Ubisoft Sales Down As Publisher Posts Losses For First Half Of Fiscal 2016
Ubisoft has reported weakened sales and a net loss for the first half of its current fiscal year. The company anticipates a significant turnaround heading into the second half of the year, with a heavy release schedule through March 31.
Ubisoft sales for the first half slid 57 percent to €207.3 million ($227.8 million), but came in above targets. Ubisoft says that the presence of Watch Dogs in the first half of last year helped push sales significantly higher. The company posted operating losses of €107.8 million ($118.5 million) and €65.7 million ($72.2 million) in net losses.
The remainder of Ubisoft’s fiscal year includes Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Just Dance 2016, Rainbow Six Siege, The Division, and Far Cry Primal. It also includes a major expansion for the The Crew, Wild Run. The second half of Ubisoft’s previous fiscal year only included four titles, creating a mis-match when comparing across periods.
Despite the upcoming game releases, Ubisoft does anticipate a decrease in sales during its third quarter of 26 percent. This puts additional pressure on Far Cry Primal and The Division, as Ubisoft anticipates its full-year sales to remain stable year-over-year.
Ubisoft did note that digital revenue is up significantly compared to the first half of last fiscal year. Full game and add-ons sold via digital distribution mechanisms now represent 48.3 percent of total sales, up from 27.8 percent in the same period.
The publisher is also dealing with the initial moves of a hostile takeover. Last month, Vivendi made two unsolicited investments in Ubisoft and now owns more than 10 percent of the company.
Ubisoft needs each of its upcoming games to hit its mark in terms of projected sales and timing. A delay of either Far Cry Primal or The Division would have severe consequences for the full-year outlook. We’ve still not seen much of either, and with the Division, that’s a bit concerning.