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Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag not expected to outsell AC3

Ubisoft is cautiously forecasting fewer sales of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag than last year's entry, Assassin's Creed 3.

Speaking to investors in a post-earnings call today, as reported by Gamespot, CEO Yves Guillemot seemed cagey about the piratical sequel.

"To come back to Assassin's Creed 4, in our numbers we we expect less than last year," he said.

Although the publisher produced its most recent financial forecasts based on the fourth numbered entry in the series selling less than Assassin's Creed 3's 12.5 million units to date, Guillemot admitted he's hopeful Ubisoft turns out to be wrong.

"We are actually pushing to achieve more than last year because we think the pirate segment is a great segment that can generate a lot more on a worldwide basis than what was achieved last year," he said.

"But we wanted to be prudent on our expectations so that it can probably be a bonus if it comes."

Publishers have been cautious with their forecasts moving into FY2014 and FY2015, as the increased costs and turbulence of the console transition are likely to favour a certain level of guardedness rather than wildly optimistic predictions - especially with all the CEO offings in the past few months.

Assassin's Creed 3 met with mixed reviews and fan reaction. Assassin's Creed 4 is expected in late October and early November for PC, PlayStation 3, Wii U and Xbox 360, with next-generation versions expected when the new platforms launch. A new trailer for Black Flag dropped today.

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