Yves Guillemot: ZombiU Wasn't Profitable, not even close, no sequel planned

Mar 8, 2012
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I think part of the problem is that there were a lot of games out at Wii U launch, like 20+ core oriented titles (almost entirely late ports, of course), so instead of one third party title selling a million copies, twenty third party games sold 50,000 a piece. Compare to the Wii launch where you only had basically two games, Zelda and Red Steel, and you can see where sales would congeal around those two unlike how they fractured around the many at Wii U.

Doesn't excuse the Wii U owners that didn't buy ZombiU of course. SHAME ON YOU
 

Totobeni

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Nov 3, 2007
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It's actually something weird that Ubi still keep the support strong for Wii U, they've dropped it for Vita (which only have 1 Ubi game coming).

I guess if their holiday games bombs on the system they'll just do like EA and drop the support.

I have no clue what Wii U owners want. Just Nintendo games? but only NSMB U was out at this time. Why didn't they pick up Zombie U? Why? It is a survival horror that uses the gamepad and was a fun game with fun multiplayer(I liked it).

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my guess is that Nintendo Faithfuls (I think most of the Wii owners now) want Nintendo games like Mario or DKC.
 

Exile20

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Jun 7, 2013
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I've always thought survival horror was a relatively niche genre.
It is but what else was there at the time? Plus a game like Dark Souls was niche too and look at it now. A game can sell a lot even if it is niche. Also Dead Space, Silent hill, Alan Wake, etc.
 

EatinOlives

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Oct 23, 2011
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I guess he could have said, at least roughly, how many copies it sold, or how many it would have to sell to become profitable. I don't believe it sold well (even though I love the game and think it deserves more love) but knowing how much it would have to sell to start a profit would show where the blame really lays at...
I don't see how that information could change things. It's like ZombiU was one of those "AAA" bloated-budget titles with crazy marketing that needed to sell 5 million to become profitable. It was still fairly low budget given Ubi's range of retail titles, especially one sold as a marquee title for the WiiU's launch.

It just sold poorly because the WiiU's install base is very low, that's all there is to it.
 

x-Lundz-x

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Jan 14, 2011
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Well I mean if people were making money on Wii U games we would presumably be seeing way more of them.
I just don't see how anyone would question any third parties from pulling WiiU support. When a high profile exclusive title, taking full advantage of the system main feature can't even come close to breaking even then I do not know what to think.

I don't even see how buying a Wii U to play Nintendo games is worth it now. I mean at most you are going to get only a few titles per year worth playing if that is what you are doing with it. I have no interest in paying 300+ for an item that will collect dust most of the time.

It's no wonder EA pulled support.
 

Effect

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Jun 15, 2007
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I wish budgets were released. I really would like to know just how much was put into the the actual ZombiU version of the game. How much was spent on the various other versions before they finally decided on an actual game to make and decided upon a platform. Also was ZombiU expected to make back the money Ubisoft spent when earlier versions of the game they were making was in seemingly development hell for other platforms?
 

Frodo

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Nov 6, 2012
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Doesn't excuse the Wii U owners that didn't buy ZombiU of course. SHAME ON YOU
Yes, SHAME ON YOU! Specially if you complain about third party support. Game is great, even though it is a little bit rough around the edges... Good experience nonetheless.
 

mrklaw

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Jun 10, 2004
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What part of "running the servers" has anything to do with DLC or "rip-off" to you? He is talking about making games with strong online/multiplayer components being a waste of time on Wii U because Nintendo themselves put very little emphasis on online multiplayer so nobody on that system gives a shit about it as a feature.

Talk about spin...
Why is it so important to have games with a strong online component? If 30m Xbox 360s were never online, ere is something to be said for a strong offline experience. I'm a little frustrated with online multiplayer being forced on me at every turn.
 

Xater

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Jul 28, 2007
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It's actually something weird that Ubi still keep the support strong for Wii U, they've dropped it for Vita (which only have 1 Ubi game coming).

I guess if their holiday games bombs on the system they'll just do like EA and drop the support.
Well it's all multiplatform games. Maybe they are just finishing up what they have started to make a few bucks. i expect them to abandon the console just as the rest once next gen kicks into gear.
 

fart town usa

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please don't take this wrong, and I'm not saying that it was your case but, most of the people who tought the game was bad, was because they were "playing it wrong"... the game should be played as you play Dark Souls, not as you play Left4Dead.

