Assassin's Creed Unity Causes Ubisoft Stock To Plummet 9%

But how bad is it really?

Today Yahoo's Finance Blog ran a story under the headline 'Ubisoft Stock Gets Crushed after Abysmal Assassin's Creed Unity Launch'. Ubisoft's stock plummeted over 9 per cent and according to Yahoo Finance the negative reactions to the launch of Assassin's Creed Unity were to blame -- primarily fan reaction online and a lower than expected Metacritic score. This story has been re-reported in a number of other game sites.

9 per cent: it is a significant drop, and it's hardly good news for Ubisoft, but how problematic will it be in the grand scheme of things?

The graph above shows the performance of Ubisoft's stock over the last five days. It makes for grim reading. You can see precisely when the Assassin's Creed Unity problem hits. The reaction of the market was not positive.

But let's take a broader look.

This details the performance of Ubisoft's stock over the last year. This is a little more optimistic, although you might note the drop around July, which came as a result of July's Quarterly Report. That's when Ubisoft announced less than expected sales for Watch Dogs.

This details the performance of Ubisoft's stock over the past two years.

Before today's drop Ubisoft's stock had increased over 40 per cent in a year -- which represents a remarkable level of growth. Spread that to two years and Ubisoft has grown by over 77 per cent.

Let's compare this Ubisoft's two biggest rivals in the games market.

The above graph compares the performance of Ubisoft's stock to Activision's stock over the last year. As you can see, both companies are on a similar trajectory, although Ubisoft has clearly had a stronger year according to the market. Activision is still recovering from the launch of Destiny, but worthy of note: it is recovering from the launch of Destiny.

Here's a similar graph comparing Ubisoft to EA. Again, the graph is comparable. Until the tail end of this year Ubisoft was outperforming EA in the stock market. Again, the difference is minimal, even accounting for the 9 per cent drop by Ubisoft.

Now let's take a look at a final graph. This one might be the most telling.

This graph compares the performance of Ubisoft's stock to the overall market. Ubisoft is starting to look like a pretty safe investment right now and if you look at how Activision is starting to recover from the Destiny drop, one can only assume that Ubisoft will recover in the same way, particularly if Far Cry 4 is a success and reviews well.

But in general, over the last two years in particular, video games have been an incredibly safe, lucrative investment. That's an interesting fact in and of itself. It'll be interesting to see how Ubisoft's stock respond over the coming months.


    Maybe they'll make it up with the microtransactions

      The microtransactions that were disabled and hidden for review copies?

        The very same

          Is this a real thing or just a joke?... please tell me this is just a joke based on no facts...


            About half way down for brief details

            I can tell you for a small fee of $2.99. Or you can get a bulk info for $10.99 with 2 additional facts

    As the subsequent graphs show, the price before today was inflated (probably due to hype surrounding the release). So it will just normalise.

    That Yahoo article seemed a little alarmist. They even said Destiny was "critically panned"...

      Well, Metacritic says the official reviews place it at 75% which we all know means the game is terrible by today's numeric standards.

        I always thought 75-85 score was a "lukewarm" though, not a 'critically panned"...
        Ugh...damn metacritic...

        Last edited 13/11/14 2:47 pm

          No, the modern scale is:

          1-6: Unplayable, literally gives you cancer.
          7: Terrible, the worst, might look pretty.
          8: Worth spending money on.
          9: Pretty good
          11: Guitar Hero 2

            Oh man, Guitar Hero 2 was the best of the GH series, imo...

    I...I actually enjoyed reading that.
    I...I think I want more business/market analysis on here, especially a quick wrap up of companies after they launch a major product.

    Why. Why do I want this?

    I think I'd better go to a doctor.

      I really enjoy this kind of stuff, so maybe I will. Thanks for the feedback man!

        Yeah, just adding to @quiz_b 's comment, I highly enjoyed that too, more stock analysis of gaming companies post large game launch or significant launch would be great to see.

        One request maybe? I know it's a tinier one but it would really be interesting to see how Bohemia have done with their stock since releasing the DayZ Standalone into the wilderness? That's been a huge project for the alpha scene and might be significant to some degree, I know it's been out nearly a year, but eh.

        Last edited 13/11/14 2:43 pm

        This kind of stuff would've been awesome material when I was back in uni doing my dissertation on the future of the PC games industry. It might be useful for someone in the future, you never know. This stuff is hard to find if you don't know where to look (like I did 7 years ago)

        Yes, stuff about the industry itself is just as interesting and relevant as stuff about games, gamers, cons etc. It's all good. People who aren't interested can just skip those articles (after complaining in the comments about how terrible Kotaku is for writing about anything other than exactly what they want to read, naturally).

      Because the truth of the matter is that you're a BUSINESS MAN! D:<


          Go back to designing games by committee you BUSINESS MAN!

          Last edited 13/11/14 2:44 pm

    Obviously investors haven't played rogue. That game is bitchin.

