ZombiU Proves Unprofitable, Sequel Seems Unlikely

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ZombiU Proves Unprofitable, Sequel Seems Unlikely

zombi u - 01

Despite being one of the best launch titles available for the Wii U, ZombiU will go down in history as a financial flop.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot recently spoke to GamesIndustry for a piece examining the dire straits Nintendo's Wii U console appears mired in. The whole article is a litany of reasons why Nintendo's latest console isn't doing so hot, but among the doom and gloom one piece of negative information stands above all else: Word that ZombiU, a title enjoyed by both fans and critics, was "not even close" to being profitable.

Sadly, as a result of its fiscal failure, Ubisoft has "no desire" to create a ZombiU sequel. Further, the company's decision to bring Rayman Legends to platforms other than the Wii U was directly influenced by the downfall of ZombiU. The Wii U, it seems, just doesn't attract enough players to ensure suitable profitability for Ubisoft's tastes.

"We must find a way to ensure the creativity of [Ubisoft] games could have a big enough audience," Guillemot states, before turning his attention to the status of the Wii U in general, "We hope it will take off. At the moment, we've said 'let's do through Christmas and see where we are from there.'"

That's ... *math* ... roughly five months until Ubisoft reevaluates its position on the Wii U. Nintendo's console has improved its ability to attract players since launch, but is still far from an industry leader's position. Will Nintendo be able to turn things around quickly enough to keep publishers satisfied?

More crucially, what does the failure of ZombiU mean for the Wii U? If you'll recall, prior to its release ZombiU was touted as prime evidence that Nintendo's new console would cater to the "hardcore gamer" set. If it couldn't succeed with this aim (and being a pretty entertaining, novel game), will future developers shy away from bringing their darker, more violent titles to Nintendo's machine? And if so, can the Wii U survive on first-party Nintendo titles and whatever family-friendly fare other companies might bring to market?

Publicly Nintendo may not want to repeat the history of the Wii with its successor, but the company did make a ton of cash from its last console. Of course, that still leaves Nintendo fans hoping for proper violence on their console out in the cold, but with enough money it's very easy to just not care.

Source: GamesIndustry

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As the sort of person who doesn't really play Nintendo games and isn't really caught up in Wii U news, and won't buy a console for Mario and Zelda if it means I don't get to play Dragon Age and Fallout, what other games does the Wii U have if even Zombie U didn't sell? I've heard about a few mario games I think, but they all blur into one and the people who give those games the love they deserve bought a Wii and have probably already bought a Wii U.

Still if the Wii U can catch onto all these PS3/Xbox/PS4/One multi-multiplatform titles (which shouldn't be that hard right?) maybe that will be enough to push them into full multiplatform support. Because their core fanbase is huge and they announced the right games to attract that specific demographic this E3

Well they could always try Rayman: Beyond Thunderdome.

It seemd like a good idea steeped in bad execution.

But I haven't played it, so I'm only guessing.

I didn't thin there was anything wrong with Rayman legends going multiplaftom but I do dislike the fact that they are making Wii U gamers it until the other versions catch up.

Not surprised ZombiU turned out to be unprofitable.

I mean, it released on the Wii U.

hmmm, I wonder if the unprofitable part had to do with Ubisoft radically changing the game to pander to the bloated zombie crowd and putting unrealistic expectations on the Wii U and the game. But nope, it's always someone else's fault. Seriously, 3rd parties are a bunch of spoiled brats that desperately need a BIG wakeup call.

Aiddon:
hmmm, I wonder if the unprofitable part had to do with Ubisoft radically changing the game to pander to the bloated zombie crowd and putting unrealistic expectations on the Wii U and the game. But nope, it's always someone else's fault. Seriously, 3rd parties are a bunch of spoiled brats that desperately need a BIG wakeup call.

Exactly, they probably thought they should've spent more on models featured on 18+ sites to market the game. Look it up if you don't know what I'm talking about. Talk about a stupid (and probably not cheap) ad campaign.

It is a shame though. I rented the game and wasn't very impressed, but it was undeniably unique and would've thoroughly satisfied a niche audience, but said niche audience of an already small audience leaves you a very small market.

There's difference though between "unprofitable" and "not selling".

How much did the game sell? Because this could just as easily be a case of blowing your wad on marketing. This is Ubisoft after all. Untill they release some hard numbers I'm not gonna cry Wii-U fail yet.

Though, where there's smoke there's fire

Casual Shinji:
There's difference though between "unprofitable" and "not selling".

