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Ubisoft severely cuts 2019-20 targets in wake of delays and underperforming games

Ubisoft has sharply lowered its 2019-20 financial targets, due to a number of recent delays announced for its coming releases and the underperformance of its September release Ghost Recon Breakpoint

Ubisoft has sharply lowered its 2019-20 financial targets, due to a number of recent delays announced for its coming releases and the underperformance of its September release Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

Gods & Monsters, Rainbow Six Quarantine, and Watch Dogs Legion have all been delayed out of fiscal 2019-20, and are expected to release in fiscal 2020-21. Ubisoft says that the delays aim, in part, to “make sure that what happened with Breakpoint is not going to happen again.”

Expected net bookings have now dropped from €2.185 billion (~$2.428 billion) to an €1.450 billion (~$1.611 billion) for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Non-IFRS operating income meanwhile is now expected in the range of €20 million - €50 million (~$22.2 million - $55.6 million), down from the previously estimated €480 million (~$533.3 million).

CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot explains in a press release covering the shift that Breakpoint’s underperformance is a mix of sequel struggles and a poorly received “change in formula.” The Division 2 also underperformed to a lesser extent, with Ubisoft execs explaining that the game’s recent updates have failed to capture the attention and activity they had hoped.

“We have not capitalized on the potential of our latest two AAA releases. For Ghost Recon Breakpoint, while the game’s quality appeared on track – based on E3, Gamescom, previews and our latest internal playtests –, critical reception and sales during the game’s first weeks were very disappointing,” explains Guillemot. “As we have done with past titles, we will continue to support the game and listen to the community in order to deliver the necessary improvements.”

Discussing the delays and updated forecast in a conference call, Ubisoft execs note that the issues with both Breakpoint and The Division 2 have taught the studio that live game sequels will need more space in the future, both to differentiate the games from their predecessors and to “create more appetite” from those audiences.

The 2019-20 fiscal year is set to close on March 31, 2019. Results for the first half of the year, meanwhile, are due out next week.

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