News Article

Ubisoft: Microsoft Needs to Support Kinect Year-Round

Posted Fri, 25 Nov 2011 by James Newton

Can it be a steady seller?

Can it be a steady seller?

Not just a holiday fad

Anyone who's glanced at the Kinect sales figures knows the sensor was quick out of the box, selling 8 million units in its first few months on sale, but the last update put the sensor at 10 million sold in its first year. With 80% of its lifetime sales in the first Christmas, it's clear Kinect hasn't yet achieved a solid year-round sales performance, something that worries Ubisoft marketing vice president Tony Key.

According to Industry Gamers, Key isn't happy with Kinect's holiday-heavy sales pattern:

It's not healthy to just sell in the holiday, or 90 percent of your units in the holidays. We would really like to see them have some major launches during the non-holiday part of the year. That will help keep the visibility of the machine high and enable better catalogue sales throughout the year, and also give us the opportunity to launch some things throughout the year.

It's hard to argue with Key's appraisal: excluding Kinect Fun Labs releases, Microsoft Studios didn't release a single Kinect game between November 2010 and October 2011, leaving much of the heavy lifting to third-party publishers. While obviously appreciative of having the playing field to itself, Key feels Microsoft could do more:

We put out Michael Jackson: The Experience in April and we would love to continue to have Kinect games come out all year long, but we need support from first-party [Microsoft] also on that front.

How do you feel about the Kinect release and sales situation? Do you think it's best as a family-centred holiday purchase or does it have legs to sustain it throughout the year? Should Microsoft shoulder the blame or is it inevitable for Kinect, as a luxury entertainment purchase, to stutter outside of the Christmas period?


Tags: Kinect, Sales, Ubisoft, Industry.

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