Ubisoft Q2 sales climb 37 percent, guidance raised

Brothers in Arms, Soulcalibur IV, casual games push French publisher past quarterly targets to $224 million for July-September period; Anno, unannounced title delayed.

With terms like "global economic meltdown" being bandied about Wall Street, it's no surprise that this earnings season has seen more than its fair share of bloodletting across a breadth of industries. However, lending more credence to analysts' notions that the gaming industry is highly recession-resilient, French publisher Ubisoft said today that it beat its second quarter targets, reporting sales up 37 percent year-over-year to €175 million ($224 million).

Having beat projections during its first fiscal quarter as well, Ubisoft's sales thus far for the fiscal year are up 31.5 percent to €344 million ($441 million). For the quarter ending September 30, earnings were bolstered by the long-awaited release of Brothers in Arms Hell's Highway, which received a warm critical reception just seven days before the reporting period's end. Ubisoft's other top performers during the quarter included Soulcalibur IV (which it published in Europe), and a host of games from its casual line, such as Imagine Teacher, My Secret World by Imagine, and PlayZone Sports Party.

"Ubisoft delivered a robust performance in the second fiscal quarter against an uncertain environment," commented Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot in a statement. "We are carefully and regularly monitoring changes in the economic context in order to factor them into our market forecasts and financial targets. Going forward, we are confident that the video game industry will be able to continue its dynamic growth in 2008 and 2009, buoyed by the increase in the installed base for consoles coupled with the steady influx of new consumers."

For the publisher's part, it is viewing the upcoming holiday season as "the most important and diversified quarter in Ubisoft's history." For the traditional gaming sect, Ubisoft's third-quarter releases include Far Cry 2, which debuted this week to critical approbation, with real-time strategy game Tom Clancy's EndWar set to follow on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 November 4. On December 2, Ubisoft will anoint the latest Prince of Persia, while Shaun White Snowboarding is expected to taxi to the top of the mountain in November.

Much of Ubisoft's business is wrapped up in the casual gaming market, and the publisher has a number of titles positioned at the expanded sector as well. In November, the publisher will release the Wii Balance Board-enabled Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party for the Wii and DS. The two platforms will also see new installments in the Petz, Imagine, MyCoach, ENER-G, Jake Power, Planet Rescue, and PlayZone casual gaming franchises.

Today's earnings announcement wasn't without delays. In part due to what it called "good first-half trends," Ubisoft said it has bumped Related Designs' city-building strategy game Anno 1404 as well as an unannounced title from this fiscal year to the next. Those two games are now expected to arrive anywhere from April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010.

Ubisoft expects to continue its double-digit revenue growth into next year. While the publisher has made a habit of projecting well under its actual results, Ubisoft said today that it expects third-quarter earnings to amount to €500 million ($641 million), which would amount to an 11 percent year-over-year increase. The publisher also boosted its full-year outlook, projecting annual sales will now hit €1,050 million ($1.35 billion), up from previous estimates of €1,020 million ($1.31 billion).

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Discussion

16 comments
fd10956
fd10956

I just hope that Ubisoft adds less repetitive levels this time, but keep the great story line.

freeuser1
freeuser1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

money_man49
money_man49

This game sounds Nice :p Go Ubisoft!!!!

prioritymail
prioritymail

Go Ubisoft! My hands-down favorite game publisher

Pete5506
Pete5506

Go Ubisoft, some of the best people work there

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

Ubisoft is by far the best publisher out there. They recognize great games, with the occasional miss here and there, but overall they put out good games.As far as publisher/developer duos go, there is none better.

frvaca
frvaca

Ubisoft is the best!!! Well done.

Strigidae
Strigidae

Just what I expect from Ubisoft. Hope they release the next Assassins Creed game soon.

acsam12304
acsam12304

hope all this time the next splinter cell game will be worth the wait and the money

Toro_Nev
Toro_Nev

cool, but 2010 is still a long time to go

runstalker
runstalker

Far Cry 2 is excellent, huge, beautiful. You don't get these incredible production values from lesser developers. Presuming Prince of Persia is going to be another AAA must play. Cheers to Ubisoft for profiting from well made games. That's how you do it. *disclaimer: No idea about the casual label games however, haven't touched 'em.

MonkeyWrench127
MonkeyWrench127

Yeah... where the hell is Splinter Cell?!?!?!? But well done Ubisoft

EXxile
EXxile

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Agent_Smith343
Agent_Smith343

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]