‘Watch Dogs’ Breaks Sales Records for Ubisoft, Provides Bright Future For Original Games

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.”

SEE ALSO: Smart Promo: Why Ubisoft’s ‘Watch Dogs’ Campaign is the Right Way to Launch a New Game Franchise

Ubisoft certainly hopes so as its film division, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, is looking to turn the game into a full-length feature at Sony, with New Regency co-producing.

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.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • The Ringer Promotes Sean Fennessey, Mallory

    The Ringer Promotes Sean Fennessey, Mallory Rubin to Top Editorial Roles

    Mallory Rubin and Sean Fennessey have been promoted to top editorial posts at The Ringer, the pop culture and sports website and podcast network. Fennessey has been named chief content officer and Rubin has been named editor in chief. Both editors have been with The Ringer since it launched in 2016. Fennessey previously served as [...]

  • RihannaFenty Beauty By Rihanna Launch, Madrid,

    Rihanna's Diamond Ball Will Honor Activist Shaun King, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley

    Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and civil rights activist Shaun King will receive this year’s Diamond Ball Award at Rihanna’s fifth annual Diamond Ball, which will also feature performances from Pharrell and DJ Khaled. “I can’t imagine a better night than this year’s Clara Lionel Foundation event with Seth Meyers, Pharrell and DJ Khaled,” said [...]

  • Rules Don't Apply

    Warren Beatty and Arnon Milchan Settle Suit Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    Arnon Milchan and Warren Beatty have settled their two-year legal battle over the disastrous release of “Rules Don’t Apply,” Beatty’s period drama about Howard Hughes. Milchan’s attorneys have filed a notice with the court dismissing his suit against Beatty. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Milchan’s company, New Regency, sued Beatty and other investors [...]

  • A Quiet Place

    Why Dynamic Pricing for Movie Tickets Could Be a Tough Sell

    People aren’t going to the movies as much this summer. Are they staying away because the films are duds, or is it because tickets are getting too expensive? AMC is making a bet that cost, not quality, is behind the recent downturn. Last week, the country’s largest exhibitor announced it will be testing a new [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content