Ubisoft’s numbers have fallen, but it’s not really surprising.
The gaming publisher announced today that sales for the first half of fiscal year 2015-2016 (which ended on September 30) were €207.3 million ($225.11 million). This is down 57.2 percent when compared with the same period last year, when the company had €484.2 million ($525.8 million) recorded in sales.
Of course, last year Ubisoft released Watch Dogs, an anticipated and heavily marketed open-world game that shipped 9 million copies in the first half of 2014. Ubisoft didn’t have any major releases for the first half of 2015. However, the company did note that sales of its back catalog increased 53.1 percent to €184.3 million ($200.14 million), which helped to offset some of the pain from a lack of new games.
Ubisoft does have a much busier second half of the financial year, thanks to franchise titles like Assassins’s Creed: Syndicate, Just Dance 2016, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, and Far Cry Primal. Ubisoft is predicting stable year-on-year sales for the second half.
“The quality of our back catalog and the growing digitization of our business enabled us to deliver a solid performance in the first half of the year, even though — as planned — we did not release any major titles during the period,” Yves Guillemot, co-founder and chief executive officer of Ubisoft, noted in the financial report. “The fact that more than 80 percent of our annual sales are expected to be generated in the second half of the year mechanically weighed on our earnings for the first six months.”