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Ubisoft's online strategy pays off with rising sales

Ubisoft's increasing focus on digital titles continues to pay off for the company, boosting its sales considerably for the last quarter (ending June 30) and helping the publisher beat its previous guidance.
Ubisoft's increasing focus on digital titles continues to pay off for the company, boosting its sales considerably for the last quarter (ending June 30) and helping the publisher beat its previous guidance. The Parisian company's total first-quarter revenues grew to €131 million ($160.6 million), a significant jump from the €103 million ($126.3 million) earned during the same period last year, and much more than the €115 million ($141 million) it initially predicted. Though poor sales at retail have become worrisome for some publishers, Ubisoft has managed to still find success after its latest big release Ghost Recon Future Soldier performed better than expected, and thanks to continued momentum for its online segment. The publisher's online category, which includes free-to-play titles like Howrse and console digital releases like Trials Evolution, saw increased sales to €27 million ($33.1 million), a 112 percent rise compared to the same three-month period in the previous year. Ubisoft notes that Uplay, an online community for its games, now has 35 million registered users. The company also indicated that it's positioning the service as a digital distribution service, similar to Electronic Arts' efforts with Origin. CEO Yves Guillemot says Ubisoft's medium-term goals are to capitalize on the next generation of consoles and the free-to-play space. The company predicts that it will generate between $1.16 and $1.2 billion ($1.4 and $1.5 billion) in sales for the current fiscal year ending next March.

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