Ubisoft became the first ever publisher to outsell Nintendo on DS in the UK last week – challenging the belief that third parties can't succeed on the Japanese company's consoles.
Nintendo has been the dominant software publisher on the console in terms of units since the DS launched on March 11th, 2005: a full 196 weeks.
Ubisoft had particular success in the landmark week (ending October 4th) with its Games For Everyone back catalogue, as well as recent releases Imagine: Teacher and Puzzler Collection.
The latter jumped three places to second place in ELSPA and GFK-ChartTrack's official DS Chart. Imagine: Teacher – a release that arrived as kids went back to school after the school holidays – took seventh spot.
Ubisoft marketing director Jon Rosenblatt told MCV:
It's a massive milestone for us and the industry – a really big deal.
We've always been highly successful in pushing our back catalogue and we're also good at pushing promotions with the right price at the right time. On top of that, we have an excellent understanding of the DS consumer and therefore bring out relevant titles with the right licences.
We've actually spent zero on marketing Puzzler because the licence markets itself.”
GFK ChartTrack analyst Chris Poole – who delivered the good news to Ubisoft – said the firm's budget back catalogue titles made the difference. It was a very close-run thing,” he commented.
Ubisoft won it in the budget chart. Even this week, they've got eight entries in the Budget Top 30 to Nintendo's six. Their Imagine range just keeps on selling. It's a real surprise – and I can't predict one way or the other if anyone will ever do it again.”