Ubisoft is proving that the video game industry doesn’t need to rely on sequels to sell software, with “Watch Dogs.” The game, which was released last week, has sold more than 4 million copies, setting a new record for the company.
In addition to becoming Ubisoft’s best-selling game in its first week of release, “Watch Dogs” also set first day sales records for the company, although it did not disclose figures.
The game also has become the best-selling new IP at launch across the video game industry, a feat which should encourage publishers as they look to launch new franchises.
Earlier in May, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said the company hopes to sell more than 6 million copies of “Watch Dogs,” matching the first “Assassin’s Creed,” released in 2007.
“With such strong sales momentum and positive feedback from gamers, Watch Dogs has positioned itself as the must-have game of the moment” said Tony Key, senior VP of sales and marketing, Ubisoft. “We’re really proud of this achievement, and are confident that the ‘Watch Dogs’ brand has a promising future.”
In addition to the sales numbers, Ubisoft also said its ctOS Mobile app has been downloaded and played by more than 1 million people. The free app enables players to play “Watch Dogs” on a mobile device or use a handheld as a second screen.
“Watch Dogs” will be released on the Wii U in the fall, expanding its reach.
The success of the game so far is a bright spot for the games biz which is looking to launch new franchises on the next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft. So far, sales for the industry have relied primarily on sequels to workhorse franchises like “Call of Duty,” “Grand Theft Auto” or sports games like “Madden” or “FIFA” to do much of the heavy lifting.
In “Watch Dogs,” players control hacker Aiden Pearce, who seeks justice by controlling Chicago’s security cameras and traffic lights, for example, after a violent family tragedy.
In addition to “Assassin’s Creed,” Ubisoft also owns the “Splinter Cell,” “Ghost Recon,” “Far Cry” and “Rabbids” franchises.