      Or perhaps that's why it hasn't fallen even further, what if the plummet from Unity was so bad that Rogue is the only thing stopping it being a disaster?

        "What!? Our rehashed game is costing us money!? Oh thank god, our rehashed game saved us from losing money from rehashing. More rehashing! MORE!"

          Yep that's the one. Someone pass a law that says games can't go past a trilogy. Now. lol.

            If only they'd not numbered Black Flag we'd still be in Assassin's Creed III land and it would have all been fine...

            Assassin's Creed II is one game on 3 discs, after all, and II and Black Flag are chapters of the same story... ;)

          I'd rather a rehashed Pirate themed game in a an ocean of modern day shooters.

        "Keeping it afloat" you could say! hrm hrm heh hrm heh!

      For real? I had high hopes for this since I loved ACIII, so it's good to know there's an AC worth playing this year.

    Awesome article!

    In the third picture down (this one, what happened in Oct 2013? Was that a market drop, or did Ubisoft have another game with low sales?

      Assassins Creed Black Flag was released Oct/Nov 2013.

    Time for metacritic employees to do some insider trading.

    Last edited 13/11/14 2:52 pm

    Hopefully FarCry 4 causes it to skyrocket back up. Then they can make Blood Dragon 2

    If those graphs say anything, it's that it is a great time to buy Ubi shares! Those market troughs are all cyclical, and if you can score yourself some shares at 9% off - then you're doing well (though I'd be using the graphs to gauge when to burn them as well).

      Yeah I almost wrote that, but then thought better of it. I AM NOT A TRADER AND I DON'T WANT TO BE INFLUENCING THOSE KINDS OF THINGS TYVM.

      There is a difference between "market trough" and a poorly performing business.

      Markets certainly "correct" on occasions when overall confidence is low, but this is not the same as confidence in a particular stock.

      Nonetheless, Ubi will probably rebound, and you would probably realise a return. But if FC4 doesn't deliver and investors dump more, Ubi might struggle. Of course, the only people who will actually suffer will be small investors and Ubisoft employees at the bottom of the heap.

      Long live the free market.

      It's best to buy in a AAA studio while they're still developing a game but before the hype machine has gotten rolling. For example, if I had the spare cash I'd be trading in Bethesda/Zenimax as they're definitely working on the next Fallout (smaller chance it being the Elder Scrolls) but not saying anything. The moment they announce anything interest in their company will go through the roof meaning more investers and higher share price seeing as how Fallout 4 is basically the most anticipated game that hasn't been announced other than maybe Half Life 3


    Delicious, delicious schadenfreude
    The pre-order rubbish, mircotransactions and review embargo’s are going to chew up any good will you have from your customers pretty quickly.

    I can’t say I'm not deleighted to see Ubisoft take a bath on this one.

      I wouldn't say I'm delighted but I do think they were becoming overly ambitious with the number of games they were pumping out. Releasing Unity and Rogue back to back was never going to result in doubling their revnue like they hoped and simply made the market more cautious.

      Now Unity has reviewed poorly and no one is paying attention to Rogue.

      I think we'll see a much smarter Ubisoft ahead of Assassin's Creed 2k15.

        How about they be EXTRA smart and make it Assassins Creed 2k16 or early 17 like they do with 80% of other major titles.

        GTA comes out every 5-7 years, ditto Fallouts, Mass Effects, Bioshocks and an assortment of other much loved franchises.

        Actually Dragon Age is a great example they pumped Dragon Age II out in Assassins Creed style and it was a POS. It’s been 3.5 years since and Dragon Age III is apparently great. You can’t just churn out annual updates of these kinds of games and not expect to end up with an incoherent mess within a few iterations.

          Yeah I was kind of hoping they'd use watch dogs as a chance to alternate with ass creed

          Has it REALLY been 3 1/2 years since DA2 shat all over us!?

          *edit* Oh wow, March 8 2011 since that abomination came out. Dang. Well done Bio and EA on learning a valuable lesson there at least.

          Last edited 14/11/14 11:08 am

    I hope this makes them realise, Oh shit maybe we should have done a feudal japan take on the assassins creed series instead of just doing European shit everyone is getting sick of.

      I was about to make the same comment. Suddenly Feudal Japan is looking like a good option for the developers after all. Lets hope they listen to the fans this time ffs.

      C'mon, the setting is the last of their worries. These games have had a lot of issues post-Brotherhood, but if you only changed the setting to feudal Japan that would remedy very little. It's such an obvious setting, but even if they did, the quality of story telling has dropped so far that you'd end up with another average game in what was a potentially great setting. I loved learning the history of the American and French Revolutions, the two being so linked and close in time that I'm surprised more of a link between III and Unity hasn't been made. But they butchered the history in III. I'm happy for them to take liberties with history, but having Conor (or any main protagonist) pop up almost comedically as the driving force behind all major events of the period is insultingly silly, childish, and lazy. Don't beg for feudal Japan, beg for them to treat Patroce Desilets with some respect and grant him some creative freedom.

