ZombiU Was “Not Even Close” to Profitable, Says Ubisoft CEO

According to the publisher, poor sales of its Wii U launch title led to the decision to port Rayman Legends to other consoles.

By Kevin Knezevic. Posted 07/08/2013 14:00 8 Comments     ShareThis

ZombiU may have been one of Wii U’s most high profile and well-received launch titles, but according to Ubisoft, sales of the game fell well below the company’s expectations.

Speaking to GamesIndustry, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot revealed that ZombiU was “not even close” to being profitable, so much so that the company has “no desire” to develop a sequel to the game (contrary to some earlier reports). In fact, the poor performance of ZombiU was what ultimately led to the decision to delay Rayman Legends and port the title to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. “We must find a way to ensure the creativity of those games could have a big enough audience,” Guillemot 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.'”

Ubisoft isn’t the only major third party publisher disappointed with Wii U’s early performance– Activision likewise will be toning down its Wii U support given the poor sales of its launch offerings, and EA has all but abandoned the platform due to its “lack of online engagement,” which stands in contrast with the company’s plans for the future.

What do you make of this news? Are you disappointed that we many never get a sequel to ZombiU? And will third parties jump back aboard Wii U once Nintendo releases some more first party software? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Source: GamesIndustry (via GoNintendo)

8 Responses to “ZombiU Was “Not Even Close” to Profitable, Says Ubisoft CEO”

  • 1525 points
    penduin says...

    That’s a shame; ZombiU is still the most interesting game on the system as far as I’m concerned. But, I understand why it’s not the killer app and runaway success it should be.

    Something like Wii Sports appeals to absolutely everybody, right away. ZombiU does lots of clever things, but you don’t immediately know that just by watching someone else play.

    Zombie movies and games have also been done to death. No matter how novel the game is, it has to overcome that hurdle. The theme also makes parents playing with kids a pretty tough sell.

    The two-player mode is brilliant, but barely mentioned. And even if it was a prominent feature, like the rest of the game, it takes some actual hands-on time in order to really understand why it’s great.

    Unfortunately, it seems like in this day and age, a game has to cater to those with no attention span whatsoever, in addition to gamers who will bother to give it a chance.

    I’m not sure why so many companies seem to expect a months-old console to move as much software as an established many-years-old one, but I have to at least give Ubisoft credit for participation. Too bad this particular attempt didn’t work out better for them.

  • 1288 points
    Robert Marrujo says...

    I find it odd that Ubi or any other dev is so negative about the sales of their launch titles on Wii U. Seriously, no system at its launch is going to push enough units to compete with the install base of systems that have been around for almost a decade. Honestly, how many copies was Ubi expecting to sell on a system that also was busy trying to sell itself? Did they think every person who bought a Wii U was going to get a copy of ZombieU? Ridiculous.

  • 258 points
    Joshua A. Johnston says...

    It’s a bit bizarre how Ubisoft correlated ZombiU to Rayman Legends. They’re not even remotely the same game. That would be like Capcom not releasing Zack and Wiki on Wii because Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition didn’t sell well. Is it possible that most current Wii U adopters just aren’t into survival horror games?

  • 45 points
    terribledeli says...

    It felt like a weak title. But then to have been modified so dramatically from Killer Freaks, I’m not surprised. Not particularly polished. Not particularly sleek.

    As a hardcore zombie guy, the story was borderline absurd. Even for zombie stories. There was no way it was going to appeal to die hard zombie fans. And there was just better zombie games available at that time (TellTale’s The Walking Dead finished up it’s first season around that time)

    And it was, by its very nature, defiant in the face of Nintendo’s philosophy of family oriented games.

    So for it to bomb as badly as Ubisoft claims, we can’t be that surprised.

  • 1332 points
    Andrew Hsieh says...

    I loved Zombi U, although to be fair, it was totally weird and some parts (i.e. combat) were a bit contrived. It’s just too bad– I wasn’t predicting a total bomb, but this is scary.

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