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Retail

Next-gen preorders doubling those from current consoles

Next-gen preorders doubling those from current consoles

Thu 18 Jul 2013 4:51pm GMT / 12:51pm EDT / 9:51am PDT
RetailHardwarePublishingDevelopment

Ubisoft CEO says some retail partners seeing big demand for Xbox One and PS4, believes open-world will be key for all genres

It's difficult to quantify the buzz surrounding the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launches, but Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot offered some slight illumination on the matter in an investor conference call today. Guillemot said retailers he's talked to have been very positive about the preorder situation.

"Some retailers--not all of them--are saying their preorders are two times what they saw for the last-gen launch," Guillemot said.

The executive also spelled out Ubisoft's strategy for the next generation, saying, "Open worlds are the clear direction where game genres are evolving."

Guillemot said the open-world twist has been redefining genre after genre for years, starting with Grand Theft Auto and action games. He said The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim did it for role-playing games, while Ubisoft's own Assassin's Creed series and Far Cry 3 brought open-world approaches to the adventure and first-person shooter genres. Looking forward, Guillemot said Ubisoft's The Crew will do the same for driving games.

In the past seven years, Ubisoft has made nine open-world games, "by far an unmatched performance," according to Guillemot. That output has been aided by the publisher's production capabilities, splitting up games between huge teams situated in studios around the world. Guillemot said the publisher's experience with open worlds and globally distributed development will be a major differentiator for the company in the new console cycle, giving it "a unique capacity in the industry" to release open-world games on a regular basis.

19 Comments

Jakub Mikyska
CEO

197 1,044 5.3
Popular Comment
Thank you for posting an article that says something positive about the console market and is not followed by the latest report on what mobile gaming market in Norway will look like in 2018.

Quite frankly... when a CEO of a major publisher, that has investments in both the console and mobile side of the market, is so positive and enthusiastic about consoles, that says a lot more than all the analysts' reports combined.
Now, is there anyone who would like to oppose this guy's opinions about consoles? Bruce? Anyone?

Posted:A year ago

#1

David Serrano
Freelancer

298 270 0.9
@Jakub Mikyska

The question is do the demographics behind those preorders reflect the demographics of the existing installed base? Or do they only reflect the interest of one narrow subsegment of the base? If the preorders more or less align the demographics of the installed base, its good news. But if they only reflect the interest level of 13 to 25 year old male COD, Halo, Madden and FIFA fans, it is a sign of trouble ahead for both systems.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by David Serrano on 19th July 2013 4:19pm

Posted:A year ago

#2

Jakub Mikyska
CEO

197 1,044 5.3
As far as I know, COD, Halo, Madden and FIFA are also games... The rest of the games are a filler between those major titles for most gamers. Just like most mobile games are fillers between Angry Birds for most people.

Posted:A year ago

#3

James Ingrams
Writer

215 84 0.4
We're going to hear a lot of comments like this, and I don't believe any of them until the machines have been out for 6 months and we see what titles have been released for the machines.

It's exactly the same with AAA games. The publisher will always point out how they shipped "x million units" in the first week, but they are not sell throughs, just retail orders. X million is all they end up selling. Meanwhile, an AA game will sell "250,000 in it's first week, garner word of mouth. and then go onto sell 250,000 for the net 2 months. The AAA game, costing $50 million, a year willend up selling 30% more than the $10 million AA game!

Posted:A year ago

#4

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
The tradition in the console cycle was that each new platform was the opportunity for creativity. To come up with new IP that would work with early adopters and so gain legs to become established..
The fact that Wii U, PS4 and XBOne are so desperate and reliant on old IP franchises exposes what a busted flush they are.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Pete Thompson
Owner / Admin

162 81 0.5
Good news on the next console cycle at last.. was beginning to think it's all doom n' gloom with neigh sayers and Microsoft & Sony haters having a field day inflicting their negativity on us all.. ;-)

As for open world being the way forward, you only need to look at the success of the Grand Theft Auto, and Elder Scrolls series to see that..

