Ubisoft just announced its financial results for the first nine months and Q3 of the fiscal year 2023-2024, related to the period between April and December.
Net bookings for the quarter were €626.2 million, slightly ahead of the company’s guidance of €610 million. We also hear that net bookings were up 43.1% year-on-year in Q3 and up 45.1% year-on-year in the first nine months of the fiscal year.
As usual, the press release included a comment by chief executive officer Yves Guillemot, which this time is quite extensive.
Guillemot boasted a “solid quarter” mentioning that it’s the beginning of Ubisoft’s turnaround to consistently creating high-quality, long-lasting games. He also added that the performance was driven by Assassin’s Creed Mirage and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, on top of a “continued strong trajectory” for The Crew Motorfest and more.
The executive also confirmed that Star Wars Outlaws is coming in 2024 and Assassin’s Creed Codename Red, set in feudal Japan, is scheduled to be released in the next fiscal year as well, which means by March 2025.
“Ubisoft recorded a solid third quarter, with net bookings slightly ahead of our expectations. This quarter provided us with positive momentum and marks the beginning of our turnaround to consistently creating and delivering high-quality, long-lasting games. Our performance was driven by the releases of Assassin’s Creed Mirage and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, by the continued strong trajectory of The Crew Motorfest, as well as by the robust performance of our backcatalog. The latter was propelled by the success of Rainbow Six Siege, which achieved sharp net bookings and playtime growth, and by the overall Assassin’s Creed franchise that benefitted from the launch of Assassin’s Creed Mirage. The robustness and longevity of our back-catalog is a tribute to the attention we have had in consistently delivering high-quality titles that are loved by fans.
I want to praise the outstanding work done by Ubisoft’s teams. They strove to offer quality games that align with our ambition to bring great entertainment to players. Players’ very positive response to our latest major releases, such as Assassin’s Creed Mirage and The Crew Motorfest shows that we are indeed moving in the right direction. We also made great progress in terms of visual quality and universe richness thanks to our proprietary Snowdrop engine, which was used in developing Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, a game that set a new industry benchmark in terms of world creation.
The fourth quarter represents an opportunity to continue to build on this momentum, with the launch of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, a game that illustrates Ubisoft’s capacity to revive iconic brands, and the release of Skull and Bones, which generated increasingly positive engagement following its end-game and post-launch reveal. This new brand has the potential to establish itself as a new Live experience over the long term. The upcoming launch of XDefiant will take us a step further into the world of Free-to-play, in line with our strategy of strengthening our position in Live services and increasing the recurrence of our business. We are also planning significant partnerships, including the non-exclusive licensing of the Activision Blizzard streaming rights that we acquired last October.
Looking at our overall organization, we continue to actively roll out transformation initiatives across the Group in order to respond to the market’s evolution and accelerate the execution of our strategy while reducing our cost structure. In Q3, we made further progress in streamlining our operations and, at the same time, saw overall talent retention continue to improve. We are firmly committed to continuing along this path in the months ahead to deliver on our cost-reduction targets and better position ourselves for collective success in the long term.
Moving forward, we’re gearing up for a very promising line-up for fiscal year 2025, including the upcoming release of Star Wars Outlaws in 2024, which should be a major milestone in the video game industry, especially given the undeniable appeal of this legendary franchise that will be coming for the first time to the Open World territory, as well as Assassin’s Creed Codename Red, set in the long-awaited feudal Japan universe. We look forward to revealing the full extent of the creative capabilities of Ubisoft’s teams, who are working hard to make these games a success that will live up to gamers’ expectations”.
We also hear that The Division Resurgence and Rainbow Six Mobile on the mobile free-to-play side have been rescheduled for launch in the next fiscal year, between April 2024 and March 2025.
CFO Frederick Duguet mentioned during the following conference call that the full extent of the lineup for the next fiscal year will be revealed in May. He also said that new releases in the latest quarter (AC: Mirage and Avatar) were roughly in line with the company’s expectations.
We then heard from Guillemot that the company was a bit disappointed by the performance of Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR, so the company doesn’t intend to invest more in virtual reality for now. They see the VR market as something they should keep looking at, but not invest too heavily into until it proves itself.
We also get some relevant metrics.
Strong sequence of high-quality new releases designed to be long sellers
- Assassin’s Creed Mirage successfully harnessed the strength of the Assassin’s Creed brand to deliver a back-to-the-roots experience including the return of fan-favorite gameplay.
- Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora set an industry benchmark in terms of world creation and was favorably received by players, positioning the game to be a long-term seller.
- The Crew Motorfest, released in Q2, continues to outperform The Crew 2 on acquisition, activity, monetization and net bookings metrics since launch, on a comparable basis, thus growing the franchise.
- Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, released on January 18, has been unanimously praised by critics and players in reviving an iconic brand.
Q3 Back-catalog: Strong performance demonstrating the power of major brands and Live services
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege: Continued positive momentum with net bookings up sharply vs. last year and strong growth in both number of players and session days per player, with playtime up nearly 60% year-on-year.
- Assassin’s Creed brand: Overperformance driven by robustness of the brand that benefitted from the halo of the successful Mirage launch.
If you’d like to compare today’s results with historical data, you can check out Ubisoft’s financial results for the first quarter of the fiscal year, published in October.
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