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Ubisoft to lose $560m this fiscal over Watch Dogs and Crew delay

Publisher issues profit warning to investors

Ubisoft has slashed its sales expectations due to the delay of The Crew and Watch Dogs, two of its next generation titles.

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The Paris based publisher initially expected to make $1.94 billion by the end of the fiscal year in April 2014, but now believes that figure will arrive at $1.38 billion. This means that both delays have helped pull revenue expectations by $560 million.

Further dismay was triggered among investors when the corporation issued a warning that it no longer believes it will be profitable this financial year. It previously expected a 12-month profit of about $236 million, and on Tuesday told investors it will actually lose about $88 million.

Multi-platform and cross-gen title Watch Dogs has been delayed by about four months until Spring 2014, while The Crew has been delayed by several months until some time between April and September.

Chief executive Yves Guillemot said the publisher did not take the decisions lightly, and suggested he wanted to secure the long-term viability of the new franchises by ensuring they debuted at a high quality.

"Our long term goal is to win the next generation," he said.

Speaking in a conference call addressing its revised line-up, Ubisoft CFO Alain Martinez said Watch Dogs has the potential to exceed sales of Assassin's Creed 1, which sold 6.2 million units in total, and that it does not believe the delay beyond Christmas will affect this.

Guillemot added: "The tough decisions we are taking today to fully realise the major potential of our new creations have an impact on our short-term performance. We are convinced that, longer term, they will prove to be the right decisions both in terms of satisfaction for our fans and in terms of value creation for our shareholders.

"Fuelled by strong momentum for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, calendar 2014 will see the return of growth to the console market."

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