In Ubisoft’s financial report for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, CEO Yves Guillemot said that “2017-18 we will see the exciting returns of Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, The Crew, and South Park.” This means you can expect all four of those titles prior to March 31, 2018.
Ubisoft also said they’re the #1 publisher worldwide since the beginning of calendar 2017, Ghost Recon Wildlands is the best-selling game since the beginning of 2017 (through March 31, 2017), and For Honor is the second best-selling game of the year. These estimates include physical and digital sales, and the data comes from GFK, NPD, Famitsu, and Ubisoft’s own figures.
Overall, Ubisoft saw total annual sales of €1.46 billion, which is up 4.7% year-on-year, and 50% of that revenue came digitally (up from 32% in the previous fiscal year). At 46%, PlayStation 4 was Ubisoft’s highest performing platform, followed by Xbox One at 30% and PC at 17%.
This fiscal quarter (ending June 31, 2017) will be a quiet one for Ubisoft, with Star Trek: Bridge Crew the only notable new game for PlayStation.
Here’s Guillemot’s full statement:
The execution of our strategic plan fully paid off in 2016-17, with further very strong growth for the digital segment – which now accounts for 50% of total sales – and an ever-more recurring profile.
With 44 million unique registered players, the size of the Tom Clancy community has increased by almost 150% in less than 18 months. This impressive performance for a brand created almost 20 years ago clearly illustrates the strong popularity of Ghost Recon Wildlands, Rainbow Six Siege and The Division. Our Live titles continue to beat records for player engagement and have seen a sharp rise in player recurring investment. Our results for 2016-17 demonstrate the success of our new model, with record high operating income and outperforming the target announced a year ago, and operating margin up for the third consecutive year.
Over the last three fiscal years, Ubisoft has – with remarkable success – created numerous new brands and rebooted Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon. These successes have strengthened our visibility for the coming two fiscal years, with a line-up of releases principally comprised of established franchises. In 2017-18 we will see the exciting returns of Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, The Crew and South Park. In 2018-19 we intend to pursue our digital transformation and consolidate our new business model, which is much more recurring and more profitable and is now significantly less exposed to new releases. This revision of our assumptions gives greater visibility for meeting our targets.
Our dynamic trajectory is being led by the growing footprint of video games in the entertainment industry. Ubisoft is playing a leading role in this respect thanks to the creativity of our teams, the power of our owned brands, the digital transformation that has generated direct relationships with our communities, and our numerous growth drivers, particularly in terms of geographic markets. Beyond 2018-19 we will continue to catch up with our competitors in terms of player recurring investment, which represents huge value creation potential for our shareholders.
Ubisoft is expecting sales to rise to €1.7 billion this fiscal year (ending March 31, 2018), thanks to the new releases from four of their AAA franchises: Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, The Crew, and South Park: The Fractured But Whole. Additionally, they expect digital sales to contribute over 50% to total sales.
Looking ahead to the next fiscal year (beginning April 1, 2018), Ubisoft says they’ll have four AAA releases (three from established franchises, the other from a “new brand”) and they’ll sell around 28 million units. Additionally, sales will rise to €2.1 billion, digital revenue will represent more than 55% of total sales, and back catalog sales will increase.