Assassin’s Creed Nexus “did okay” but Ubisoft being “a bit disappointed” in sales means it’s hesitant on further VR investment.
Speaking in a Q&A session discussing the French publisher’s Q3 2024 fiscal year earnings (reported by VGC), Ubisoft co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot was asked about Quest 3, Apple Vision Pro and whether Ubisoft plans to develop further VR software. Guillemot highlighted his disappointment with Assassin’s Creed Nexus sales, confirming the publisher isn’t willing to make big investments until VR “grows enough.”
Here’s the full response.
We have been a bit disappointed by what we were able to achieve on VR with Assassin’s Creed. It did okay, and it continues to sell, but we thought it would sell more, so we are not increasing our investment on VR at the moment, because it needs to take off. We have been very impressed by what Apple came up with, and we think it’s fantastic hardware, but we continue to look at this VR business as something that we have to look at but not invest too much in, until it grows enough.
There are a couple of takeaways we can glean from this. Firstly, Guillemot’s statement only confirms that VR funding isn’t being increased. He doesn’t state that it’s actively decreasing investment or canceling any projects, meaning the upcoming Just Dance VR is likely safe. Initially announced as a Pico exclusive in 2022, last November saw Ubisoft inform UploadVR it’s working with a new partner for the rhythm game adaptation. More on that below:
Secondly, expectations from flatscreen AAA publishers are generally much higher than most VR developers. While Ubisoft hasn’t published exact sales figures, Nexus’ earliest in-game achievement (credit to JustDaven) shows that’s been earned by at least 220k players. However, that figure wouldn’t account for potential refunds.
By comparison, VR gaming remains a space largely dominated by indie studios with vastly different expectations. In December, Project Demigod reached 100k sales across Steam and Quest App Lab before its official launch earlier this month. Last month, Ghosts of Tabor celebrated earned $10 million across both platforms before its recent relaunch.
It’s also worth remembering that while Quest 2 has sold around 20 million units so far, user retention and average games spending don’t inherently translate into strong sales. While Nexus is currently Quest exclusive, there’s also no guarantee that a multiplatform release would boost sales high enough to meet Ubisoft’s expectations.
Thirdly, Nexus also launched during one of the busiest months we’ve ever seen for VR gaming, right before the traditionally expensive holiday season. While Assassin’s Creed Nexus was arguably November’s most high-profile release, it was accompanied by PowerWash Simulator VR, Vampire: The Masquerade – Justice, Demeo Battles, Pavlov Shack and Sniper Elite VR: Winter Warrior.
We had high praise in our Assassin’s Creed Nexus review. Awarding it our 2023 Quest Game of the Year, we considered it a “strong adaptation” that delivered “the most fun [we’ve] ever had with Assassin’s Creed.”
Assassin’s Creed Nexus marks a triumphant return to home VR for Ubisoft… Nexus demonstrates what a full-fledged VR entry can do for a big series, delivering a sizable campaign with accessibility at its core. Gameplay feels well adapted from the main series, parkour across such diverse environments is really enjoyable and that’s backed by a strong presentation.
Assassin’s Creed Nexus is exclusively available on the Meta Quest platform for $39.99.