Ubisoft is Lying About ZombiU's Performance

Ubisoft may have just got caught red-handed. Now before I get started I would just like to get the point across that I love Ubisoft. I think they’re one of the best western publishers and developers out there and I tend to enjoy most of their games. But something fishy is going on here, and I’m going to have to call Ubisoft out on it.

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
Godmars2902554d ago

It all sounds like second guessing.

Then again, if the game did do the reported 470k, @$60 a pop that's around $28 million.

So the question is how much was put into making it?

wishingW3L2554d ago

most likely a flop. From those $60 I bet 30 are for the retail and 30 for the publisher. Who know how much GS gets for each new games sold? They say they make more from used games.

cleft52554d ago

I don't think so. Don't forget, Nintendo also did a pack in for this game with a special console just for ZombiU. There is practically no way that they weren't profitable and I agree with the author of this article wholeheartedly. If Ubisoft doesn't want to develop for the WiiU exclusive because of the relatively low install base, than just say that and stop trying to scapegoat.

mwjw6962554d ago

According to the manager of my old Gamestop. All new games only bring in a profit of $2-3 per sale. It's $28 for the system its on, $30 for the publisher, and $2 for the retailer.

Facts for the day.

devwan2554d ago (Edited 2554d ago )

This is how a $60 game is broken down:

$27 - publisher
$15 - retailer
$7 - platform holder
$7 - cost of handling returns
$4 - manufacture and distro

Source: Anatomy of a $60 video game ( http://latimesblogs.latimes... )

-Mika-2554d ago

Game developers don't make $60 per copy. If they did, the gaming industry would be a really healthy industry. They instead make half of that.

doctorstrange2554d ago (Edited 2554d ago )

If that even, there's taxes, retail cut, platform holder fees, shipping fees, manufacturer's fees, marketing fees, publisher fees, and then taxes again.

Godmars2902554d ago

Still, the general pool of money being talked about is around $30 million from the finished product.

How much was put in is a valid question.

Benjaminkno2554d ago

Which is why ending game sharing is a good idea.
All new games for 35 bucks, non-returnable.


35 bucks is not going to happen in current model...

First, if the game is non returnable, retailer will not let go of any of its slice of 15 bucks (if not going higher as they can't deal in used games anymore).

Console holder also has little flexibility about it, their slice of around 7 bucks is unlikely to change. Same goes for manufacture and distribution (around 5 bucks) and return handling (around 6 bucks).

So, as you can see, those 33 bucks are pretty much set into stone as long as we're talking about console games on physical media. At 60 dollars this leaves publisher with some 27 dollars to pay employees, development, marketing, taxes, etc... Even with the biggest slice, their costs are so high that they still need to sell 500k copies just to break even (and that's for a medium budget, AAA usually needs 2 or 3 millions).

Even if we consider that a lot more games would be sold at 35 than at 60 bucks, would they sell 9~10 times more in order to make up for the minimal slice? Used sales or not, I don't think this would go like that. And that's why most of 'em are letting go of the whole "used games are ruining the industry" argument, if they decide to stop used sales people would expect some price cut, but as much as 10 bucks off on a game price by launch would mean they would already need to increase a game sales in some 50~100%.

The reason some publishers and devs hit the botton so hard in this industry is not because of used games (minor impact), nor because the costumer don't buy enough (2 million copies should be a major accomplishment and even 500k should be enough), it's the crazy costs, specially in AAA games. If they can't cut costs (be it on development, marketing or whatever) they'll sooner or later lose money. Not every game can sell like COD, and even those which can eventually will stop doing so (ask Nintendo).

ninjahunter2553d ago

Dev teams earn 10-20% of game sales So $6-12 on every full priced sale.

Someone somewhere claimed that it sold half a million copies or so, Which, in a perfect world would be 5 million dollars, but in reality is probably 4 or 3.5 million, considering the game dropped in price.

In a 2010 study, it was said that the average, single platform game cost is $10 million dollars.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2553d ago
PopRocks3592554d ago


I do enjoy ZombiU, but the game wasn't exactly finished when they released it. They had to patch out a number of glitches months later. Begs the question just how much they spent on it.

CBaoth2554d ago

Remember though, the game was slated to appear initially on PS360. So who knows how much $ was spent before shifting the IP.

Terrible graphics, clumsy controls, glitches, and lack of online MP hurt the title (can't believe I just said that since I avoid most online game modes). It was clearly rushed to make it for the launch window.

Back to MP: 4 survivors online (using the WiiU Pros) going from point A to B with 4 couch buddies using their tablets to stop them would've been insanely fun. I'm thinking a quasi-L4D online but with 4 human Directors, instead of an AI controlled one.

Xof2554d ago

Probably not all that much money, relatively speaking.

The problem with AAA games isn't that they have massive budgets, it's that they're not budgeted well. A huge chunk of the development budget goes to advertising and licensing (for middleware like PhysX or Havok).

And, of course, they only make a very small portion of each individual game sale as profit. Thinking back to some figures I'd heard in the past, the developers tend to get something like 10% of each game sale, and that money has to pay off all the development costs before it can count as profit.


Also, IIRC, AAA development budget is around ~$50,000,000 USD.

cyguration2553d ago

You're mostly right, but AAA development starts at about $20 million. The average is about $40 million with the inclusion of marketing.

badz1492554d ago

"...according to VGChartz..." I stopped reading right there!

they put VGChartz as their main source and out right saying the publisher itself is lying? SMH

if the claim of the game not even close to being profitable came from some random fanboys on the internet, then VGChartz argument might hold some water but against the publisher itself? the article want us to believe VGChartz OVER Ubisoft itself? you gotta be kidding me!

torchic2554d ago

I have to agree.