How much did the game sell? Because this could just as easily be a case of blowing your wad on marketing. This is Ubisoft after all. Untill they release some hard numbers I'm not gonna cry Wii-U fail yet.

Though, where there's smoke there's fire

If VGChartz is accurate on this then, worldwide the game sold about 460,000 units. The game is simply not selling at all.

http://www.vgchartz.com/game/70793/zombiu/

kiri2tsubasa:

Casual Shinji:
There's difference though between "unprofitable" and "not selling".

How much did the game sell? Because this could just as easily be a case of blowing your wad on marketing. This is Ubisoft after all. Untill they release some hard numbers I'm not gonna cry Wii-U fail yet.

Though, where there's smoke there's fire

If VGChartz is accurate on this then, worldwide the game sold about 460,000 units. The game is simply not selling at all.

http://www.vgchartz.com/game/70793/zombiu/

Eesh! That's rough.

But then I suppose Ubisoft doesn't have the best track record with Wii exclussives.

You know what can fix initial unprofitable sales? A Steam Port. I'd buy it.

Cursed Frogurt:

Aiddon:
hmmm, I wonder if the unprofitable part had to do with Ubisoft radically changing the game to pander to the bloated zombie crowd and putting unrealistic expectations on the Wii U and the game. But nope, it's always someone else's fault. Seriously, 3rd parties are a bunch of spoiled brats that desperately need a BIG wakeup call.

Exactly, they probably thought they should've spent more on models featured on 18+ sites to market the game. Look it up if you don't know what I'm talking about. Talk about a stupid (and probably not cheap) ad campaign.

It is a shame though. I rented the game and wasn't very impressed, but it was undeniably unique and would've thoroughly satisfied a niche audience, but said niche audience of an already small audience leaves you a very small market.

You mean this?

image

Not sure what else to say than:

Id tap it... double tap that is...

Skops:
You know what can fix initial unprofitable sales? A Steam Port. I'd buy it.

I must admit I'd give it a try on PC as well.

But sure as hell won't be buying a WiiU purely to try it out. It should have been a multi platform title from the start.

They could always port it to the PC and the consoles. There wasn't anything that couldn't be easily ported over, right? Plenty of games have had menus that didn't pause gameplay. Moving it from the tablet to the screen shouldn't be too difficult. Probably have to change the name though, which I think could only help. ZombiU is a terrible name that says nothing about it.

Have there been any runaway hits on the WiiU that weren't first-party Nintendo games? It seems like a platform where you could send some games, but I wouldn't put all my money on it. The ports of Xbox/PS3 games were good choices since those games had already made a profit by the time they came to it.
EDIT:

WanderingFool:
snip

Yeesh. I can't imagine those ads helped it's sales any. What the hell were they thinking? Besides "sex sells", I guess.

thats understandable.

it didnt even manage to resurrect bob ross.

every game nowadays should be able to perform at least one miracle or one resurrection or you can toss it directly into the bin.

DVS BSTrD:
Well they could always try Rayman: Beyond Thunderdome.

fuck that shit! outdated!

you know you are boss when you are sticking noobs all day in casablanca: Lords of Shadow with your AR15.

you have outed yourself as something worse than a gamr gurl.
image

As far as core exclusives, I would hope they consider developing Red Steel 3 (RS2 was brilliant), more of us have Wii Motion Plus in our Wii Remotes nowadays.

More of this please: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bod1_2zJJo4

I'm glad that Ubisoft have been patient so far, though I suppose they crowd every launch library with occasional games which stick. They deserve praise for some ports like Assassin's Creed 3 turning out very well, and seeming to continue that for Watch_Dogs among others. I'm sure Rayman will do well at the least to guarantee sequels in that line on the system.

Articles like this are worthless without knowing how many copies were sold against how many wii u's sold and what did they expect to sell 3-4 million copies 500k idk?
Fuck it not like i bought any ubisoft games in freaking ages oh that's right Zombie U came with the console. I really liked it had a lot of fun, Miiverse is full of praise for it. Such a shame a game must sell so many copies to get an ok for more shame more games are not made with any kind of foresight like Dark Souls (the saviour of this gen for me). It's a new console selling about the same as 360 did when it first came out how about plan for the worst hope for the best and make a profit.