      Nonsense, I've been looking forward to the French Revolution for ever.

      Am I the only one here enjoying the game, despite all the technical issues?

    ...If I had money. I feel like investing in video game companies stock would be the most obvious, safest route to play.
    As long as you follow video game related news.

    Speaking of terrible games. Did anyone play "The Crew" Beta over the weekend.

    They had really, really, really, REALLY better not fuck up Far Cry 4 but I have a feeling they'll try their darnedest.

    Damn, I was hoping to eat cake. I didn't realize Ubisoft was making mobile phone games on consoles these days.

    I always thought in game pre-order bonuses were bad, but microtransations? *facepalm*

    Last edited 13/11/14 9:38 pm

    Jade Raymond left the company at the right time.
    I give Ubi 12 months.
    They've had some pretty bad major releases lately. Especially with Watch Dogs and now AC:U.
    I bet they've got all their hopes pinned on Far Cry 4. If that flops expect to see some serious layoffs at Ubi as they restructure.

      Problem with WatchDogs I found to be not the game mechanics, I thought they were ok. It was the shithouse main character and boring as batshit storyline. I mean you *start* with all that hacking power at your fingertips. I was kind of personally hoping to be someone who found the device on a dying man (a standard trope but a goodie) and put it to personal use to get revenge or something, then a Govt organisation came after you. But, eh, we got a lameass storyline of revenge where the guy is getting revenge FOR HIS OWN ACTIONS?

      But that being said, with WD they did an AC1, laid a solid framework with controls, idea etc and part 2 will hopefully run with it making it better.

    Honestly, I'd just be happy with Black Flag 2. Also plan on picking up Rogue when it's released on PC. As someone mentioned earlier, it's the installment where the mechanics AND concept made sense when paired. Black Flag goes down as not only one of the best installments of the series, but the best damned pirate themed game in history.

    I know Sid Meier's Pirates exists, but I've never been too fond of that series. Machiavelli The Prince on PC was more my bag. That soundtrack brought tears to my eyes as a teen...

    Last edited 13/11/14 11:02 pm

    I have a feeling no one really cares about the game being broken, everyone will say omg ubey soft, yet still buy all their games. I canceled my farcry 4 preorder and I did not even buy unity, Farcry is one of my favorite series but how can I support this company any longer.

    They think having microtransactions in a full priced game is fine and then take it another step by disabling it for reviewers to hide the fact. This on top of the fact they go nuts with dlc packing crap like cheats into a dlc and slapping a price tag on it.

    They lie in trailers in lead up to games, one in unity making us believe its not a complete and utter mess, and two the whole deal with watch dogs graphics.

    Then on top of all that bullshit they think its okay to release a game your expected to pay full price on + what ever "Extra" shit they put in the microtransactions as a buggy mess.

    Gamers just seem to sit there buying it saying please publisher sir can you tea bag me again with your buggy shitty games I have not had enough yet. O is that another 9.99 here you go.

    Publishers like EA and Ubisoft are not killing gaming, gamers are killing gaming by letting them get away with it. Not buying one game from them is hardly a message. Gamers need to stop buying all their games.


    Last edited 14/11/14 12:18 am

    So when are they bringing Ezio back. or even better, when are they going to stop infecting the gaming community with shitty assassins creed games.
    move on ubisoft, the horse is dead and well and truly flogged.

    yep and as we all know as consumers that soon as a PRODUCT or COMPANY floats on the stock exchange from that moment on all that matters is the return to shareholders. no longer is providing a good product to the consumer is important its all about money.

    so gaming as we know it is dead. its obvious with XBOX stating they want their consumers to feel like they are number one, so xbox put a PARITY clause in their terms and agreement once again that games CANNOT DIFFER IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM ON ALL PLATFORMS and we are already seeing GRAPHICAL PARITY forced on PC when we all know PCS are a hell of a lot more powerful than any console on the market.

    gaming is dead as we knew it. all we get now is games made to run at 30fps on a toy then as PC gamers we have NO choice but to play these games as broken as they are on pc. surely NVIDIA can see what AMD are doing? when will NVidia realise they are being slowly pushed out of the market?

    who wants to buy a new titan when its not even needed to play games now? most new games coming out I dare say can be played on a 5 year old PC....... pc gaming is dead.

    why spend thousands on a machine that games look NO DIFFERENT in. they are NOT making games for pc anymore bar star citizen.... and the problem is..... DEVELOPERS they are selling their souls to the devil and the devil has and always has been XBOX division. ever since the xbox360 disk parity clause that states games must be released the same across all consoles ie SHIPPED. hence why we got HD TEXTURE PACKS FOR GAMES FOR PC AFTER RELEASE, but guess what new clauses mean DONT EXPECT THAT EVER AGAIN........

    graphical parity across all platforms.... are you freaking kidding me, seriously how do they get away with this...... and the lies and bullshit the tell us goes against everything I have learnt about pc hardware my entire life.

    they are nothing but liars.

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