Ubisoft has blamed Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag's sluggish sales on the imminent launch of next-generation consoles.
"Looking at Assassin's Creed, its first week sales are down versus last year as players are waiting for the arrival of the next-generation of consoles," commented Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot during the publisher's Q2 financial results last night.
"The game is the best rated Christmas title. Players and journalists praised its unique setting, huge freedom and variety of gameplay, as well its fantastic open-sea pirate adventures."
Opening week sales of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag in the UK were down 60 per cent year-on-year compared with Assassin's Creed 3. Other franchises have seen similar slumps, too, with Battlefield 4 sales down 69 per cent on Battlefield 3, and Call of Duty: Ghosts thought to be down by around 50 per cent on Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.
"We will have a clearer picture of [Assassin's Creed 4's] potential once the next-gen consoles are released," continued Guillemot. "We are confident it will be among the top three best-sellers of November and December."
Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag launched at the end of October on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and releases next Friday, November 22 on Xbox One, PC and Wii U. A PlayStation 4 releases on November 29.
Source: Ubisoft H1 FY 2013-2014 Sales and Results