywhere, and so it’s really bad that this turns out to be the return on that investment. The game didn’t appeal to me in any way, though. As well, I was POd with them for their lack of sense/tack in promoting the thing, pre-launch.

    @2 agreed. That it was an experiment. A crude, half-lopsided stumbling experiment. Could have done with arriving after the hardware had time to evolve (through system updates). It seemed to me as if the game was an ill-matching fit to the system. If one or both had been developed for a longer time, then the game would be better for it.

    #3 9 months ago
  4. Dark

    When was the last time a western game sold really well on nintendo consoles?

    yeah exactly.

    #4 9 months ago
  5. Francis O

    @4 Dark – all of these games were multimillion sellers on the Wii…and were western.

    - COD Games
    - Just Dance games
    - Red Steel 1
    - Zumba Fitness
    - Lego Star Wars
    - Epic Mickey
    - Guitar Hero
    - MJ The Experience
    - Skylanders
    - uDraw Studio
    - Resident Evil Games Darkside/Umbrella Chronicles/ RE4
    - Rock Band / 2
    - Dance Dance Revolution
    - Star Wars The Force Unleashed
    - GoldenEye 007
    - Shawn White Snowboarding
    - House of the Dead games

    #5 9 months ago
  6. Animeboy413

    Everybody saw this coming bring Zombie U over to PS3 & Xbox 360..

    #6 9 months ago
  7. Francis O

    @6 and it will sell like crap on there as well. The game just isn’t that good. BioShock Infinite is struggling on the PS3 right now. If PS3 gamers didn’t buy that game….why would they buy ZombiU

    Same goes for Metal Gear Rising Revengeance on the Xbox 360, that game tanked selling less than 300K worldwide.

    How about No More Heroes on the PS3? less than 100K, Anarchy Reigns, the spiritual successor to Mad Word bombed on the PS3 and Xbox 360 selling well more than 400K lower than Mad World on the Wii.

    #7 9 months ago
  8. xBASSxMONSTAx

    I’m starting to hate my own Wii-U now. :(

    #8 9 months ago
  9. Animeboy413

    @7, Nice Try, Take Two already said, Infinite sales has already outperformed the last two previous Bioshock games.. Not every game is going to sell like COD or GTA or NBA 2K games…

    PS3 version for BioShock Infinite good…

    #9 9 months ago
  10. lexph3re

    Francis I think your definition of failure is kinda off sir.lol

    #10 9 months ago
  11. Animeboy413

    Zombie U will sell better on both Xbox 360/PS3

    #11 9 months ago
  12. msi

    Mr. nath , I have sent an email to your Web site , please , authorities say .
    address email:mahtab.hp92@yahoo.com
    thank you

    #12 9 months ago
  13. MCTJim

    I bought it used and returned it within 2 hrs…If you release crap, you get a pile of it in return…about the same thing as Duke Nukem…just a bad bad game.

    #13 9 months ago
  14. kingy

    Nintendo need to get zelda and a decent mario game out fast to sell some hardware it’s the only reason I’ve not got one yet and I bet I’m not alone

    #14 9 months ago
  15. Francis O

    @11 Animeboy

    How come No More Heroes didn’t sell better on the PS3 and Xbox 360?

    BioShock Infinite sold to a install base of over 140 million and it sold about 1 million on the PS3 and 3 million worldwide.

    That is fantastically crappy for the install base.

    If PS3 gamers aren’t going to buy at least 3-4 million copies of a 90% rated game….what makes anybody think they will buy a game that’s rated far lower?

    #15 9 months ago
  16. macronia

    well may be they may consider improving the game and release it to other platforms as PC , 360 and PS3 , like remake Deus ex Human Revolution , just saying :)

    #16 9 months ago
  17. pukem0n

    this console is a train wreck, even the Xbox One wont ever achieve that on this level

    #17 9 months ago
  18. DrDamn

    @15
    I thought that doing conversions was really cheap and easy to make your money back on? Or is that just to WiiU?

    It’s a shame as it’s one of the few WiiU titles which really tried to innovate with the screen functionality.

    #18 9 months ago
  19. Francis O

    @18

    I never said ZombiU shouldn’t get ported. I just doubt it will sell better than the Wii U version because it’s not that good of a game.

    Innovating is one thing….but the game is not that good. That’s why it didn’t sell. Framerate issues, loading issues, sluggish controls, no replay value, no online….seriously this game wouldn’t sell on any console.

    #19 9 months ago
  20. Lengendaryboss

    Ok, such a shame really but not really surprising.