This gen is going to suck worse than the last I think I'm done with con-withoutany-soles all were going to get is shooters shooters mmo shooters and maybe the odd f2p shooter. Because COD sells well they will too right? no more risks just what the charts say right oh and better graphics too we all like better polished turds right? cool beans bro's can't wait. I'm still happy with my purchase of wii U the games i have so far have made it worth the cash and games like X and Bayonetta 2 are definite purchases. I would of thought Ubi would of been all over that pad with a really good ghost recon game but i guess trying out new ideas with a new pad is way too hard and dangerous.

Must say though bye bye ubi you wont be missed.

Then why the hell did they tell us they were already working on a sequel weeks back?

Vie:

Skops:
You know what can fix initial unprofitable sales? A Steam Port. I'd buy it.

I must admit I'd give it a try on PC as well.

But sure as hell won't be buying a WiiU purely to try it out. It should have been a multi platform title from the start.

I really enjoyed ZombiU. It had the feel of a game that was pushed out a couple months too soon but the underlying gameplay was very compelling and it's the best example I can think of a game using the WiiU pad to great effect.

Unfortunately, a port would be missing out on what made the game special and compelling in the first place.

Phrozenflame500:
Not surprised ZombiU turned out to be unprofitable.

I mean, it released on the Wii U.

which is a bad omen since Bayonetta 2 is also going to be a Wii U exclusive.

we wanted a sequel to a generally good game, we didn't ask for this.

Kalezian:

Phrozenflame500:
Not surprised ZombiU turned out to be unprofitable.

I mean, it released on the Wii U.

which is a bad omen since Bayonetta 2 is also going to be a Wii U exclusive.

we wanted a sequel to a generally good game, we didn't ask for this.

I guess it would have been better for a sequel to not happen at all right? ;)

Wow the numbers for this are really bad :( ZombiU is the best selling non 1st party Nintendo title and it's sold 20% more than the next contender. It's the third best selling Wii U game and even the best selling Wii U game so far has only sold 2.1 million and that was the bundle title.

Ubisoft invested the biggest into this I guess but the other companies have only tanked harder. The best selling activision game only shifted 190,000 units and THQ's, EA's, Bamcai's and Square Enix's best selling games all sold under 80,000. They were all multiplatform titles, but they weren't bad games (stuff like FIFA and Dragon Quest, that print money elsewhere)

RejjeN:

Kalezian:

Phrozenflame500:
Not surprised ZombiU turned out to be unprofitable.

I mean, it released on the Wii U.

which is a bad omen since Bayonetta 2 is also going to be a Wii U exclusive.

we wanted a sequel to a generally good game, we didn't ask for this.

I guess it would have been better for a sequel to not happen at all right? ;)

Yeah, according to some zealots. I think it's rather indicative of what a LOT of other publishers are like when they declined to publish Bayonetta 2 but Nintendo did it without a second thought. And somehow NINTENDO are the bad guys there. What the FUCK has happened to logic in the past generation?

Did it use the Wiis fancy controllers properly? What gameplay did Zombu have, does anyone have a concise description or video of it?

The article brought this up, but I'd say this says a lot more about the WiiU than it does the game itself. You could have the greatest game in the world, but if only 5 people (that's an exaggeration, people...look it up) own the console your game is on, it's not going to turn a profit.

I really feel bad for the Nintendo. Through the early years of the prehistoric console wars, I was Nintendo all the way. NES was the place to be, then the SNES kicked the Genesis' ass, and I preferred my 64 over the Playstation. Never had a Gamecube but my brother did and I enjoyed a lot of the games for it, then I got a PS2 and eventually a 360 because all my friends were playing on a 360. Nintendo never did anything to me to lose me as a customer, I just kinda...lost interest in them. Sadly every time I thought about picking up a Wii even if it was only for a select few of those ever-resurrected franchises, the store would be sold out of them.

I honestly do hope things turn around for them. For full disclosure, however, I do have to admit that I have no intention of getting a WiiU. u.u

How is 300'000 copies sold not profitable?

That's roughly 30 million in cash for the publisher. How the hell did Zombie U cost 30 million to make?

The WiiU really is quite a good console, taken on it's own merits there are some good games, more games to come and the thing is basically a 360 with games other than sports titles and shooters.

However... the Wii taints all that it touches. Nintendo basically set a precedent where it loudly declared last generation that it did not give a FUCK about you as an avid/hardcore gamer. You wanted something other than kid games and peripherals then you could just go fuck yourself with the playstation move.

Nintendo garnered bad blood and mistrust in it's products and now it is paying the price for it.