Posted:A year ago

#6

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,034 912 0.9
We have two new consoles which are basically consolized PCs.
We have Intel and Nvidia not being part of the console market but looking to sell more chips.
We have seen five years of Apple app store revolution and how Steam is growing into something similar.
We have aggressive new publishing and business models.
We have platforms which might be the right thing for core gamers but chew away fringe and casual customers from consoles.

An old Texas Chainsaw movie poster put it best. "Who will survive and what will be left of them?" Never before has there been this much room for disruptive innovations and no amount of pre-orders can gloss that over. This generation of WiiU, Xbone and PS4 is more vulnerable than any before. I am not saying they will die, but they will drastically transform.

Posted:A year ago

#7

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

799 996 1.2
>> Now, is there anyone who would like to oppose this guy's opinions about consoles? Bruce? Anyone?

I'll field that one. Please define "Big demand"? In my mind, it might be bigger than some other level of demand, but it's still a tiny number as an absolute.

:)

Posted:A year ago

#8

Keldon Alleyne
Handheld Developer

427 403 0.9
@Paul: When was that number ever a problem? How long have you been following the industry?

Video game revenue 2001-2011
2011 $66Bn
2010 $65Bn
2009 $64Bn
2008 $57Bn
2007 $46Bn
2006 $35Bn
2005 $34Bn
2004 $30Bn
2003 $29Bn
2002 $34Bn
2001 $25Bn

---

However small you call that as a demand, there is plenty of room for many players (and by players I mean games companies).

Posted:A year ago

#9

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

799 996 1.2
You got links for those numbers please? What do they actually include?

The latest fresh figure I have is ~2Bn for game sales in the UK, 2012. Hard to see how the rotw makes up another 64+ as UK is usually a good second to USA with a yawning maw to the rest.

But in any case, if we're incorporating all we can get our hands on, mobile's trying for a trillion... http://blog.appannie.com/investor-spotlight-apps-and-stocks/

EDIT: Put a better link in. Here's the key quote:

"Over one-third of the Top 100 app publishers by gross iOS App Store and Google Play revenue in May 2013 are publicly traded companies with a combined market cap of nearly $1 Trillion"

So not even including the majority of revenue here, which is made by uninvestable private companies. This isn't just games of course, but I think you can see the sort of picture that's emerging. Elsewhere you can find links that most app sales actually are games.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 21st July 2013 6:07pm

Posted:A year ago

#10

Keldon Alleyne
Handheld Developer

427 403 0.9
You got links for those numbers please?
http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Video_game_industry

Those figures do include recent additions such as facebook games and possibly mobile. Video games at retail still accounts for $30Bn, though no details were given as to what portion of the other $35Bn comes from PC/console games via digital delivery.
Hard to see how the rotw makes up another 64+ as UK is usually a good second to USA with a yawning maw to the rest.
According to amalgamation of sources, the UK only accounted for 12.5% of worldwide PC/Gaming revenue in 2008. If this has remained the same then that would suggest a rotw revenue of 16Bn (presumably pounds and for the video game market only).

But "according to a 2012 report by Newzoo, the U.K games market generated $ 5,2bn of revenues in 2012 with the total number of gamers at 33.6million."
From the article: But App Annie isn't talking about revenues, of course. It's talking about the combined market cap of the 37 publicly-traded companies which appear in a chart of the 100 top app publishers by revenue on iOS and Android.

That's a list that includes Apple, Microsoft, Disney and Time Warner $841.6bn market cap between them
It is not saying that the revenue is a $trillion.

Posted:A year ago

#11

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

799 996 1.2
Well, it does seem most of these numbers are bullshit. Your uk figure differs from my ERA one by roughly double.

If you read further into that (very large) article though, you can see stuff about game sales. And whilst it's no trillion, it's definitely the majority of the income generated on mobile only by those companies, which are a small portion of the total companies - the article itself is about investment potential and only the third they're interested in are public. Still seems relevant to me though, epecially given that the river is still running in the same direction.

Your figure of 16Bn seems about right to me, but that is still very small fry. Supercell and King are probably doing a tenth of that all by themselves. That's without looking at the earnings of the 150,000 other developers like Rovio, Gameloft, the list goes on and on before you get anywhere near the Rubicon's of this world.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 21st July 2013 9:13pm

Posted:A year ago

#12

Keldon Alleyne
Handheld Developer

427 403 0.9
Well, it does seem most of these numbers are bullshit. Your uk figure differs from my ERA one by roughly double.
Which figure is this exactly?

