French publisher Ubisoft has announced details of its product plans for the coming year, with the firm expecting to achieve 12 per cent sales growth in FY06 thanks to new Tom Clancy, Prince of Persia and Brothers in Arms games.
The company plans to start off the new financial year - its current year ends on March 31st - with the launch of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Lockdown, which has been delayed out of its previously planned March launch slot into the first half of FY2006.
While this will add significantly to the company's first half, with sales of the title estimated at 1.5 to 2 million units, it won't affect projected results for the fourth quarter of FY2005, according to the firm, due to the exceptionally strong performance of other titles in this period. Ubisoft still expects 215 million Euro in revenue for this quarter, and its FY2005 operating income target of 38-43 million Euro (pro forma figures) also remains unchanged.
Looking further into FY2006, Ubisoft plans to launch three other major titles in the first half, which runs through to the end of September - Far Cry Instincts on consoles, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith on handhelds, and new urban street racing title 187 Ride or Die.
The firm's biggest brands will be rolled out in the holiday season, as ever - with updates to the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, Prince of Persia and Brother in Arms franchises all confirmed for the third quarter, along with the game adaptation of Peter Jackson's King Kong, the next project from the Lord of the Rings director.
Finally, towards the end of the year - in the first quarter of calendar 2006 - Ubisoft plans to launch two major new brands, namely next-generation FPS title Killing Day (working title) and the first part of a major push into the sports market, basketball title And 1. The Might and Magic brand will also be resurrected in the fourth fiscal quarter, with two new strategy titles planned based on the recently dormant franchise.
Overall, Ubisoft plans to launch 32 SKUs during the 2006 fiscal year, including three for the Nintendo DS, five for the PSP, and four for Microsoft's Xbox 2 - which is still expected to launch in Q4 2005.