Dance games made it rain on Ubisoft's holiday quarter

Ubisoft today reported sales figures for its fiscal-year third quarter, which ended December 31, 2010. For the period, the French publisher recorded €600 million ($809 million) in total software sales, up just over 21 percent from the same quarter in 2009 (though factoring in constant exchange rates -- nearly 60 percent of sales were made in North America -- year-over-year growth was closer to 15 percent).

In 2010's three-month holiday period alone, Ubisoft shipped a staggering 10.5 million copies of dance titles, which included Just Dance, Just Dance 2, Just Dance Kids, Michael Jackson: The Experience and Dance on Broadway. Additionally, the company claimed an 18 percent market share of the Kinect platform in the US (and 21 percent in Europe), following its push to become the "top third-party publisher" for Microsoft's successful motion-control add-on. Ubisoft put its Kinect game shipments at over 2 million -- "a very nice level of profitability," CEO Yves Guillemot said in an investor call today -- for the fiscal third quarter.

Add in all those copies of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, and Ubisoft outsold its projected quarterly sales total by €80 million ($108 million), bringing its nine-month fiscal 2010-11 year sales up to €861 million ($1.16 billion) -- a marked increase over the €661 million in sales generated during the same period in 2009, and making it a near certainty that the company will return to profitability at the end of its current fiscal year (on March 31, 2011). With a relatively quiet fourth quarter of scheduled releases, however, the publisher anticipates its total fiscal-year sales to reach only €1.02 billion. Still, "cash flow generation is expected to be positive."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.