If you play it like the average FPS, the game will feel slow, awful and frustrating. If you take it slow, you'll experience its magic. I really think it's a very "misunderstood" title.

if you're gonna give it a second chance, explore slowly, plan your strategy and be very cautious, I'm sure you're gonna enjoy it a lot more.

I'm not trying to offend you or anything, I'm just trying to help you to enjoy more the game if you decide to give it another shot =)
Ditto.
 

KageMaru

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First and foremost it's nintendo's responsibility to sell the console so don't think I'm trying to say anything otherwise.

With that in mind though, 3rd parties didn't really do much to ensure their launch titles succeeded.

- Terrible ZombiU boxart, next to zero marketing
I don't recall Condemned having any better marketing, or any marketing at all actually, but it sold enough to warrant a sequel. It's really a damn shame if this IP is put to rest, there was a lot of potential. =(
 

Frodo

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I don't see how that information could change things. It's like ZombiU was one of those "AAA" bloated-budget titles with crazy marketing that needed to sell 5 million to become profitable. It was still fairly low budget given Ubi's range of retail titles, especially one sold as a marquee title for the WiiU's launch.

It just sold poorly because the WiiU's install base is very low, that's all there is to it.
It sold poorly, yes. Wii U's intall base is small, yes. I completely agree with you. But we don't know how much they spent to make the game. And considering it started as one game (Attack of the Killer Rabbids From Outter Space) and changed in the middle of the development to another, considering it was being developed to the 360 first and then became Wii U exclusive, it might have been more expensive than it looks like (though I still think we are only facing one case of poor sales because of the install base. But the numbers would just make that clearer) .
 

QaaQer

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Jun 13, 2012
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I don't see how that information could change things. It's like ZombiU was one of those "AAA" bloated-budget titles with crazy marketing that needed to sell 5 million to become profitable. It was still fairly low budget given Ubi's range of retail titles, especially one sold as a marquee title for the WiiU's launch.

It just sold poorly because the WiiU's install base is very low, that's all there is to it.
And the install base mostly just buys Nintendo games. It is a brutal console for 3rd parties.
 

GetemMa

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Feb 17, 2013
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How can you use that type of argument for Red Steel. We're not talking Wii Fit or Wii Play (which got rather poor reviews).

Red Steel sold because the Wii sold. ZombiU bombed because the WiiU sold like shit so far. That's pretty much all there is to it.
How can I not use it? Red Steel slots right into the gimmick that was Wii and it used cell shaded graphics. You swung a Wiimote around to play it. It was Wiitarded.

ZombiU was a part of good launch numbers actually. WiiU sold more in its first 6 weeks than the 360 and PS4.

Nobody wanted to give it a try because it is a core focused game and the 3 biggest gaming sites gave it terrible review scores.
 

KDR_11k

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I did not buy it because while it looked well made it didn't look like the kind of game I'd enjoy and I didn't want to spend that much money on a game I'd shelf after half an hour. I don't like the atmosphere, while it's appropriate for horror it's not the kind of thing I want.
 

Exile20

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Jun 7, 2013
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I just don't see how anyone would question any third parties from pulling WiiU support. When a high profile exclusive title, taking full advantage of the system main feature can't even come close to breaking even then I do not know what to think.

I don't even see how buying a Wii U to play Nintendo games is worth it now. I mean at most you are going to get only a few titles per year worth playing if that is what you are doing with it. I have no interest in paying 300+ for an item that will collect dust most of the time.

It's no wonder EA pulled support.
Even with minimal third party support to me the Wii U is worth it. From August into next year Nintendo support is worth it for me. How long does a game last for you? 1 week each game?

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=594761
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=512617

how can you say your Wii U will collect dust?
 

Totobeni

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Nov 3, 2007
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Well it's all multiplatform games. Maybe they are just finishing up what they have started to make a few bucks. i expect them to abandon the console just as the rest once next gen kicks into gear.
Yeah these projects most likely were in development long ago, next year will be really hard for Wii U.
 

Tripon

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And the install base mostly just buys Nintendo games. It is a brutal console for 3rd parties.
Eh, price is king in most cases. Ask me to spend $60 on a new game, and I'm going to be wary of spending my money. Ask me to spend $5-$10, and I'll try it out.

Basically, Nintendo explode the eShop with indie games, and I'll be happy.
 

