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French publisher Ubisoft had another strong quarter thanks to games like Rainbow Six: Siege, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, and Far Cry 5. This powered the company to $684.1 million in net bookings for its fiscal third quarter, which ended December 31. That edged out Ubisoft’s guidance of $677.6 million.
Ubisoft noted that its games are performing well at launch, but that they are also generating ongoing sales through digital in-game purchases and add-ons. Siege is one of the best examples of this. It debuted in December 2015, but it was bigger than ever throughout the last year. The publisher confirmed that Siege’s revenue and monthly players were up year-over-year. The game now has 45 million total registered players.
But it’s not just Siege. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and Far Cry 5 are performing well compared to their predecessors. And by the end of 2018, Far Cry 5 was the No. 4 best-selling game worldwide. Odyssey was No. 10.
Ubisoft chief executive officer Yves Guillemot credits the success to the quality of its games and the larger owner base of the consoles. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 base grew 21 percent year-over-year, according to the publisher. Switch, meanwhile, grew 115 percent. Guillemot also pointed to digital sales, which were up 35 percent year-over-year.
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“Ubisoft delivered a solid performance in a quarter when, as expected, competition was particularly fierce,” said Guillemot. “Our remarkable resilience was underpinned by the high quality of our games and services, our ability to reach a much wider audience than before — on more platforms and in more geographic regions — and the
benefits gained from our digital transformation.”
What’s next for Ubisoft
The publisher has multiple games that are delivering consistent revenues. And it has more content coming for games like Siege, which is about to get the first season of its Year 4 pass. But as is tradition for Ubisoft, it has a couple of games due out before the end of March.
Far Cry: New Dawn launches tomorrow, February 15, for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. A month later, on March 15, Ubisoft is unleashing Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 for the same platforms. Those games have the potential to cap off the publisher’s fiscal year in a very strong way. And Guillemot is predicting exactly that.
“In view of our robust momentum and the upcoming releases of The Division 2 and Far Cry New Dawn, we expect to see record performances for fourth-quarter and full-year 2018-19,” the CEO said.
But Guillemot is also promising that Ubisoft is not satisfied with its accomplishments. It wants to continue to grow by finding new ways to reach gaming fans.
“Over the years, Ubisoft has proved its ability to adapt to and profit from new market trends, and we will continue to do so,” he said. “The digital revolution is profoundly transforming our industry and is offering a major competitive advantage to content creators. It is enabling us to build a direct relationship with player communities, who have a significant impact on our games and their success.”
Ubisoft has changed; Ubisoft will continue to change
Guillemot notes that the digital trend is creating demand for a lot of high-quality games on various distribution platforms. This is likely a reference to the Epic Game Store. Ubisoft is skipping Steam for The Division 2 because it has made a deal with Epic to bring the game to that platform in addition to Uplay.
But Guillemot also sees digital as a way of reaching gaming fans in emerging regions.
“Against this backdrop, Ubisoft is building its organizational structure for the long term,” he said. “Leveraging the ownership of our IPs and studios, we are striving to provide a fulfilling working environment so that our talented people can realize their full potential and to deliver players beneficial experiences that go beyond pure entertainment. Therefore, we are confident in our ability to continue to grow and increase our profitability over the coming years.”
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