It seems everywhere you look these days, you see the slump of our economy affecting everyone and every thing. This obviously doesn’t exclude video games, as it’s definitely not a necessity for the majority of people that play them.
In the last few months we’ve seen gaming companies pretty much across the board report record losses. We’ve seen mass layoffs from several companies, we’ve seen the stocks tumble to record low numbers and we’ve even seen some studios close down entire branches. Late last week we even saw the New York Stock Exchange threaten to de-list Midway Studios’ stock, due to such a horrible performance from them over the last several months. So when you read that the French-based studio, Ubisoft, is making money in this tough time, you can’t help but have a hard time not raising an eyebrow. Earlier this week, the company released their first half fiscal results, and they saw an increase in profits of almost double over the same time frame from last year.
Ubisoft has brought us some fantastic titles in the past, including the Splinter Cell series, the Rainbow Six: Vegas series and their newest title, Endwar.
Even during all this financial mayhem, it all appears to be business as usual for Ubisoft, as they not only have not had any layoffs or job cuts to speak of, but they even recently bought a new developer to add to their collection, Massive Studios.
Personally, I think that part of their success has to do with the support they give their titles. Not just during development, but even after their games have launched. If you look back at both Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfare titles, tons of DLC was released, giving the games more longevity, and no doubt helping the sales figures. We saw similar things with their Rainbow Six: Vegas series, and word has it DLC is already on the way for both Endwar, and their soon to be released title, Prince of Persia.
To put the cherry on top, Ubisoft also reported in a press conference recently that the highly desired Assassins Creed sequel is on the way, though they would not give a time frame for the release.
In the current state of our nation, it should be considered a great achievement for any company out there that’s not making an indispensable product, to be able to say they’re making money on their merchandise, but for a video game studio? It should be considered monumental.