“Sparks of Hope: How to Find Light in Dark Times”

Ubisoft has been taken aback by the lacklustre commercial performance of Mario + Rabbids: Sparks Of Hope. Despite its four-star rating from NME and its 11th place ranking on the 20 best games of 2022 list, the Nintendo-Ubisoft crossover failed to make a significant impact in the market. Ubisoft co-founder and CEO Yves Guillaume has attributed this to the “deteriorating economic conditions affecting consumer spending” and to the competition from other big titles released around the same time such as God Of War Ragnarok, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and Pokémon Scarlet & Violet. Despite this, Guillemot remains hopeful that Sparks Of Hope will still be able to “perform well” in the long run, citing the positive reception from the community and the strength of its teams, brands, production facilities, technology and balance sheet. With its ambitious marketing plan and the potential of its live games, Ubisoft is confident that it will be able to create long-term value and growth in the coming years.

Ubisoft said he was “surprised” by the poor commercial performance of Mario + Rabbids: Sparks Of Hope.

Released last October, the Nintendo-Ubisoft crossover is a sequel to 2017’s Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.

NME rated the title as “one of the Switch’s best offerings” in a four-star review, calling it “a bundle of pure, genuine joy”. In addition, Sparks Of Hope was ranked 11th on our list of the 20 best games of 2022.

The release also won Best Simulator/Strategy Game at The Game Awards 2022 last month.

However, according to VGC, such critical acclaim did not lead to large sales. In a financial report released yesterday (January 11), Ubisoft said it was “facing serious challenges” amid “deteriorating economic conditions affecting consumer spending.”

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“We are obviously disappointed with our recent performance,” said Ubisoft co-founder and CEO Yves Guillaume.

“Despite excellent ratings and player reception, as well as an ambitious marketing plan, we were surprised by the low performance of Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope in the final weeks of 2022 and early January.”

Guillemot continued: “Therefore, with the approval of the Board of Directors, we are making additional important strategic and operational decisions today. It is critical that we continue to adapt our organization to further strengthen our work and ensure that we not only create amazing games for players, but also create great value.

“The long-term outlook for the industry remains promising and I am confident that Ubisoft is well-positioned to capitalize on this momentum thanks to the strength of our teams, brands, production facilities, technology and balance sheet.”

He went on to say that the publisher’s back catalog “remains very strong,” citing “particularly strong activity on Rainbow Six Siege, great momentum for our Assassin’s Creed games and the overall solid performance of our live games.”

Guillemot added: “We expect that our strategy will allow us to create long-term live games and transform our biggest brands into a truly global phenomenon with multiple offerings across platforms and business models, ultimately creating significant value with strong revenue and operating profit growth in the coming years. years.”

According to the VGC, sparks of hope was released just weeks before some of last year’s biggest games, including God Of War Ragnarok, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and Pokémon Scarlet & Violet.

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“When the pressure is on, people choose the biggest brands over the small ones,” explained Guillemot.

“We are seeing a slight reduction in overall consumer spending due to the economic situation and rising inflation.

“As you mentioned, this has resulted in the biggest mega-brands and live services taking more market share, leaving less consumer spending for other releases. This is an obvious conclusion we have drawn. We saw that there were other high-quality games that performed worse.”

However, Guillemot said he believes Sparks Of Hope can still “perform well” in the long run.

“All we can say Rabbits is that the game was really well received by the players: we get great feedback from the community,” he continued. “We feel that over time the game will perform well, but the start was not at all what we expected.”