PS4 Dominates Ubisoft's Sales in Fiscal Year 2016-2017; Xbox One and PC Follow

Ubisoft released its financial results for the fiscal year ended on March 31st, 2017.

May 16, 2017

Ubisoft revealed today its financial results for the fiscal year 2016-2017, ended on March 31st.

The trends set in several past fiscal quarters returns once more, with PS4 pretty much dominating the publisher’s sales. Xbox One is the second-ranking platform for the year, and PC follows in third place.

Below you can also see a breakdown by region, showing North America solidly ahead of Europe, and the rest of the world gaining a few percentage points. This is actually quite interesting, considering that Ubisoft has been marketing its games quite intensively in Japan.

A statement by CEO Yves Guillemot provides more details on the current situation of the publisher, revealing that the upcoming fiscal year will see a release of a new Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry and The Crew on top of South Park: The Fractured But Whole.

“With 44 million unique registered players, the size of the Tom Clancy community has increased by almost 150% in less than 18 months. This impressive performance for a brand created almost 20 years ago clearly illustrates the strong popularity of Ghost Recon Wildlands, Rainbow Six Siege and The Division. Our Live titles continue to beat records for player engagement and have seen a sharp rise in player recurring investment. Our results for 2016-17 demonstrate the success of our new model, with record high operating income and outperforming the target announced a year ago, and operating margin up for the third consecutive year.”

“Over the last three fiscal years, Ubisoft has – with remarkable success – created numerous new brands and rebooted Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon. These successes have strengthened our visibility for the coming two fiscal years, with a line-up of releases principally comprised of established franchises. In 2017-18 we will see the exciting returns of Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, The Crew and South Park.
In 2018-19 we intend to pursue our digital transformation and consolidate our new business model, which is much more recurring and more profitable and is now significantly less exposed to new releases. This revision of our assumptions gives greater visibility for meeting our targets.”

“Our dynamic trajectory is being led by the growing footprint of video games in the entertainment industry. Ubisoft is playing a leading role in this respect thanks to the creativity of our teams, the power of our owned brands, the digital transformation that has generated direct relationships with our communities, and our numerous growth drivers, particularly in terms of geographic markets. Beyond 2018-19 we will continue to catch up with our competitors in terms of player recurring investment, which represents huge value creation potential for our shareholders.”

The press release also came with a list of bullet points listing Ubisoft’s recent achievements, including impressive performances for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands and For Honor.

  • Total annual sales of €1,459.9 million, up 4.7% year on year, in line with the target range of between €1,455.0 million and €1,495.0 million
  • €729.3 million in digital revenue, representing 50.0% of total sales (32.0% in 2015-16)
    • Sharp 26.7% increase in MAUs
    • 131.2% surge in Player Recurring Investment to 304.0 M€
  • €649.2 million in back-catalog sales, accounting for 44.5% of total sales (25.7% in 2015-16)
  • Solid performance in the fourth fiscal quarter:
    • Number one publisher worldwide since the beginning of calendar 2017
    • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, the industry’s best-selling3 game since the beginning of the year: the Ghost Recon community grew approximately 60%
    • For Honor – the industry’s second best-selling game3
  • Non-IFRS operating income up 40.7% to a record high €237.7 million, in line with the target range of between €230.0 million and €250.0 million, and higher than the initial target of €230.0 million
    • Non-IFRS operating margin reaches a record 16.3% (12.1% in 2015-16)

We also get the outlook for the current fiscal year, ending on March 31st, 2018:

Ubisoft’s initial targets for 2017-18, as announced today, are as follows: sales of around €1,700.0 million and non-IFRS operating income of around €270.0 million.

This growth will be fueled by:

  • A growth of our new releases, with 4 AAA franchises: Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, The Crew and South Park: The Fractured But Whole.
  • Another rise in player recurring investment. The digital segment is expected to contribute over 50% to total sales in 2017-18 and the back-catalog over 40%.

Last but not least, the press release included list of the publisher’s upcoming releases:

If you want to draw a comparison with the past fiscal quarter (ended on December 31st, 2016), you can find all the data here.

Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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