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Guillemot bullish on Ubisoft's future

Publisher ready with "nice innovations" for Natal and PS3 motion controller

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has revealed his confidence in a strong future for the publisher, despite posting financials yesterday which included falling sales and an operating loss of USD 119 million.

Specifically he outlined a number of areas, other than a strong release slate for the second half of the year, in which the company would be moving forward - including new genres and support for motion-based hardware next year.

"There's a lot of opportunity for Ubisoft to increase its market share - it stands currently at around 6 per cent worldwide," he said in a conference call. "To do so we will continue to introduce new brands, push forward on making our franchises bigger and leverage opportunities provided by new hardware innovation.

"On the new brand front Ubisoft has a reputation for creating successful new intellectual properties and making them long term franchises. Our focus on innovation and our specific competitive construction led to the creation of industry blockbusters such as Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon, Rayman, Assassin's Creed... all of those brands have contributed to a steady stream of highly profitable revenues.

"There are a few genres that we're not in today - for example driving, RPG and fighting - and we will introduce new IPs soon to address some of those genres, but always creating new brands and striving make our established franchises bigger.

"This new focus, which was decided a year ago, should start to pay off in the near future. We think Assassin's Creed and Splinter Cell will be the first demonstrations of this high quality ramp-up, and more importantly should translate into increased sales and profitability for our franchises.

"We will be ready with some very nice innovations when Natal and the motion controller are launched on the Xbox and PS3 next year.

Guillemot added that the company had been focusing a lot of effort on online gaming, with the item-based MMO and social network markets estimated at USD 1 billion this year in the US and possibly up by 50 per cent next year.

To that end he revealed that the previously announced Heroes Kingdoms was in beta now and should be released early next year.

"With bigger games, entering new genres, strong support of hardware innovation and many initiatives on the online social networking front, we believe Ubisoft is well-positioned to continue to grow and outperform."

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