Can’t speak for everyone but Ubisoft seems to have had a great 2020.
For the third fiscal quarter (October-December 2020), Ubisoft reported net bookings of just over €1 billion, up 120% year-on-year, thanks to a packed slate of new releases including Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs: Legion, Immortals Fenyx Rising and Just Dance 2021.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was said to be the biggest launch in the company’s history in terms of overall bookings and engagement. Just Dance was also a significant contributor to its french developer’s success as the franchise’s latest installment became the best-selling entry in six years with its back-catalog sales surging by 200%.
In a post-earnings investor call, Chief Executive Yves Guillemot said that the group plans to carry this strong fiscal into 2021-22 by continuing its evolution from a blockbuster games release-centric model towards a model where flagship games stand alongside free-to-play ones.
Guillemot also expressed his happiness for the launch of the “family-oriented” Immortals and said it would have long legs. For Watch Dogs: Legion, Ubisoft was pleased with the positive reception the game received from players and critics alike. It also lauded the fact that the game saw an increase in engagement compared to Watch Dogs 2, but did not comment on how the game actually sold.
While the Covid-19 pandemic that forced people to stay home clearly boosted sales, it also delayed development for some of Ubisoft’s new releases including the Prince of Persia remake and Riders Republic, forcing the company to postpone Far Cry 6 and Rainbow Six Quarantine.
On this front, Guillemot said that a comfortable quarter gives Ubisoft the opportunity to postpone games, noting that this would allow them to focus on producing games of higher quality.
Even in light of the significant growth it has experienced this fiscal year, Ubisoft is expecting to grow more in 2022 thanks to three new AAA releases, back catalog trends, and a new free-to-play title that it expects will ramp-up activity in that market.
Ubisoft Entertainment SA is a French video game company headquartered in the Montreuil suburb of Paris with several development studios across the world. Its video game franchises include Rayman, Raving Rabbids, Prince of Persia, Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Watch Dogs, Just Dance, and the Tom Clancy series.