In its recent financial update, UK studio Frontier Developments said it planned to lower its original sales expectations for the fiscal years of 2023 and 2024. In general, its games underperformed during the 2022 holiday season, but the root cause is its August 2022 release F1 Manager 2022.
Sales for the racing management game were "lower than expected," at 600,000 units sold across consoles and PC. Though player engagement was "strong" at launch, Frontier added that its performance over the holidays "fell materially below original expectations."
That said, Frontier expects to report £57 million ($69.3 million) for the first half of 2023's financial year, up by 16 percent from 2022's £49.1 million during that same period.
As for why F1 Manager in particular underperformed, Frontier believed that there was "increased player price sensitivity" amidst larger concerns of a global economic recession.
Other Frontier-developed titles such as the two Jurassic World Evolution games, Planet Coaster, and Elite Dangerous were said to be in-line with the developer's expectations for the first half of the 2023 financial year. But like F1 Manager 2022, those titles didn't take off during the holidays, when game sales are plentiful (and at time of writing, some are still ongoing).
"Sales performance during key price promotions in December 2022 fell below expectations, with some evidence of increased player price sensitivity," wrote Frontier.
Frontier concluded by saying that it may be possible to exceed the record revenue of £114 million from the previous year. But that outcome would require one or both of its upcoming titles Deliver Us Mars or The Great War: Western Front from the Frontier Foundry publishing label to be a "conspicuous success."
Regardless, it reaffirmed that it would stick with its new fiscal year 2023 project of "not less than £100 million."