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Frontier says attempts to diversify portfolio have failed after Realms of Ruin falls short

The UK studio will now prioritize the development of "creative management simulation" titles like Planet Coaster.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

November 27, 2023

2 Min Read
Warriors battling a hulking lizard creature in Realms of Ruin
Image via Frontier

UK studio Frontier Developments says Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin delivered lower-than-expected sales and indicated attempts to diversify its portfolio over the last five years have been a failed experiment.

In an update to investors, the studio claimed Realms of Ruin stumbled at launch despite receiving "mostly positive reviews" but pledged to continue supporting the title with post-release content including premium DLC. "We expect sales to build over time," added the company.

The underwhelming performance of the Warhammer-themed RTS, however, means that Frontier no longer expects to deliver full-year revenue of around £108 million. "Updated guidance is for FY24 revenue in the range of £80-95 million, with the outcome dependent on sales performance across Frontier's game portfolio during the remainder of the financial year, including the revenue contributions from new platform releases for existing games," it continued.

Notably, Realms of Ruin's lacklustre debut has persuaded Frontier to stop experimenting within other genres and focus primarily on developing creative management simulation (CMS) titles like Planet Coaster and Planet Zoo.

"Frontier's move to diversify its game portfolio during the last five years, including through third-party publishing and new games in 'adjacent genres,' has not delivered the anticipated success," it continued. "As a result, the Company has refocussed on CMS games which have delivered stronger and more predictable returns through Frontier's expertise and leadership in that genre."

The UK studio noted that its four CMS titles (Planet Coaster, Planet Zoo, Jurassic World Evolution and Jurassic World Evolution 2) have all delivered over $100 million in gross revenue. Each title also became profitable within one month of release.

Frontier has subsequently confirmed plans to develop three more CMS games with a view to releasing one in each of the next three fiscal years. "Alongside this we will continue to develop and support our portfolio of existing games, including Elite Dangerous, our F1 Manager franchise, and Realms of Ruin," added the studio.

Frontier is currently making layoffs and implementing spending cuts in a bid to "refocus on is core strengths" following some disappointing financial results. Outlining those restructuring plans in October, the company said it must return to profit to create a "sustainable foundation for the future."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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