Ubisoft announced its Q1 2019-2020 financials today. It showed predicted year-over-year drops because of many of its major titles being released last year. This year, the expenses and the profits of last year also carried on.
Ubisoft reported a total of €363.4 million ($407.9 million), which showed a decrease of 9.2% year-over-year. Net bookings of €314.2 million ($352.6 million)’s decrease was shown as 17.6% year-over-year. Q1 for Ubisoft has been rather quite. However, releases like Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 launching in Q4 of last year, have carried on to this Q1. 93.1% of Ubisoft’s net bookings were digital (compared to 75.2% in Q1 of last year) and 86.7% were from Ubisoft’s back catalog (about in line with last year’s 87.2%).
Year-over-year drops have not affected put Ubisoft below target because of The Division 2. Ubisoft called it “the industry’s biggest hit since the beginning of the year” according to the console and PC sales numbers from NPD, GSD, GfK, Famitsu, and its own estimates. Rainbow Six Siege is another profit making machine for Ubisoft. Its engagement is up year-over year. May was somewhat not stable but in June, Ubisoft said, Rainbow Six Siege saw its highest MAUs ever for a single month.
Ubisoft also gave quarterly data on its audience segmentation. Q1 showed 46% of the publisher’s audience in North America and 33% in Europe. Platforms have a more significant difference: 34% of Ubisoft’s audience are comprised of PC users, up from 24% at the same time last year. In Ubisoft’s investor call, CEO Yves Guillemot announced that this was Anno 1800’s release in April was one of the factos. According to Guillemot, the PC segment might continue to rise with the release of UPlay+ later this year.
Anno 1800 is performing well on Epic Games Store, said Guillemot. But neither he nor CFO Frederick Duguet would offer specific details. Duguet repeated Guillemot’s past statement, that though they were glad for this partnership, they were still focused on UPlay+.
Guillemot also explained plans of working on Google Stadia. He suggested that the extra cost to make sure games work well on Stadia is “not that high,”. That Ubisoft has ensured that the “financial equation is good for us.” (Note to Editor: I think this is the part that pops out most, highlight it).
Ubisoft stands by its full-year targets of €2.2 billion ($2.5 billion) in net bookings and €480 million ($539 million) operating income. Ubisoft predicts net bookings to amount to around €310 million for Q2. This would be a decrease for approximately 15% year-over-year.
The lower Q1 and Q2 are largely due to fewer releases in the front half of the year, with nothing major planned until Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint and Just Dance 2020 in November and Gods and Monsters and Watch Dogs: Legion planned for 2020.