This GI.biz article says packaged media saw USD 61 billion in 2008, which is reflected in the amalgamated sources for 2008.

If you mean the $5.2Bn, the Newzoo report actually includes all UK gaming spend including MMO and mobile. Their figures for the spend on console games mirrors ERA. Is that the one you meant? Yet you said most, so I can only assume you mean the ones that match with Gtk and GI.biz.


Supercell and King are atypical examples. Not everyone is flossing like those guys are so it serves no purpose to highlight what differs so much from the most probable fate for mobile and social developers. I'm personally not about sides at all, my only interest in these matters is just with correct information and sound logical conclusions or analyses.

In fact if you analyse why that was able to happen you would have a better picture of how the statistics stack up for mobile gaming. Just think about it for a minute. What you're actually painting is the image of an oligopoly. And that is nothing against mobile or social gaming. Perhaps it is down to the lack of competition, but that comment sounds absurd with 150,000 other developers in the frame.

Again, I have no interest in picking sides, only perspective. Now don't get me wrong, I am not attempting to and neither would I discourage mobile or social game development - on the contrary. Though I do believe strongly in having a firm grip on the economy and the powerful observational tools that mathematics provides for us. I don't think it has a preference over mobile or console gaming, instead their lens simply shows that the climate of the console market differs greatly from mobile and social, giving way to the need for very different strategies to prudently enter into.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 21st July 2013 10:52pm

Posted:A year ago

#13

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

799 996 1.2
Mainly here: http://www.oxm.co.uk/48920/era-blames-terrible-2012-uk-sales-on-sluggish-digital-lack-of-summer-releases/ but an ERA release had a similar figure. I've not seen any of these larger ones.

I'm actually not interested in picking sides either, I enjoy console games and long may they continue, as sometimes a tablet just doesn't scratch that itch. I just want the elitist press to stop excluding the games where most of the money gets spent and most of the gaming hours go. And to stop excluding the top earners from the bloody charts.

Posted:A year ago

#14

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
Paul, why did you just compare market capitalization for one segment with revenue from the other? Those are not comparable metrics.

According to the link you provided, combined revenue is approx $2.9 billion. That makes the console industry more than 10 times as large.

Posted:A year ago

#15

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

799 996 1.2
Mainly because I couldn't find the better link I had tbh. If you look down the piece, it's all there, but mostly from a different perspective with different stresses. But 2.9 Bn isn't right for either so you lost me on that one.

Posted:A year ago

#16

Tameem Antoniades
Creative Director & Co-founder

196 164 0.8
"Some retailers--not all of them--are saying their preorders are two times what they saw for the last-gen launch,"

This statement is way too vague to start flag-waving over.

- Last gen saw a year gap between xbox 360 and PS3, is that taken into account?
- Are the preorders related to particular platforms or both combined?
- What exactly does "some retailers" mean?
- Do these retailers count online preorders?
- How far has the act of pre-ordering grown over the last 7-8 years across all products?

Disclosure: we have an interest in both mobile and console and hope both grow to spectacular levels. Why anyone would want one to succeed at the expense of the other is beyond me. Developers, players and publishers want growth and diversity so why the need to take sides?

Posted:A year ago

#17

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
But 2.9 Bn isn't right for either so you lost me on that one.
I used the link you provided:
http://blog.appannie.com/investor-spotlight-apps-and-stocks/

I looked at the first chart which displays a monthly combined revenue of Apple App Store and Google Play. I took the monthly figure to be about $240 million and extrapolated that over 12 months. Now I see it's just an indexed comparison chart rather than actual revenue figures.

Posted:A year ago

#18

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
I think that the PS3/360 audience has polarised over the last 7 years to be CoD/GTA centric. These people know that power is important for their sort of game, so making the upgrade is vital.
Then there is the small matter of how much continuing developer support the PS3/360 will get. With their highest spending users being PS4/XBOne early adopters. Probably not much. All the more reason to upgrade.
The problem for Sony and Microsoft will be keeping sales going once the core users have bought their machines.

Posted:A year ago

#19

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