1337mokro:
How is 300'000 copies sold not profitable?

That's roughly 30 million in cash for the publisher. How the hell did Zombie U cost 30 million to make?

The WiiU really is quite a good console, taken on it's own merits there are some good games, more games to come and the thing is basically a 360 with games other than sports titles and shooters.

However... the Wii taints all that it touches. Nintendo basically set a precedent where it loudly declared last generation that it did not give a FUCK about you as an avid/hardcore gamer. You wanted something other than kid games and peripherals then you could just go fuck yourself with the playstation move.

Nintendo garnered bad blood and mistrust in it's products and now it is paying the price for it.

You are aware that publishers and developers only make between $12-$18 (spit between the 2) per game sold in a store when sold for $60.

yeah, i'm sure the duo of "we're basically in it for as much cash as we can get and no other reason" and "our selling point is that we're pretending to not be as bad as the guy next to us because you'll give us money if we say that while continuing to overcharge everybody for proprietary hardware" are doing much more for the "hardcore" gamer than the company that doesn't blame everybody else for their losses

but keep talking, you'll get exactly what you wished for

i don't need to deal with the company who came up with uplay and thinks everything revolves around them

kiri2tsubasa:

1337mokro:
How is 300'000 copies sold not profitable?

That's roughly 30 million in cash for the publisher. How the hell did Zombie U cost 30 million to make?

The WiiU really is quite a good console, taken on it's own merits there are some good games, more games to come and the thing is basically a 360 with games other than sports titles and shooters.

However... the Wii taints all that it touches. Nintendo basically set a precedent where it loudly declared last generation that it did not give a FUCK about you as an avid/hardcore gamer. You wanted something other than kid games and peripherals then you could just go fuck yourself with the playstation move.

Nintendo garnered bad blood and mistrust in it's products and now it is paying the price for it.

You are aware that publishers and developers only make between $12-$18 (spit between the 2) per game sold in a store when sold for $60.

You do know that is actually not true :)

For one it's an in house developer. Second wholesale prices of games are usually around 2/3rd's of retail. So if we take into consideration taxation that would leave roughly 20-30 dollars for any game sold for the publisher taking into consideration the fee for the platform owner. Now sure those are not profits but 20-30$ a game is pretty nice.

Sure my 30 million was an exaggeration but that is pretty much the ball park you should think in, given that those 300'000 copies probably are not the total number of sales. Not to mention that I would still seriously doubt a 20 million price tag on zombie U.

weirdguy:
yeah, i'm sure the duo of "we're basically in it for as much cash as we can get and no other reason" and "our selling point is that we're pretending to not be as bad as the guy next to us because you'll give us money if we say that while continuing to overcharge everybody for proprietary hardware" are doing much more for the "hardcore" gamer than the company that doesn't blame everybody else for their losses

but keep talking, you'll get exactly what you wished for

i don't need to deal with the company who came up with uplay and thinks everything revolves around them

I'm sorry was that aimed at me?

You see I can't quite hear you over the sound of my PC fans.

1337mokro:

weirdguy:
yeah, i'm sure the duo of "we're basically in it for as much cash as we can get and no other reason" and "our selling point is that we're pretending to not be as bad as the guy next to us because you'll give us money if we say that while continuing to overcharge everybody for proprietary hardware" are doing much more for the "hardcore" gamer than the company that doesn't blame everybody else for their losses

but keep talking, you'll get exactly what you wished for

i don't need to deal with the company who came up with uplay and thinks everything revolves around them

I'm sorry was that aimed at me?

You see I can't quite hear you over the sound of my PC fans.

shush you, my pc fans are larger and more numerous

anyway i still ain't too divorced from this to see that none of these companies pretending to be loyal to their customers is the better alternative, especially those who dumb their pc games down to fit on consoles when it clearly won't work right

This generation has been plagued by out of control costs and unreasonable sales expectations. Not sure how much this applies to ZombiU, but in general if one is working on an exclusive for a platform that is a small part of the console market... costs have to be kept, budgets have to be reigned in, cause there are only so many potential consumers. Even if it goes gangbusters on that particular console, there is a practical limit to total revenue.

When I first heard of Killer Freaks form Outer Space(the original game) I was pretty interested, then they made it about zombies in a recognizable big city like London, how creative! Seriously, I was so excited about a new IP that was going to be exclusive to Wii U, and the original trailer for Killer Freaks looked promising. Then we got another yawn worthy zombie game, because reasons I suppose.

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