News

The Division Now Has 9.5 Million Players As Ubisoft Profits Climb

by Mike Futter on May 12, 2016 at 06:19 AM

The Division continues to build a strong player base, as Ubisoft report the game now has 9.5 million players. According to the publisher, those users are online with the game for an average of three hours per day.

This news comes along with the company’s year-end financial report that shows a dip in sales but profit growth thanks to cost control. Last year, Ubisoft pointed to Watch Dogs, Far Cry 4, and Assassin's Creed Unity as top performers as all three were in the top seven sellers industry-wide in 2014.

Sales slipped 4.8 percent to €1.39 billion ($1.58 billion). Due to 30.1 percent drop in sales, general, and administrative expenses though, operating income rose by 12.1 percent to €169 million ($192.7 million) and net income climbed by 14.6 percent to €129 million ($147.1 million). Digital now represents 32 percent of Ubisoft sales, up from 26.1 percent in the previous year.

The coming year sees the release of more AAA games than the publisher’s recently finished fiscal year (five compared to four). We know Assassin’s Creed isn’t among them, but Watch Dogs 2, For Honor, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Ghost Recon Wildlands, and an as-yet unannounced AAA game.

Ubisoft is also going strong on VR with the upcoming releases of Eagle’s Flight and Werewolves Within. The publisher will be holding an earnings call this afternoon with more information on its recently completed year and upcoming slate.

[Source: Ubisoft]

 

Our Take
Ubisoft had a rough third quarter in terms of sales, but careful cost control seems to have had significant benefit to the bottom line in spite of that. The one thing lingering is Vivendi’s move against Ubisoft with creeping control via incremental stock purchase. Hopefully we’ll hear more from Ubisoft about how it is combatting the aggressive moves on the call.