PS4 Keeps Dominating Ubisoft's Sales; New Watch_Dogs and Another New IP Confirmed
Ubisoft released today its quarterly financial results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2015/2016, ended on December 31st, 2015, reporting €561.8 million in sales.
Results were lower than the €809.7 million reported in the same period last year, and of the company’s target that was set at €600 million.
PS4 is still the platform with the highest sales for the publisher (41% of sales in the latest quarter and 37% in the the first nine months of the current fiscal year), followed by Xbox One and PC. North America is Ubisoft’s biggest market, leading over Europe by a fairly limited percentage.
The following highlights are reported as driving factors of the results announced today;
- A slower launch than expected for Assassin’s Creed® Syndicate, in an exceptionally fierce competitive environment. The game’s quality was lauded by the franchise’s fans, however, and the Group was particularly pleased with the marked rise in players’ engagement compared with the prior title.
- Record player engagement levels for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, with first-person shooter fans especially appreciating the quality of the multiplayer mode.
- The increasing weighting of digital within Ubisoft’s overall sales, with this segment’s revenues amounting to €207.7 million for the first nine months of 2015-16 and representing 27.0% of the total, versus 21.2% for the same period of 2014-15.
- A 42.6% jump in back-catalog sales to €280.8 million for the first nine months of 2015-16.
CEO Yves Guillemot accompanied the press release with a statement, giving an in-depth outline of the current situation of the French publisher.
“Looking beyond our sales figures for the quarter, which have led us to update our full-year targets, our strategy of focusing on player engagement is paying off. For example, Rainbow Six Siege achieved record engagement levels during the period thanks to the success of its exceptional multiplayer mode. These advances are a decisive step in our business development and demonstrate the strong execution of our strategy, which will ultimately translate into regular revenue streams and enhanced profitability. The upcoming releases of Far Cry Primal and The Division should confirm these trends. The Division – whose recent closed beta exceeded all of our expectations – is set to be one of the largest launches of a new brand in the history of the video game industry.”
“We are now in a position to take the decision not to release a new Assassin’s Creed game in 2016-17, in order to give the brand a new dimension, while still presenting very solid targets for the fiscal year. These targets reflect the measures we have been putting in place over the past few years to transform our business model. Our portfolio of powerful franchises is solid and balanced and our global audience is growing steadily. At the same time, the digital segment is playing an increasingly important role and we are making a strong comeback in multiplayer. We now create experiences that accompany players throughout the year so we can enhance their long-term engagement. Each of these positive factors testifies to the change in Ubisoft’s profile and has a favorable impact on our financial performance.”
“Our medium-term targets – which we will be presenting in a week’s time – will confirm our potential for growth, enhanced profitability, cash generation and value creation for our shareholders.”
The company also revised its forecast for the full fiscal year to €1,360 million in sales and €150 million in operating income, compared to the previous outlook that predicted an operating income of €200 million.
Last, but definitely not least, we learn that a new installment of the Watch_Dogs Franchise will be coming within the current fiscal year ending on March 31st, 2017. For Honor, South Park the Fractured but Whole, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: WildLands, and a new ” high-potential AAA brand with strong digital live services” will also be released by then.