Ubisoft's Numbers Show Value of Open World Gaming

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

Ubisoft's Numbers Show Value of Open World Gaming

For a while, we've been considering the wider field of open world gaming and been able to talk about it largely in general details. Sure, we've been able to prove that there are plenty of open world games out there, and that these titles tend to sell well. But when Ubisoft came out with its most recent sales numbers, we got one very critical point to add to the arsenal: open world games mean profit.


Naturally, open world games don't always mean profit, and depend on certain market conditions. But when Ubisoft brought out its numbers, the numbers got pretty clear: Ubisoft recorded sales of around $394 million for just the first half of the 2013-2014 fiscal year, which closed up shop September 30. That was a period that saw some pretty impressive—and largely open world—titles for Ubisoft, including “Far Cry 3” and “Assassin's Creed III.” That's actually an increase of five percent over the same time last year, and even Ubisoft, at last report, attributes the success of the first half of the fiscale year to its “back-catalog titles,” which includes the big hits that were “Assassin's Creed III” and “Far Cry 3.”


Better yet, according to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, the rest of the fiscal year isn't looking bad either, with two major new consoles--the Xbox One from Microsoft and Sony's PlayStation 4--chipping in and providing some extra impetus to the wider gaming market. Naturally, there will be some issues—Guillemot points to the incoming “transition period”--but with a holiday shopping season also involved, it's set to be a good point on which to end a year.


Guillemot also notes something particularly important here, saying outright: “Open world games are become ever-more popular with gamers. These creations give gamers the freedom of expression and immersive experiences that are now central to their expectations. This deep-seated market trend—which Ubisoft has fully embraced—is going to move up another gear when the next-generation consoles arrive.”


The end result here is a very clear picture. Users want open-world gaming. Users have wanted it for some time, as explained by the anecdotal evidence offered by previous successful open-world gaming installments. We've had “Grand Theft Auto” titles, “Fallout” titles, “Elder Scrolls” titles, and a host of others. We're starting to see more of these titles come around, and many are planned for the not too distant future. We saw “State of Decay” absolutely kill it on the strength of its sheer gameplay and talk around the blogosphere. We saw a frantic search for information around “Fallout 4” up to the point where it was an actual news item that there was no news about “Fallout 4” to be had at E3.


Open world gaming is likely going to carry on, and ultimately—hopefully--become this generation's first person shooter. Bigger experiences with more to do, more stories to tell, and ultimately, more fun to be had...now that sounds like a great new generation to me.

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