Home Gaming Ubisoft made half their money from digital revenue in 2016-17

Ubisoft made half their money from digital revenue in 2016-17

1 min read

I want half meme

Ubisoft has released their full sales and earnings figures for 2016-17, and most of the numbers are really boring and on target. The total annual sales were €1 459.9 million, up 4.7% year on year, in line with the target range of between €1 455.0 million and €1 495.0 million. But it’s where that money came from that is where things get interesting.

According to the PR I’ll now copy and paste from my email, the company made “€729.3 million in digital revenue, representing 50.0% of total sales (32.0% in 2015-16)”. Plus, there was a “131.2% surge in Player Recurring Investment to 304.0 M€”. In case you don’t realise, here’s why you should care.

In the space of a year, digital revenue has gone from being just under a third of Ubisoft’s income to half. Traditionally, publishers relied on retail outlets, distributors and the games media to serve as gatekeepers, helping consumers find and buy their products. Now, the landscape has changed – publishers can interact directly with their potential clients online. In fact, buyers can learn about a title, purchase and start playing all without being required to put on outside appropriate clothing. The convenience level is incredible for consumers, but it’s also changing the balance of power publishers have with retailers and distributors.

As much as it pains me to say this, it seems like Gavin might have been right. His timings may be a bit off, and his end conclusion seems unlikely, but we are certainly seeing changes in the way gaming is marketed and consumed. And this is only with digital distribution accounting for 50% of income – what will happen when that number exceeds 75%?

Meanwhile, it looks like Ubisoft is poised for a fantastic year ahead. They are expecting to continue to see excellent growth in digital revenue, especially with the upcoming releases of new Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, The Crew and South Park. Unless they have beautiful Collector’s Editions I must have, I will probably buy those games digitally, without having to get out of my PJs.

Last Updated: May 17, 2017


  1. Original Heretic

    May 17, 2017 at 15:44

    Take it from someone who recently had all his hard copy games stolen: digital is definitely the way to go.
    The games I have on my PS profile, they’re still there, I just have to download them again.


  2. Ottokie

    May 17, 2017 at 19:40

    Half of that is because they refuse any refunds no matter what on digital purchases on their own useless client 😛


  3. Magoo

    May 18, 2017 at 07:36

    Frankly I’m surprised that they still get so much business from retail. If keys are purchased from third party and entered into the uPlay client, will that register as a retail copy? That would explain it.


  4. Fox1 - Retro

    May 18, 2017 at 12:09

    Just 3 years ago gamers were clambering onto disc based games at the PS4 launch. Oh, how times have changed! The bargain bin exists no more.


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