    #20 9 months ago
  21. Lengendaryboss

    Also the fact that it wasn’t close to being profitable speaks volumes about the success third parties can achieve.
    http://www.vgchartz.com/platform/47/wii-u/

    Nintendo games can reach a million or 2 million although third party games can’t even crack 500k on Wii U.
    Slightly similar with Wii: http://www.vgchartz.com/platform/2/wii/

    With PS3 and Xbox360 its slightly in addition to games not available on Nintendo platforms there are also publishers having better success on PS3/360 (barring of course if the game is casual)

    http://www.vgchartz.com/platform/3/playstation-3/
    http://www.vgchartz.com/platform/7/xbox-360/

    #21 9 months ago
  22. DrDamn

    @19
    “and it will sell like crap on there as well.”

    That’s not saying it shouldn’t be ported?

    If it makes sense to port financially (cost vs projected sales) they should do it. I tend to agree it won’t sell incredibly well though, and may well not be worth the effort from a profit perspective. They may be able to make money, but can they make more putting the effort in elsewhere?

    #22 9 months ago
  23. nollie4545

    Wiiu. Total wank. Message to Ubisoft = STOP MAKING GAMES FOR THIS DAMN THING AND MAKE DECENT GAMES FOR THE REST OF US, YOU IDIOTS!!

    #23 9 months ago
  24. Lengendaryboss

    More from me what in gods name happened to this? http://www.shacknews.com/article/79186/ubisoft-prototyping-zombiu-sequel

    #24 9 months ago
  25. MrWaffles

    For me, the issue was the name just didn’t follow how serious the game was.

    ZombieU sounds like an iPad game… just imagine (de-troll yourselves) if it was called The Last Of Us… probably the marketing team would’ve had an easier time selling it.

    #25 9 months ago
  26. Sini

    that ended when accounting results showed up.

    on the bright side, this is the reason why in 2015 we’ll see bayonetta 2 sigma : full climax edition on ps4/xbone.

    #26 9 months ago
  27. monkeygourmet

    Or maybe this wasn’t profitable because it had a COMPLETE rethink and changed virtually all the graphics / controls / type of game since its original direction.

    Remember this started life as ‘Killer Freaks from Outta Space’. They even left old art assets in Zombie U as an Easter egg.

    I honestly think that change in direction wouldn’t have helped keep the budget under control. But yet again, lets blame the Wii U….

    As for the game though, I LOVED Zombie U, would absolutely love to have a sequel.

    #27 9 months ago
  28. Lengendaryboss

    Edit: Double Comment WTF! :D
    @Monkey
    No one is blaming Wii U, but the fault lies with a few things Audience, Marketing, Install Base, Competition And Hype. Might be more than that. Actually i think a few of those things might be linked to Wii U.

    Take your pick.

    #28 9 months ago
  29. Lengendaryboss

    @26
    Because Nintendo is publishing you might have to wait 5/6 years for it to come to other platforms judging by Mass Effect.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_Effect_(video_game)

    #29 9 months ago
  30. monkeygourmet

    @28

    Take your pick out of the comments…

    4, 6, 8, 11, 17 etc… All trying to take swipes at Wii U / trolling.

    The real fact is, we have absolutely no idea where Ubisoft spent there budget and how much they needed to make to get a good return.

    My hypothesis was that the change in game direction added to the cost of development. That coupled with a slow install base and incredibly strong competition from PS3 / 360.

    It’s a chicken and egg scenario. Shareholders can’t see beyond this as they can see the easy money is on the 360 / PS3 and the huge install base they have.

    Also, Yves is being a complete fucking snake here. He could have mentioned this when it was first announced Rayman was now going multiplatform, and the main reason (apparently) was ZombiU… Instead of all the other bullshit they came up with…

    Can’t really believe anything most devs are saying about the Wii U at the moment. All stinks too me, it’s like they are all trying to lock Nintendo out for some reason.

    #30 9 months ago
  31. Eddie Rodrigues

    @Francis O If a game sells bad on a platform it doesn’t mean it is a failure, example given, MGR:R was a success on the PS3, and Dark Souls was a hit on Sony’s console and had poor sales overall on PC (Games for Windows Live and poor porting to thank).

    The thing is, as you said, it is a bad game AND the only platform it could go with is the WiiU, hence the U in the name.

    But stop saying that all that makes a game good is how million units it sold, this is… unwise, to say the least.

    #31 9 months ago
  32. DSB

    Honestly I’m surprised people stuck with the Wii for as long as they did. It was just one long line of third party titles not selling, even though you had the biggest install base on the planet.

    Nintendo screwed the pooch. I’m sure a lot of people will buy a Wii U just to play Nintendo games, but I’m sure a lot of people will pick something else because they want more than that.

