its overall sales dropped by more than a third from the same quarter the year before, from 219 million euros ($277 million) to 144 million euros ($182 million).
What’s the chance this had a big influence on UBISoft dropping Starforce as its copy protection? When the suits compared the marketing spin from Starforce vs. reality maybe it didn’t quite match up? If you disregard HOMM 5, the timing of this parallels the push to get the quarterly report ready.
Of course if they had 33% more actively selling big titles last year vs. this year then I guess that theory doesn’t hold up.
I would not easily be convinced starforce had a significant impact upon thier sales. I would guess that 99% of gamers wouldn’t even know what star force was even if they had star force games installed.
I have no evidence, but my hunch is that Starforce played little role in their drop in sales. I agree with DeepT; I suspect if you surveyed people that purchased more than 5 computer games last year, less than 5% could correctly identify what Starforce is. I thought console sales drove success or failure more than PC sales these days anyhow…cause of the whole PC GAMEZ ARE DO0MED thing.
Actually, they did break up their revenues by game format in their full results this time round:
‘A particularly interesting part of the results were comparisons of how Ubisoft’s SKUs stacked up. In January-March 2005, the PlayStation 2 accounted for 34% of Ubisoft’s business, with 28% on Xbox and 23% on PC, with the PSP at just 2%, but in January-March 2006, the Xbox 360 was responsible for a massive 46% of Ubisoft’s revenue, with the PC at 15%, the PSP at 14%, the PlayStation 2 at 12%, and the original Xbox at just 7%.’
This Xbox 360-heavy percentage is partly because GRAW was their main post-Xmas release, of course. If you fish around, they also had the by-format breakups for this entire financial year vs. last year.
I think they mean the lawsuit Starforce filed against others, and its unlikeliness at being a success was undoubtably a large factor in it being dropped. Just too much bad PR surrounded SF, and that’s why, IMO, it got dropped.
I suspect all of these issues went into the decision. The bottom line is whether they feel any increased sales because of StarForce offset the PR hit and extra support costs (and lost sales) from including it in their products.
I’m sure the stunts by StarForce–especially the GalCiv 2 debacle–made the decision that much easier.
Interesting…and notable becuase GRAW was available on both PS2 and Xbox in that timeframe wasn’t it? Casual gamers not interested in Tom Clancy too much? Or is it that those who are already moved onto 360? Lots of things to speculate on in those numbers.