It’s clear French video game giant Ubisoft is one of the top dogs in the industry, and its recent first quarter 2019-2020 sales show that gamers really took to Ubisoft’s catalogue of games in the year’s first quarter, as was recently reported on PC Gamer.
This is because Ubisoft posted strong, better than expected results, driven mainly by two of its major recent releases: Rainbow Six Siege and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
“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”, said Ubisoft’s CEO Yves Guillemot.
About the latter game the company’s report claims there was a “very sharp increase in daily engagement … compared with Assassin’s Creed Origins in the first quarter”, even though we still think the earlier Assassin’s Creed Origins is the better of the two games, mind.
What’s more surprising though, is how much the PC contributed to Ubisoft’s bottom line in this period. Remember the naysayers who’ve been claiming that PC gaming is dead for yonks now?
Well, Ubisoft’s results should help prove them wrong, as PC contributed a stunning 34 % to Ubisoft’s coffers, more than any other platform (meaning our old prediction of PC becoming the dominant platform in the near future might still turn out to be true).
Other platforms generating bookings for Ubisoft in the quarter were PS4 (31 %), Xbox One (18 %), Nintendo Switch (5 %) and mobile (7 %).
So, what was the reason behind PC being such a big contributor to Ubisoft’s bottom line in the first quarter of 2019?
This apparently had a lot to do with the release of Anno 1800, a city-building game set during the Industrial Age which has sold big on PC in the last few months. Anno 1800’s success makes it more likely we’ll see more PC exclusives, which can only be a good thing, even if Ubisoft shouldn’t neglect console platforms either.
Incidentally, and despite being released on the Epic Games Store, Anno did very well on Ubisoft’s own Uplay store as well. “We did well with Anno 1800 on Epic, but the key point here is really that we continue to have very strong momentum on Uplay”, said the company’s chief financial officer Frédérick Duguet.
Actually, the company was thrilled by the performance of Uplay, which seems to be doing very well for Ubisoft according to its CEO.
“What we can say is we are working very well, hand-in-hand, to make sure we can grow sales directly now, between our Uplay Store, which is doing extremely well, and the Epic Store that is growing step by step. So overall, when you take Uplay and the Epic Store, we are very happy with what we are achieving”, said Yves Guillemot. It remains to be seen, though, how well its new Uplay+ service will do when it launches this September.
About future games, Ubisoft also commented on the positive reception that upcoming games like Watch Dogs: Legion, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and Roller Champions had at this year’s E3 show. Regarding Watch Dogs: Legion, Ubisoft pointed out that its upcoming open-world title picked up “more than 65 awards and nominations” at E3. And it certainly looks like this politically charged game set in a post-Brexit London could score big when it hits shelves in March next year, hopefully it will be better than 2016’s so-so Watch Dogs 2.
And despite its sales in the quarter being less than during the same period last year Ubisoft is still posed to make a whopping 2 billion euros by the time this year is over, so kudos to the French video game company, and hopefully we’ll be getting more brilliant games from Ubi in the months and years to come too…
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