Ghost Recon: Wildlands Outsells Everything Else, Apparently

Image: Ubisoft

Here's something that might take you by surprise: on their latest earnings call, Ubisoft described Ghost Recon: Wildlands as "the best selling game since the beginning of the year".

The news was dropped during the same earnings call where Ubisoft talked about Far Cry 5, a sequel to The Crew and a new Assassin's Creed. But it's success of Ghost Recon: Wildlands that really stands out to me, especially since it's a game that went so unheralded compared to all the games that launched around it - Horizon: Zero Dawn, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and so on.

Ghost Recon Wildlands: The Kotaku Review

Ghost Recon Wildlands seems innocuous at first glance. It is a passable open world shooter where cooperative play leads to exciting gunfights and silly vehicle stunts. But Wildland's core is far more insipid. It is propaganda. It is jingoism made playable, perpetuating the failed logic that all it takes to solve the world's woes is enough ammo.

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Ubisoft's financial release says Wildlands is "the industry's best-selling game since the beginning of the year", with For Honor surprisingly in second place. The caveat is that sales were only counted from January to March, although data from the US, Japan, EMEA territories and Australia were counted. Ubi also used their in-house estimates, as well as data from Famitsu, GfK and NPD.

The claim might not be 100% accurate, then. But there's no doubt that Wildlands sold really well, and it's not a complete surprise. NPD Group last month already announced that Wildlands sold more than Breath of the Wild in the US for March, even though Zelda sold more than 1.3 million copies in the region. NPD figures, however, are based on revenue, and not on the number of actual copies sold (which obviously benefits big budget titles over indies that might explode in popularity, like PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds or Stardew Valley).

For all the flaws in Ubisoft's spin on Bolivia, the fundamentals of jumping in a dirt bike with mates and shooting up a few drug smugglers are really, really solid. It's a good reminder that large, well optimised co-op experiences will always play well to the broader market, even if the road is a little tone deaf and samey along the way.


    Legit one of the best games of the year, for me. It's 3rd-person distilled Far Cry essence. Critics might be 'over' shooters and/or UbiSoftGame(tm) formula, but I (and obviously a few million others) love the shit out of it and will buy it every time.

      I recently bought Wildlands to play co-op with a bro-friend. I wasn't even going to touch the game, but he encouraged "hey, why not". I'm glad I did! Pretty cool fun.

    Absolutely loved this game. It got a lot of bad press from the Beta as people forgot they were playing an non-finished product and harped on about the faults as if it were a final product.

    Cant say iv tried the multiplayer outside of the beta but I might try it out if all my mates end up buying it (I dont play with strangers). The helicopter+AI partners are way too OP lol

      I still remember from the preview my take was "just fuck around with this and have fun", rather than treating it as a super serious shooter. That seems like how most people have enjoyed it, with mates blowing shit up, and it's done really, really well.

        How did you find the game for solo play? That's the area I seem to hear the most critique about.

          your AI companions are 'average' at best and not really useful with tactical combat and just keep getting in the way but they can be used as good decoys and walking defibrillators.
          Cant really say I have any gripes apart from the lack of guns (compared to The Division lol).
          Division was another really fun game solo

            I want to go back and spend a lot more time with it, but I ignored the AI completely. Then again, I drove dirt bikes off cliffs half the time. I'm not waiting for derp AI to catch up.

    I suppose not being a platform exclusive, like Zelda and Horizon, helped things out.

    I think it shows how much people want a full co-op vs ai. Even if the game is not the best.

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