Even without a major release, Ubisoft was able to have a good Q1 thanks to its strong back catalog. The publisher released its financial results for the first quarter of the 2019-2020 fiscal year, reporting net bookings of $352.83 million.
Although this is down 17.6% compared to the same period last year, this figure beats Ubisoft’s projection of $303.19 million. Last year, Ubisoft released Far Cry 5 during the first quarter. The publisher did not have a major game come out during Q1 2019-2020.
Instead, Ubisoft’s back-catalog helps the company beat its target. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey (which released on October 5, 2018) is performing better than its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, in daily player engagement and sales compared to this same point in their lives. Rainbow Six: Siege, which came out back in 2015, had better player engagement this quarter than during the same period last year.
Ubisoft cofounder and chief executive officer Yves Guillemot commented on the quarter and the company’s future in a press release:
Our first-quarter net bookings came in well above target, thanks to the very robust performance of our games ‒ notably Rainbow: Six Siege and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey ‒ and a very strong increase in player recurring investment for PCs and consoles, led by record-high engagement levels per player. As well as this very good start to the fiscal year, the positive reception for our games at E3 has confirmed our full-year expectations. Ghost Recon: Breakpoint was highly visible among content creators and earned a record-high sentiment score out of all E3 games. Watch Dogs: Legion made a huge impression thanks to its innovative gameplay, putting the franchise back in the spotlight. Our games line-up for fiscal 2019-20 – which also includes Rainbow Six Quarantine and Gods & Monsters – is one of our strongest in the last five years.
In the coming years, Ubisoft is ideally positioned to seize the many value creation opportunities that lie ahead and therefore to generate strong revenue growth and further increase its profitability.
Ubisoft is projecting net bookings of about $348.11 million for the second quarter.