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Assassin's Creed IV, Battlefield 4 retail sales disappoint - Pachter

Analyst notes "far weaker than expected debuts" for big franchises, believes PS4 outsold Xbox One by 66%

The holiday season may have started with a lump of coal in the stockings of EA and Ubisoft. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter sent a note to investors in advance of this week's November NPD US retail sales announcements, saying that software sales for the month would be down 13 percent due to "far weaker-than-expected debuts" for the heavily hyped Battlefield 4 and Assassin's Creed IV.

Those games' troubles are the primary reasons Pachter believes console and handheld sales were down 13 percent to $1.25 billion, but they weren't the only ones. Call of Duty: Ghosts sales were also lower than expected due to unflattering reviews, Pachter said, and the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launches may have also put a damper on the software sales figures. Pachter reasoned that consumers either devoted their spending money to next-generation hardware launches, or decided to forgo purchasing current-gen versions of titles until they could find one of the supply constrained next-gen systems.

Speaking of the next-gen consoles, Pachter gave a considerable edge to Sony in the November sales race. He believes the PS4 sold 1.25 million units in the US during November, compared to 750,000 for the Xbox One. The PS4 launched November 15, while the Xbox One debuted November 22. The new arrivals also appear to have put a significant dent in the pre-existing competition, as Pachter predicted Wii U sales would be down 65 percent year-over-year, with Xbox 360 and PS3 sales down 44 percent and 28 percent, respectively.

The NPD Group is expected to announce its November US retail sales data Thursday evening.

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Latest comments (14)

Craig Burkey Software Engineer 7 years ago
1.If I'm getting a PS4 next year why should I bother buying Assassins Creed 4 on 360? I might as well wait till next year when its discounted for PS4.

2.I assume for COD fans there is the critical mass problem as some friends hold off purchase for the same reason above and others only buy the game for the MP to play against them and that has a cascading effect

3.Then there are the costs of the new systems to take into account 349 is 7/8 games worth of cash being pulled out the gaming ecosystem.
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Keith Andrew Freelance Journalist, Keith Andrew Media7 years ago
Pachter in stating the bleeding obvious shocker.

Seriously guys, if you're going to report on analysts, find one that has something that we don't already know to say. You shouldn't be drip feeding us run-of-the-mill predictions from Pachter as a matter of course. He isn't, by default, newsworthy.
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Cesar Hoffmann Translator 7 years ago
Pachter again, really?
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Show all comments (14)
Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 7 years ago
In all fairness, we do not know for whom Michael Pachter's analysis was. But in this instance it was certainly repeated by a publication which can come up with its own predictions, which are at least as informed as those made by Michael Pachter.
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Steven Hodgson Programmer, Code in Progress Ltd7 years ago
I don't understand what is Pachter's role in the games industry, is he a soothsayer?
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I spent the weekend on Battlefield....with 30s gaps for toilet works reasonably well for 64 players on the PS4 now. occasional boot outs on joining, but otherwise a MAD frenzied fun especially on conquest mode
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Charles Webber Computer Games 7 years ago
As interesting as I find all this I was expecting something a but more comprehensive by now.

Also, why is only the US taken into acount, not a criticism im just curious. Is Europe not important? For all I know there could be a trend of specific console or title players in Europe. If that is the case it throws this article pretty far off the mark.
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Richard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes7 years ago
PS4 out supplied XBox One would actually be a more accurate piece of information Michael. And digital sales?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Richard Browne on 9th December 2013 5:43pm

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Steve Goldman Journalist. 7 years ago
Doubt the Wii U numbers
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Dan Lowe 3D Animator, Ubisoft Montreal7 years ago
I wonder to what degree the split releases of current-gen and next-gen versions diminished sales. Games tend to do very well when the release seems like an event, where all your friends are playing at once. I have to imagine that splitting release dates had a huge impact on that, where a lot of people initially decided to wait for next-gen versions, then by the time the next-gen consoles are launched the wave of community interest has subsided.

In many ways, right now would be an ideal time to launch a major release, now that all platforms are out, attention has moved away from the console launches, and people are eager for new things to play on their new platforms.
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Charles Webber Computer Games 7 years ago
Couldn't have said it better. I think its a high possibility. One apparently not very well thought through, or at leave not the approach I would take all things permitting.
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I find reporting of analyst information overwhelming un analytical. What if we form our own straw poll on teh pulse of games development and investment eh :)
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany7 years ago
I'm a big fan of "Assassin's Creed", but I won't buy Black Flag until I have my next gen console (Still trying to decide), so I have something to play on it.

And my analysis is: "Sure I can't be the only one who thinks that way"
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THEY ARE bringing out Tomb raider on ext gen consoles as well. Frankly cant wait till Jan for a new release of games to play (and not free to pay)
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