    #32 9 months ago
  33. Lengendaryboss

    @Monkey
    Well…. http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a187/streex/mario_bros_haters_gonna_hate_by_mattmcmanis-d352c8d.gif

    Also…. http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130326225859/pvzcc/images/8/84/Pikachu_haters_gonna_hate.gif

    Lastly….. http://www.arwrath.com/content/2/22366.gif

    Thats all i can say, in addition to understanding your point of view and can understand some of the views of others.

    #33 9 months ago
  34. Eddie Rodrigues

    @DSB Most of the people, outside Japan that is, only bought it for fitness, Mario and the possibility of Pokémon. That is how the casual market works, they buy once and never invest nor touch the device and its games.

    #34 9 months ago
  35. monkeygourmet

    @33

    :D

    #35 9 months ago
  36. jmg24bad

    this francis O guys is hilarious, just because there are 140 mil consoles to be sold to, doesnt mean everyone will buy the same game. Games selling 1 mil is good in some cases

    #36 9 months ago
  37. InsaneZucchini

    @ #26 Bayonetta 2 was published by Nintendo, because no one else wanted to do it. Bayonetta 2 won’t be on another system for a very long time if ever because Nintendo owns the rights to have it on their system exclusively. And Nintendo does not like sharing it’s exclusives, they’ve said they’d rather take their IP’s down with the ship than ever give them to another publisher/developer if they go down. As they paid for Bayonetta 2 to be made, you can bet they’ll hold on to those rights pretty tight for a while to come.

    @ #36 And in some cases selling 3 mil is bad. All that means is how many games need to be sold to make a profit differs, which is not in question. However, when your game sells to less than 1% of possible buyers then porting it over didn’t provide much growth. The point of porting a game is to allow for a greater audience, IF they reached out to to an audience of 140 million and got only 1 million to care about it then the desired growth is probably missed by a long shot. That makes it a failure. The Wii U in it’s first 6 months sold more systems than the PS3 and 360 did in the same amount of time, but because it didn’t reach it’s expected numbers it’s currently considered a failure.

    It’s too bad, I enjoyed ZombiU and it’d have been nice to see how they improved on it. It was an experiment and seeing what changes they’d implement to make it a better game would have been awesome. Especially nice if we could have gotten an online multiplayer, because they multiplayer it had was interesting and had it’s ups, but it was also far too limited.

    #37 9 months ago
  38. Lengendaryboss

    @37
    Bayonetta 2 is similar to Mass Effect neither Nintendo or MS owns/owned shit, just a long timed exclusive. In your scenario Nintendo doesn’t own Bayonetta its not part of their owned content: SEGA owns it. They payed for development and just because they are the publisher does not mean they automatically own it.

    #38 9 months ago
  39. gargus

    Yeah the game itself wasn’t that great, but its mostly nintendos fault. No one but the core gamers even knew what the hell that game was because Nintendo doesn’t market anything except their own 1st party titles. That coupled with the fact the wiiu is a gigantic failure didn’t help either.

    #39 9 months ago
  40. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    ZombiU didn’t sell enough copies.

    It didn’t sell enough copies because not enough people bought it.

    Not enough people bought it because not enough people own the only console on which it’s available.

    Not enough people own the console because the console is not appealing enough to enough people that they want to buy it.

    It’s not appealing because it’s expensive, gimmicky, tragically lacking in power and has a small and killer-app-free game library. It has also been very, very poorly marketed.

    All of those things are Nintendo’s fault. All of them.

    Listening to some people in this thread blaming Ubisoft – Nintendo’s number one third-party supporter – for the failure of the Wii U console they have sat, idle, beneath their television is ludicrous. I get it: you love Nintendo. But try at least to look at this objectively. The console is bad. Bad, bad, bad, on every single level. As a result, no one is buying it. Meanwhile, Nintendo thinks that rolling out its fossilised IP for the ninety-seventh time is what’s going to save it. It’s not. Not this time. The console itself needed to be better. It needed to arrive two years earlier or it needed to arrive with a competitive amount of processing oomph.

    Believe it or not, developers don’t want gimmicks to create new worlds, new genres, original ideas and new ways to play. They just want as much power as possible. As big a blank canvas as possible.

    The irony is that Nintendo is the selling-point brand name, while Nintendo thinks it’s Mario and Donkey Kong and so in. Nintendo makes great games, no one will argue with that. They, more than any other company, could be launching new IP every five minutes and the world would be lapping it up. But no. Just the same old shit over and over. That’s been their business model for the last 25-30 years and they’re sticking to it.

    You remember what happened to the dinosaurs when they failed to adapt to the new atmospheric conditions after a meteor impact? Yeah, that.

    If you’re a Nintendo fan and you want to help, now is the time to be highly critical and hope you’re heard. With some of you it’s like Nintendo could actually take a shit in your cornflakes and you’d just eat up and smile on.

    #40 9 months ago