Ubisoft has posted yet more record-breaking financial results. During the first quarter of the 2018-19 fiscal year, Ubisoft raked in record revenues, thanks in no small part to the success of ‘player recurring investment’ (PRI), which is DLC, season passes, microtransactions and subscriptions.
Total sales of €400 million ($466 million) were achieved for the quarter. Ubisoft’s original target was €350.0 million. Of this figure, a massive €333 million ($388 million) came from PRI and back-catalogue sales. That’s an increase of 75% year on year and represents 87.2% of the total revenue earned by Ubisoft. That’s a huge percentage, make no mistake. For point of reference, Far Cry 5 launched during this period, while The Crew 2 released right near the end of the quarter. Despite these big new games though (and Far Cry 5 is likely the best-selling AAA game of the year so far), these new titles represent just 12.8% of Ubisoft’s net bookings.
Make no mistake about it, the continued post-launch success of Rainbow Six Siege, For Honor, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Ghost Recon Wildlands, to name but a few, contributes to the vast majority of Ubisoft’s earnings. If you want to know why Ubisoft is chasing Games as a Service in such a big way, these figures do all the talking.
"We had a record first quarter, which exceeded our expectations,” said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot. “This performance was fueled by steady growth for our back-catalog and an excellent momentum for PRI, once again confirming the increasingly recurring profile of our business and the ever-greater success of our digital transformation."
"Our teams are continuing to deliver on our strategic plan of ramping up our franchises. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and The Division 2 were very well received at E3, confirming their full potential in a highly competitive environment. Our new creation, Skull & Bones, also made a very good impression due to its innovative gameplay combining naval battles with a multi-player experience."
Looking forward, Ubisoft has revised its targets for Q2 FY2019, citing back-catalogue momentum and a favourable reception for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. For the entire year, sales are expected to be around €2 billion, with free cash flow of €300m.
As for the platform split, PC has now leapfrogged Xbox One and is now the second largest platform for Ubisoft games behind the PlayStation 4.
In short, Ubisoft has never been bigger, and the French publisher’s success certainly shows no sign of slowing. Now just announce Splinter Cell and put us out of our misery.