UPDATE 3.05pm Like the wagging appendage of a real-life canine, Watch Dogs 2 publisher Ubisoft is hoping its game's sales will have a long tail.

The publisher has issued a statement to address the low launch week sales of its open world hackathon sequel, as reported earlier today.

Ubisoft has acknowledged Watch Dogs 2's slow start - and the trend of lower-than-expected sales for follow-ups from other publishers too, which we detailed below. It is, however, hoping that strong continued sales of the game in subsequent weeks will make up some of the shortfall:

"We're incredibly happy with critics' and players' very positive reception of Watch Dogs 2, which should bolster support for the long-term success of the game," a Ubisoft spokesperson told us. "It is true that first-day and first-week sales for a number of big games, including Watch Dogs 2 and titles from our competitors, are comparatively lower than previous versions in previous years.

"However, we expect both week-two and week-three sales to be above traditional sales patterns. There is a trend toward games, especially high-quality games, having stronger and longer 'tails' as favorable reviews and word of mouth spread. Watch Dogs 2 is already considered a tremendous addition to the open-world action adventure series and we're confident that millions of players are going to love it."

ORIGINAL STORY 9.50am Launch week sales of Watch Dogs 2 were dramatically down on Watch Dogs 1.

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UK numbers company Chart-Track does not publish sales figures publically, but the smaller launch for Watch Dogs 2 is plain to see.

Watch Dogs 2 entered the chart this week in second place, behind Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (during its third week of release).

Infinite Warfare sales were down 46 per cent on the week before, which from leaked data puts it at around 80k.

Chart-Track stated that the top two spots were "close", and that Watch Dogs 2 only "narrowly" missed out on first place.

This puts Watch Dogs 2 launch sales at just less than 80k.

The original Watch Dogs launch sales were an incredible 380k.

It was expected there would be a drop, but not of this magnitude. And while the rise of digital sales is a notable sales trend it will not have made up any major portion of the difference.

Interest in Watch Dogs 1 had been whipped up to a frenzy over two years of marketing and pre-orders, and was marketed as a major launch game for the current console generation. It went on to sell well, although suffered due to its graphical downgrade controversy.

Watch Dogs 2 has had nothing like the same promotional push, although it ended up being undeniably the better game for its rebooted sense of tone and warm cast of characters.

The past few weeks have seen a number of high-profile sequels fail to hit the high sales watermark of their predecessors. Watch Dogs 2 joins a list of Titanfall 2, Dishonored 2 and even the aforementioned Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

It's a worrying trend - and one that's hard to explain away by any one factor. Console generation fatigue, the rise of digital and falling sales of physical copies, the frequency of AAA game releases during the end-of-year period and high prices for AAA games during uncertain economic times likely all contribute.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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