Assassin’s Creed II: Record Sales

Ubisoft has hailed the “overwhelmingly positive reception” that Assassin’s Creed II has received from both gamers and the press.  The game has sold 1.6 million copies worldwide in its first week on sale according to their “internal estimates”.

That is a number that would have sounded more impressive a few weeks ago before a certain FPS sold 1.78m copies in its first week in the UK alone.  Of course, the same FPS that has kept ACII off the top of the UK sales charts despite that “overwhelmingly positive reception” in its first week.

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Ubisoft compare ACII’s sales to those of the first Assassin’s Creed, released almost exactly two years ago, which still remains the fastest selling new video game IP in the U.S.  ACII has outsold the original by 32% which sounds like pretty good going given the world’s economic situation.

The strength of ACII’s performance pales significantly though if you consider the installed base of PS3s and 360s it is selling into.  At the launch of Assassin’s Creed there were approximately 8m PS3s and 16m 360s out in the wild.

Now at the launch of ACII the PS3 has roughly trebled its installed base whilst the 360 has roughly doubled its own.  So with the combined PS3 and 360 installed base having grown by something of the order of 133%, that 32% first week sales growth for ACII begins to look like a relative failure.

Let us hope for Ubisoft’s sake that the sales of ACII have a ‘long tail’ as alongside James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game it is leading Ubisoft’s attack on the pre-Christmas sales for the HD consoles.  Though compared to Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood which sold 900,000 copies between its June release and the end of September perhaps it is no surprise Ubisoft are grateful for ACII’s sales.

So it looks for all the world like Ubisoft trying to put a positive spin on what they must surely be viewing as disappointing first week sales for ACII.  Maybe like so many other publishers have done they should have run from the airport screaming, before MW2 burst in all guns blazing, and rescheduled Ezio on a later flight?

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