Ubisoft sees value of single player and PS4 amid weaker financials

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Ubi money

Tis the season. No, not that season just yet, but it is earnings call season. All the publishers are reporting to their shareholders about how much money has been earned and via which avenues in the first half of the financial year. Ubisoft hasn’t done poorly, although compared to last year which saw a AAA title launch early in the financial year, the company isn’t posting as strong results.

Total sales fell 57% in the period, resulting in a loss of about $71 million. Without any major new releases in the first half of the year, this makes sense. However, the back catalog sales have done well, increasing by 53.1%. Digital also increased with sales totaling €100.1 million, representing 48% of total sales. Despite the less than great numbers by comparison, Yves Guillemot was still happy with the company’s performance and outlook in general.

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. 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.

The outlook for our industry continues to be very promising, with a return to growth, a healthier competitive environment, and the favorable impact of digital. Against this backdrop, Ubisoft has unique value-creating potential. We are ideally positioned in open-world games, whose market share is increasing. We also own our brands and have the in-house skills and expertise to create them. These two significant characteristics offer our shareholders an unrivalled level of long term visibility and security. In addition, the release of numerous multi-player games such as For Honor, Ghost Recon Wildlands, Rainbow Six Siege and The Division represent a major opportunity to develop players’ engagement and grow our highly-profitable digital segment. And lastly, we are pioneers in leveraging our brands in areas beyond video games, as demonstrated by the agreements we have signed with the most powerful international partners such as Columbia, Fox New Regency, Nickelodeon and Warner.

Thus far, the focus has been pouring money into the development of games like Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Rainbow Six Siege and The Division. Obviously, those games are being relied upon to boost the profits of the company. Interestingly, after a fairly weak first week for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, the second week of sales was higher. The company attributes this to word of mouth and growing momentum for the game; considering last year’s issues, it makes sense that players were more prudent in waiting for review scores and friend feedback before rushing out to purchase the game. It has solidified for Ubisoft the important of single-player games like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry as a balance to the co-op and multiplayer games that they are also introducing into the market. I’m just glad that they see the value in catering to players who prefer to play alone.

Read  Assassin’s Creed Origins – Full interview with game director Ashraf Ismail

Ubisoft is one of the few publishers that reports on where their sales are taking place. The largest share by far is PlayStation 4, accounting for 32% of sales in Q2. PS3 came in second place with 17% with PC and Xbox One tied in third with 15% each. It certainly is intriguing to see console sales outpacing PC so much, and I think it’s pretty clear which console is king at this point. Then again, with the horrors of Uplay (now known as Ubisoft Club), it’s no surprise that PC gamers aren’t jumping on the Ubisoft bandwagon as much as PS4 gamers.

Last Updated: November 5, 2015

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let’s get on with it!

  • Hammersteyn

    Three words. Blood Dragon Sequel. How hard can it be? Just stop with the Ass Cream line of lotions for a year or two and work on that. More profits!

    • WitWolfy

      Well if future AC games are as addictive as Syndicate they can release them until my daughter finished matric!

      • Hammersteyn

        Explore here, stab there, stealth now, dive into hay later.

        • WitWolfy

          Heck it sounds like MGS V you play!! You know that game you said is “GOTY”.

          • Hammersteyn

            LIES there is no hay to dive in

          • WitWolfy

            What you talking about.. There is hay all over the place.. “HAY, HAY, HAY!! It’s an unfinished game!”

            See!!! 😉

          • Hammersteyn

            Hahahahaha

    • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

      I still believe Blood Dragon was a result of a drug infused stupor of a weekend binging 80s action hero movies and playing with toy dinosaurs fitted with LED “lazers”, and while Robocop played in the background the lead designer walked in, wondered what the hell is happening, tripped, fell into a mountain of cocaine and *poof* BLOOD DRAGON!

      • Captain JJ the Goo

        Then whatever they did, they need to do again.

        • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

          I don’t think the human body can expose itself to so much drugs twice in a single lifetime and survive…

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            Sounds easier than going camping to me.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            The only time I camp is when it’s Oppikoppi and I haven’t done it in years…

          • Hammersteyn

            KKNK. Been years as well.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            Aah man… The funny thing is that I usually go for the more Bluesy stuff, but then you end up somewhere by a WubWub stage in the middle of the night and wonder how the heck you made it through the electronic music…

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            RamFest for me.
            Two years ago now almost. But I opt for that thing where you get someone to set up your tent and everything. All you do is show up, enjoy the music, have a few drinks and go to sleep.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            I have also come to that realisation, Kreef hotel it is for me from now on, not because I’m a snob, no, simply because I’m tired of cold showers and rather prefer to wake up feeling asif I’ve slept in a bed, not dangling from a hak and steek kameeldoring boom….

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            Same here. Kreef Hotel is totally worth the price.
            And maybe I am a bit of a snob…or maybe I’m just lazy.

          • Mossel

            Lazy bastard! Real men pitch their own tents.
            But you DO wear make up…so I guess you are excused. xD

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            Haha! I would also like to add that if I were to pitch my own tent it might take all weekend, or I might just not do it at all and sleep in my boot.

          • Mossel

            hahaha! I actually now plenty of guys that end up doing that.
            “I’ll pitch the tent, but first…beer!”

          • DragonSpirit009

            That how all our vacations started when we went camping XD

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            It’s not about being lazy, it’s about taking your jeans off by day 4 and it stands by itself…

          • Mossel

            haha! That’s only at koppi though. Ramfest doesn’t have sandstoms, we have rivers with trees!

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            That’s just as bad!!

          • Hammersteyn

            LIES I watched Wolf of Wallstreet. Look how motivated their employees were

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            HAHA!!! That stairway to the Lambo scene… I still love it, damn that was a good movie…

      • Hammersteyn

        Then we should start a Kickstarter to support Ubisofts drug habit!

        • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

          HAHAHA!! Are we that desperate for another Blood Dragon?

          Yes, yes, we are…

          • Hammersteyn

            That game had Michael Biehn starring in it. Retro 80’s is hot right now. More games with stars from back then is what we need. I would install Uclub on my PC and Laptop just to see Dolph Lundgren walk up to a bad guy and utter the words. I must break you.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            Holy Sh…. That would be awesome! Can you imagine having Airwolf for air support and KITT as your getaway car?

          • Hammersteyn
          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            WE NEED THIS!!!

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            Micheal Biehn ftw

  • Pieter Kruger

    It’s simple Ubi, make better games, put some effort into them and I’ll buy them…..

    • Hammersteyn

      Division though

      • Captain JJ the Goo

        Mehvision

      • Pieter Kruger

        Yes, maybe. For now Ubisoft games are only good for monthly free Xbox Live games though. Same engine used to still turn out last gen games is not cutting it anymore!

  • Captain JJ the Goo

    They also think Uplay is a good idea.

    • Hammersteyn

      It’s Uclub now, as in you clubbed Uplay over the head so they changed the name and hoped no one would notice

      • Captain JJ the Goo

        They literally just changed the name.
        Granted, Ubisoft has good games, but Uplay, Uclub, Ukak, still isn’t worth some of them.

        • Hammersteyn

          hahaha

  • Pieter Kruger

    Did Xbox 360 and Nintendo account for 21% then?

  • Nikola

    Just give me Division since playing it at Rage I can’t wait to jump into it:)

    • Hammersteyn

      That controller though. I think I picked up carpal tunnel

      • Nikola

        hahaha I know right, my hand was flippen sore after holding that Xbox controller, they less sore after my boxing fight’s;)

        • Hammersteyn

          Maybe if you actually hit somebody it would be sore.
          *Runs

          • Nikola

            Wow just like that hey… Totally uncalled for, low blow hey:) Luckily I have a great sense of humor:)

            *Patiently waiting for next Rage

          • Hammersteyn

            hehehe there should be more people like you.

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