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Ubisoft fiscal Q1 sales slide as DS market diminishes


Ubisoft has reported that sales for its fiscal first quarter of 2009-10 (April through June) were down just over 50 percent from the same period a year ago. The publisher posted roughly $118 million (€83 million) in sales last quarter; a far cry from the $240.24 million (€169 million) cash injection from the first quarter of 2008-09. "We are currently experiencing a very sharp slowdown in our sales for Nintendo DS as well as sales of back-catalog titles, in the context of a market that is tougher than anticipated," CEO Yves Guillemot said. During today's conference call, Guillemot repeatedly singled out Prince of Persia and EndWar as the top under-performers of the company's recent back catalog.

Unsurprisingly, Ubisoft has revised its second quarter target ... straight downward. As the next three months rest on the performances of a few shaky releases, including the multiplatform adaptation of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (not a particularly promising forecast, indeed), sales expectations have plummeted 54 percent from $184.9 million (€130 million) to just $113.8 million (€80 million).

While Ubisoft's apparently failing business of selling kids their imaginations (one idea at a time), along with oodles of equally imagined, yet previously irresistible petz, is troubling for its future outlook -- "games of only good quality are not sufficient anymore," Guillemot noted -- the company insists that Wii sales of, let's call them, not-so-good-quality titles are increasing and expected to compensate for the losses in the DS market soon enough.

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