Ubisoft Reports Operating Income Down 93%

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uninspiredcup

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#1  Edited By uninspiredcup  Online
Member since 2013 • 36021 Posts
Rayman, the only IP they haven't fucked up
Rayman, the only IP they haven't fucked up

Poo.

Ubisoft surprised observers last week when they announced that they would be delaying pretty much their entire slate of upcoming games, Watch Dogs: Legion, Gods and Monstersand Rainbow Six Quarantine, joining the already delayed Skull and Bones, all which will now arrive either in the back half of 2020 or early 2021.

The reason Ubisoft gave was that they wanted to make sure each title lived up to its potential, and they seemed particularly jarred by the overt failure of their “big” fall game, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, which dramatically underperformed both their financial and critical expectations.

Today, Ubisoft is reporting their first half 2019-2020 earnings, and their headline being that they’re being “led by a strong back catalogue” should give you some indication of how things went in this period.

Ubisoft touts record players for Rainbow Six Siege, its never-ending success story, and solid numbers for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey well after launch. In their entire 13 page laundry list of facts and figures, there is no mention of The Division 2 or its attempts at ongoing monetization. Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is highlighted only as an explanation for “operating income impairment,” which is down a massive 93.8% year over year. Net bookings are down 11.4% over the same period, with Q2 sales down 9% over last year.

Ubisoft is predicting a rather vacant Q3 as well, as it does not have any major releases besides Ghost Recon: Breakpoint in early October, and then things like the Stadia version of AC: Odyssey or free content updates like The Division’s Last Castle expansion. As such, Ubisoft is forecasting Q3 income to be down 32% over last year, and with all the upcoming delays, expect the following few quarters to be similarly empty with nothing truly major launching until the second half of 2020, closer to the new console generation.

Previously, Ubisoft had been praised for a number of success stories, including the miraculous, endless growth of Rainbow Six Siege, and the revitalization of the Assassin’s Creed franchise with Origins and Odyssey. But they are still trying to ride on those successes today, with newer entries making less of a splash. The Division 2 was fine, but it has not cultivated the explosive sales and sprawling fanbases of rival loot shooters like Destiny and Borderlands. Ghost Recon: Breakpoint was always a bad call for a signature fall release as it was a sequel that no one was asking for, with no real improvements over Wildlands, or even changes for the worse in many aspects.

It’s unclear where Ubisoft goes immediately from here, even when its slate of upcoming releases arrive after their delays. Gods and Monsters is an untested IP. Rainbow Six Quarantine is an interesting idea, but there’s no reason to assume it will emulate Siege’s success. Watch Dogs has always been a franchise on a knife’s edge for Ubisoft, and there are some concerns Legion’s central “play as anyone” concept could fall flat. And at this point I feel like we’ve been talking about Skull and Bones for so long that it will frankly be amazing if it ever comes out, and it’s still only half the pirate game Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag fans wanted in the first place. There are supposedly two more AAA games coming out in the 2020-21 fiscal year, presumably an Assassin’s Creed and a Far Cry, though no details are known about either yet. Ubisoft would be wise to make a new AC game a next generation staple as those consoles launch, which may happen with the rumored Vikings-based title that hasn’t been unveiled yet.

Ubisoft is spinning all this positively, though and still sees a bright future:

"Ubisoft's prospects are particularly promising,” said CEO Yves Guillemot.” Our numerous growth vectors going forward include the arrival of the next generation of consoles, the opening up of the Asian market and our partnership with Tencent for launching our franchises on mobile. All of these are strong value creation drivers for the medium term."

More to come, but for now, it’s going to be a lot of silence from Ubisoft for a while.

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Pedro

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#2 Pedro
Member since 2002 • 35802 Posts

As I have said in the last Anti Ubisoft, this really doesn't change anything.

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BenjaminBanklin

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#3  Edited By BenjaminBanklin  Online
Member since 2004 • 5175 Posts

Microsoft already looking to feast on their corpse once the profits totally dry up.

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Pedro

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#4 Pedro
Member since 2002 • 35802 Posts

@BenjaminBanklin said:

Microsoft already looking to feast on their corpse once the profits totally dry up.

WOW, you really can make everything about Microsoft.

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BenjaminBanklin

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#5 BenjaminBanklin  Online
Member since 2004 • 5175 Posts

@Pedro said:
@BenjaminBanklin said:

Microsoft already looking to feast on their corpse once the profits totally dry up.

WOW, you really can make everything about Microsoft.

You don't think they'll be the first bidder? I'll put money on it.

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dagubot

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#6 dagubot
Member since 2017 • 1438 Posts

@Pedro said:
@BenjaminBanklin said:

Microsoft already looking to feast on their corpse once the profits totally dry up.

WOW, you really can make everything about Microsoft.

Dude is more obsessed with Microsoft than lemmings...lmao.

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hrt_rulz01

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#7 hrt_rulz01
Member since 2006 • 19440 Posts

@Pedro said:
@BenjaminBanklin said:

Microsoft already looking to feast on their corpse once the profits totally dry up.

WOW, you really can make everything about Microsoft.

@dagubot said:
@Pedro said:
@BenjaminBanklin said:

Microsoft already looking to feast on their corpse once the profits totally dry up.

WOW, you really can make everything about Microsoft.

Dude is more obsessed with Microsoft than lemmings...lmao.

Lmao... says it all doesn't it.

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BenjaminBanklin

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#8 BenjaminBanklin  Online
Member since 2004 • 5175 Posts

@dagubot said:
@Pedro said:
@BenjaminBanklin said:

Microsoft already looking to feast on their corpse once the profits totally dry up.

WOW, you really can make everything about Microsoft.

Dude is more obsessed with Microsoft than lemmings...lmao.

Why you mad? Also, I don't even think that's remotely possible.

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R-Gamer

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#9 R-Gamer
Member since 2019 • 1067 Posts

@BenjaminBanklin: Very rarely do First party companies buy entire publishers.

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R4gn4r0k

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#10 R4gn4r0k  Online
Member since 2004 • 31886 Posts

Did they put all their eggs in the Ghost Recon basket or what?

Does leaving Steam have anything to do with it?

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locopatho

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#11 locopatho
Member since 2003 • 23684 Posts

Their excellent single player games succeeded. Their shitty "live service" multiplayer games failed.

This is good news. Their Zelda ripoff, Ass Creed Vikings, Watch Dogs Brexit and Far Cry Yugoslavia shall all be excellent games next year, I predict ;) No more "services", please!!!

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Random_Matt

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#12 Random_Matt
Member since 2013 • 4425 Posts

Don't mind Ubisoft, thought origins was the best AC to date.

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R4gn4r0k

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#13 R4gn4r0k  Online
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@locopatho said:

Their excellent single player games succeeded. