Far Cry 5 and Assassin's Creed Origins lead to record profit and sales for Ubisoft

Ubisoft exceeded its own sales projections by 92 million euros (~$108.5 million), something that helped the company achieve both record sales and profitability for the fiscal year.

Ubisoft had a record-breaking year, in more ways than one. The French developer and publisher released a financial report detailing the results of the 2017-2018 fiscal year, noting that sales and profit both exceeded expectations and set internal records.

Two of Ubisoft’s major triple-A launches significantly contributed to those numbers. Assassin’s Creed Origins, which launched last October, boasted record performance for an Assassin’s Creed game in a fourth fiscal quarter and Far Cry 5 emerged as the second biggest release ever for the company with $310 million in player spending during its first week.

For the 2017-2018 fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, Ubisoft saw €139.5 million (~$164.5 million) in profit, up from €107.8 million (~$127.1 million) last year.

The company recorded €1.7 billion (~$2 billion) in sales, up 18.6 percent year-over-year which is €96 million (~$113.2 million) higher than the revised target for the period. This year, digital revenue made up 58 percent of those sales (versus a flat 50 percent last year) and increased by 37.8 percent year-over-year to €1 billion ($1.2 billion).

To that end, player recurring income (or income generated by DLC, microtransactions, and other such purchases) increased by 58.7 percent year-over-year to €482.5 million, (~$569.2 million). PRI now represents 27.9 percent of total sales versus 20.8 percent the year before, something Ubisoft credits to the both the quality of its games and strong live services.

Meanwhile, the company’s back catalog continued to maintain a strong presence in Ubisoft’s year-end numbers. Rainbow Six Siege, a December 2015 release, crossed 30 million registered players during the 2017-2018 fiscal year and recorded record player engagement in the fourth quarter. Two other games in Ubisoft's Tom Clancy franchise hit player engagement milestones during the year as well, with The Division crossing 20 million players and Ghost Recon Wildlands surpassing 10 million.

Overall, Ubisoft saw a year-over-year increase in back-catalog sales, up 27.2 percent to €826 million (~$974.5 million). Additionally, back catalog games made up 47.7 percent of total sales in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, versus 44.5 percent the year prior. 

"In the short and medium term, Ubisoft has many growth opportunities to tap and expects further profitability increases. Our digital transformation is progressing at a faster pace than we anticipated. Our potential in the PC and mobile markets is massive, notably in China," said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot in a press release. "Finally, we are continuing to develop and structure our esports offering, which represents a significant opportunity. Over the longer term, new forms of gaming, enabled notably by streaming, will allow our brands to reach a much wider audience. Consequently, we are investing in our online services platform – which boasted 88 million unique active players – as well as in artificial intelligence in order to better tailor the game experience to each player’s profile and therefore offer them ever-richer experiences.”

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