Frodo

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Nov 6, 2012
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I blame the reviewers wanting more COD-audience-oriented games (I can't shoot tha zombies I dont have enough bullets they make me use the cricket bat boo hoooo)
 
Jun 1, 2011
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Gamecube all over again, except instead of launching at $200 with a great holiday season of games (SSBM, SW: RS, LM), we got ZombiU and another cardboard cut-out NSMB game at $350.

Hmm, wonder why this system isn't selling well?
 

disap.ed

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They could do kind of a re-release in autumn/winter, when the userbase will hopefully be a bit bigger, no? These people probably won't even know that it isn't new.
 

Koren

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Mar 11, 2005
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It is but what else was there at the time? Plus a game like Dark Souls was niche too and look at it now. A game can sell a lot even if it is niche. Also Dead Space, Silent hill, Alan Wake, etc.
At launch? It's sad for Ubisoft (I did my part), but it still seems to me that it was a gamble it the development costs was high.

Nintendo even bundled it, that's something at launch... I don't remember 3rd party launch bundles before?
 

Totobeni

An blind dancing ho
Nov 3, 2007
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Gamecube all over again, except instead of launching at $200 with a great holiday season of games (SSBM, SW: RS, LM), we got ZombiU and another cardboard cut-out NSMB game at $350.

Hmm, wonder why this system isn't selling well?
Gamecube actually got decent 3rd party support.
 

Exile20

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Jun 7, 2013
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Gamecube all over again, except instead of launching at $200 with a great holiday season of games (SSBM, SW: RS, LM), we got ZombiU and another cardboard cut-out NSMB game at $350.

Hmm, wonder why this system isn't selling well?
Yes yes we all know, we were there for the launch, Nintendo screwed up. Lets see after the holidays how things are then.
 

TheRedSnifit

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To be fair, the genre itself is a commercial flop. Franchises like Silent Hill and Fatal Frame are commercially infeasible, and Capcom had to switch genres to keep Resident Evil afloat. I'm not entirely sure why Ubisoft expected anything different with ZombiU, especially since it's a launch game. The reviews probably didn't help much, either.

Anyhow, I'd love it if Nintendo simply purchased the IP to have a more "mature" lineup. It's unlikely, though.
 

69wpm

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May 21, 2013
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Huh, the world is going to shit:

thank you for your interest in zombiu. The team is working hard on a prototype. it´s too soon to tell you more.
Source

Before that I remember somebody from Ubisoft saying they are satisfied with their Wii U launch games. Now they're doing an EA? What is going on? I can't believe this game is not profitable except they spent money on whores and Rabbids From Outer Space. I mean the reveal and launch of ZombiU was how long, a year? They made this low budget, rushed launch title, which is by no means bad, and didn't come even close to making any money? That's either bad management or I am crazy.

And I don't really know what they expected from this game. It's a true survival horror game, yes, with zombies... No online MP, nothing. Quite a few bad reviews, no commercials. They just put it out there and hoped gamers would pick it up? I think it sold pretty good for what it is. It's not a game that would appeal to everybody like Red Steel was. I know tons of people who are literally to scared to play ZombiU.
 
Jun 1, 2011
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Yes yes we all know, we were there for the launch, Nintendo screwed up. Lets see after the holidays how things are then.
Consoles which launch to anemic numbers don't generally pick up and do amazing. The only real exception is the PS3, and that took several years of price drops to do. Even if the Wii U was at $200 or less, I still couldn't see it pulling huge numbers. Again, if you're expecting GC level sales, then maybe you won't be disappointed. I can't imagine the Wii U being much of a draw this holiday season with the PS4 and XB1 launching.
 

Berg

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Feb 1, 2012
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Wasn't this game in development for a LONG time? didn't the art style switch during development? wouldn't development cost be high because of this and developing on/learning a new system?
 

CaptainTiptop

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"Not even close", wow. Coming from probably the Wii U's biggest third-party supporter, too.

Played the demo. It had good atmosphere and the London setting was nice, but it was just too repetitive to warrant a purchase from me.
 

Exile20

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Jun 7, 2013
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Consoles which launch to anemic numbers don't generally pick up and do amazing. The only real exception is the PS3, and that took several years of price drops to do. Even if the Wii U was at $200 or less, I still couldn't see it pulling huge numbers. Again, if you're expecting GC level sales, then maybe you won't be disappointed. I can't imagine the Wii U being much of a draw this holiday season with the PS4 and XB1 launching.
I agree that their chances are slim but weirder things has happened. I know you said consoles but the 3ds turned around and everyone thought it was impossible.
 

kswiston

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Mar 25, 2005
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Huh, the world is going to shit:



Source

Before that I remember somebody from Ubisoft saying they are satisfied with their Wii U launch games. Now they're doing an EA? What is going on? I can't believe this game is not profitable except they spent money on whores and Rabbids From Outer Space. I mean the reveal and launch of ZombiU was how long, a year? They made this low budget, rushed launch title, which is by no means bad, and didn't come even close to making any money? That's either bad management or I am crazy.
Launch titles don't sell millions out of the gate because the user base starts at zero. Ubisoft was probably hoping for brisk sales beyond December as is usually the case with launch software. However, Wii U hardware sales tanked after those first two decent months. As such, both the past and present statements could have been true for their respective time periods.
 
Jun 1, 2011
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I agree that their chances are slim but weirder things has happened. I know you said consoles but the 3ds turned around and everyone thought it was impossible.
The 3DS did manage to turn itself around, but a lot of that was due to a drastic price drop and several big game launches. Also, Nintendo has a history of high selling handhelds; even the less popular GBA sold over 80 million units. Nintendo may release several hit titles for the Wii U in 2013, but they won't be as effective if Nintendo doesn't drop the system's price this year (which I doubt they will). Also, the 3DS essentially had no competition in the traditional handheld gaming space. The upcoming PS4/XB1 battle will capture the excitement of the holiday season, and Nintendo will find it tough to compete for consumer dollars in such a crowded gaming market (DS, 3DS, Wii, PS3, 360, XB1, PS4 will all be competitive systems in the market).

Anything's possible, but I can't see Nintendo pulling the Wii U up to anything above a distant third place.
 

69wpm

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May 21, 2013
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Launch titles don't sell millions out of the gate because the user base starts at zero. Ubisoft was probably hoping for brisk sales beyond December as is usually the case with launch software. However, Wii U hardware sales tanked after those first two decent months. As such, both the past and present statements could have been true for their respective time periods.
I agree, but why not wait after this holiday season and see where it goes before making such a statement? I don't really expect every new Wii U owner to pick up ZombiU, but a lot could pick up Rayman, making the investment still profitable. Anyway, I don't want to try to understand publishers anymore, they seem to live in a parallel universe sometimes.
 

Tripon

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Launch titles don't sell millions out of the gate because the user base starts at zero. Ubisoft was probably hoping for brisk sales beyond December as is usually the case with launch software. However, Wii U hardware sales tanked after those first two decent months. As such, both the past and present statements could have been true for their respective time periods.
This is a consequence of Nintendo making the decision of basically shutting down marketing after New Year's. No marketing means little systems sold, which means that games not being sold.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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You were selling a game at launch. Let me guess, the copies that needed to be sold to make a profit probably exceeded Nintendo's shipment estimates..
I'm not sure if I'm reading this post correctly. Is your position that you think ZombiU was such a high budget title that they needed to sell several million copies to break even?
 

cyberheater

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Before that I remember somebody from Ubisoft saying they are satisfied with their Wii U launch games.
What else would they say? "Sales are crap and we're evaluating future product for this platform".
 

Totobeni

An blind dancing ho
Nov 3, 2007
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Wasn't this game in development for a LONG time? didn't the art style switch during development? wouldn't development cost be high because of this and developing on/learning a new system?
it think it was a normal development cycle, it was announced early for Wii U so that still the typical 2+ years


they just replaced aliens with zombies.

the wii u is just going to be nintendo and platinum games eh?
I'm not sure if PG will keep working with Nintendo, then again Nintendo pay fully for their games so they might don't care if W101 and Bayo2 bombs, and they might keep doing that if it mean it'll keep PG in a safe situation.
 

ALBOFIGHTER

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Dec 1, 2012
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Nintendo made some big mistakes with developing the wii u. They cheaped out way too much and they are paying more for it which is ironic.

If they at least made the whole system twice as strong as the ps3 with good development tools, it would have a chance to catch up to the market and publishers wouldn't be risking as much.

How do you get in the HD era of gaming just to barely match 7 years worth of hardware? It's so illogical. At the very least be between a ps3 and ps4 in terms of capabilities. It would hardly cost that much more.
 

Mithos

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I'm not sure if I'm reading this post correctly. Is your position that you think ZombiU was such a high budget title that they needed to sell several million copies to break even?
What it its cost, 10M euro, more/less? compared to the 1M euro ports Ubisoft say about multiplatform titles, It probably needed way more sold then what it sold, or what it will sell LTD.