Ubisoft management did not provide any explanation regarding the across-the-board downturn in revenue.
Starting with revenue, Ubisoft made €326 million during the three-month period, which is down more than 20% from how much money the company made during this same period last year. Digital revenue, and revenue from “player recurring investment” (i.e. microtransactions), were also down by double digits. Revenue from back-catalog title sales also slid year-over-year, dropping by more than 20% compared to the same quarter last year.
Regarding upcoming games, the Ubisoft report mentions a “revival” of Beyond Good & Evil 2, though no release date was announced for the title. On a call, management said it was too early to share anything more specific about the long-in-development game. The report also confirms that a new mobile game that will be announced later is scheduled for release in Q4 2021-2022.
The report also calls out Riders Republic and Skull & Bones as two new IP that have a focus on “long-term player engagement.” Riders Republic was recently delayed to October, while Skull & Bones has no release date. Kotaku on Tuesday published a deep-dive feature on the game’s tumultuous development in which it’s claimed that Ubisoft has already spent $120 million to produce the game, which has now entered its Alpha stage of development.
The publisher also mentioned that The Division 2, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, and Rabbids Party were all approved for release in China. Additionally, the company said one of its notable achievements during the period was announcing efforts to bring its franchises to potentially larger audiences through free-to-play live service games like The Division Heartland, XDefiant, and The Division’s upcoming mobile game.
During an earnings call, management briefly discussed Assassin’s Creed Infinity, the upcoming live service game that was recently announced. It is in the early stages of development, but Ubisoft believes it has the possibility to positively impact and expand the reach of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. It will also offer “rich narrative experiences,” according to the publisher. More details on Infinity will be announced “in due time,” the company said.
Management described Infinity as an “exciting and ambitious” project that will contribute to expand the overall Assassin’s Creed audience and bring in more money through recurring revenue. Management would not comment on the business model for Infinity. However, the company said Infinity will stay true to the DNA of Assassin’s Creed and it will feature “high quality” narrative experiences.
Also during the call, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot briefly discussed Valve’s Steam Deck. He said he’s happy to see Valve bring new hardware to market. Ubisoft will keep an eye on how it progresses and this will determine how much investment Ubisoft puts into it.
Guillemot also touched on Netflix’s apparent push into the world of gaming. He said this is very good for the games industry overall. He said Netflix is a very dynamic company and he expects them to have good success. Guillemot said content is the most important thing in gaming and entertainment, and Netflix is well-stocked when it comes to popular franchises. Ubisoft also released a slide that shows which regions and platforms bring in the most money. For the latest period, North America made up the bulk of revenue (50%), followed by Europe (33%), and the rest of the world (17%). In terms of sales by platform, the PS4/PS5 remained the biggest money-maker for Ubisoft (30%), followed by PC (24%), and Xbox/Xbox Series X|S (19%).
Ubisoft is holding an earnings call to discuss these results and answer questions from analysts, so keep checking back with GameSpot for more.