I didn't even read the article because (a) I knew the author would use unreliable VGChartz data to prove his point and support his argument, and (b) I knew this was another case of a silly person without industry knowledge trying to prove to us that people who actually know what they're talking about, really don't.

why would Ubisoft reject revenue on a lucrative platform? Vita sales aren't exactly hot but Ubisoft still supports it.

Knushwood Butt2554d ago

Yeah, just another case of bad journalism.

Godchild10202554d ago

How much of it is from the game being bundled?

OC_MurphysLaw2554d ago

Does the author understand that the cost of development for this game back when it was being made for PS3 and Xbox 360 doesn't just magically disappear because they switched to WiiU development. Also the amount of potential sales they had to eat for turning this into a WiiU game was certainly not offset by Nintendo. ....and 500, 000 units is not good anyway you cut it for a AAA game.

Realplaya2554d ago

It's not a AAA game. If you own the game like I do then you understand why it didn't sell. For one The Wii U has more power than the PS3 and 360 but they made it look worse than a Wii game,
The controls are clunky and there is nothing in the game to boost replay value. Why blame Nintendos system for a subpar game?

Why not create a game that looks good plays good that sales systems if the game isn't ready don't release it.
Look at indie games such as Nano assault Neo and Trine 2 I recommend those games any day over some of the newer games that are being released on the system.

Theyellowflash302553d ago

ZombiU isn't a AAA game Dlacy13g, nor did it have a AAA budget.

DeadlyFire2554d ago

Well typically it is said a game has to sell over 1 million units to turn a profit within the 1-2 year margin of selling at a $60 price point. As most low budget titles cost 20-30 Million to make initially. Not counting marketing cash. So making 28 million on a title while it seems like alot. Doesn't quite appeal to the developer.

ZombiU was developed for the Wii actually then shifted to WiiU. So 1 Million to port it over to WiiU, but how much was invested in its development before they shifted it to WiiU?

Also note Ubisoft stating ZombiU could be ported to other consoles. So they could make a sequel, but it could be on 3-4 platforms instead of just WiiU. Its a hard choice to make a new ip launch title for a platform as its risky to sell. We could see Zombi 2 on PC/PS4/XB1/WiiU at some point down the road.

Being a launch title it could still turn a profit for them down the road. Selling about 500K isn't bad. Numbers could go up in a year or two when consumers get more WiiUs and people can pick up the game for $20 bucks or so.

Realplaya2554d ago

@ DeadlyFire As most low budget titles cost 20-30 Million to make initially. Are you making stuff up?

I am a new developer and I am going to waste 30 million making a bad game?

Perhaps you meant most great games cost that much. Also I still think that's to much money to make a game. I'm old school and fun games like Pacman all the way up to Super Mario Galaxy which sold pretty well never cost that much.

Godmars2902554d ago

It was said at the beginning of the PS3's and 360's console cycles that a million copies of a game were needed to break even on most AAA titles.

But this is several years later and the WiiU, which at best is an upgrade from the 360/PS3, and a highly promoted title which in most other respects was a budget production, we're talking about now.

We can guess how much it made, but so much how much it took to make it.

DeadlyFire2554d ago

Yeah I meant typically games cost so much to make and so on. Games like Halo 3 and KILLZONE 3 cost about 50-60 million to make.

I don't make anything up that I type. I get it from other people's claims of 20-30 Million required to make a game. I don't trust things like that fully. I was hoping someone would elaborate costs a little more. I do not know how much the games cost. I know its not that high to make PC or indie titles. I assume disc production, licensing, and advertising are the main areas for the costs.

starfox792554d ago

Very naughty that i'm also quite sure black ops has done quite well and sonic racing has sold over 300,000 units not including digital sales Hmmmm so wiiu software sells incredibly well and when it picks up in sales then things will only get better....

ame222554d ago

Don't forget the marketing budget.

bangshi2553d ago

@mwjw696 your manager was lying to you.

Retailers will make much more than $2 on a brand new game. They do not make 3-4% profit on a game.

Nor do the console makers get almost half.

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 2553d ago
Wingsfan242554d ago

This is such a lame article. There's no proof, just the author's assumptions that Ubisoft is "lying" about the game not turning a profit just because it shipped over 500K units. Why would a company not make a sequel to a game if it was profitable and why would a company bother making a sequel to something that is NOT profitable like ZombiU.

Godmars2902554d ago

Aren't you answering your own question?

Ubisoft isn't too hot for the WiiU, might have made a profit on ZombieU, but not enough of a profit to their liking. So they're weaseling out, and putting a nail in the WiiU's coffin in the process.

2554d ago Replies(1)
-Mika-2554d ago

lol, this article was submitted by shok. Im not surprised.

exfatal2554d ago

You are here once again trolling.. Im not surprised

Kevlar0092554d ago

Worse it's a personal attack, judging an article and its submitter based on the Mika's opinion on Shok. No need to to call someone out, off-topic and rude

PopRocks3592553d ago


I guess you're right. Where's MasterCornholio when you need him to police someone else's comments? :O

M-M2554d ago

That's funny, before I clicked the article I knew you would be here since it's something that's negative about the Wii U.

2554d ago
TripC502554d ago

You are not even gonna try? You don't deserve your name or picture. Lazy

Kennytaur2554d ago

He's trying to be cool, so he's got the picture (avatar) part right.