The Norse gods have been kind to Ubisoft. The French publisher’s latest release, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, is well on its way to becoming one of the big hits of the 2020 holiday shopping season. The company announced that Valhalla – available across consoles, PC, and cloud services like Google Stadia and Amazon Luna – sold more copies in its first week on the market than any previous entry in the franchise, which dates back to 2007 and has amassed 155 million sales to date.
Valhalla’s exact sales were not provided, but GamesIndustry.biz reports that in the UK, the game topped Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War in its first week, marking the first time in 13 years that Call of Duty hasn’t been No.1 in its debut week (although that did not factor in digital sales). Ubisoft said it was especially pleased by “strong feedback” from next-gen console owners and noted that the game has become the publisher’s top-selling PC launch in history as well.
Building a triple-A game of this scale in time for the launches of Xbox Series X and PS5 – during a pandemic, no less – was no easy feat. The developers at Ubisoft Montreal were rewarded with glowing reviews that slightly edged out the critical reception of Valhalla’s predecessor, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.
Considering that Odyssey launched in 2018, the anticipation for Valhalla was quite high. In fact, according to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, interest among gamers who had played any previous Assassin’s Creed game grew steadily from Q1 2020 to Q3, when 55% of fans expressed desire for a new entry in the series. Part of that interest stems from the fact that more game information is released in the run-up to launch, but it also speaks to the marketing campaign and stellar brand reputation that the Assassin’s Creed franchise enjoys. Interpret data shows Assassin’s Creed fanship ahead of other major action game franchises such as Red Dead Redemption and God of War.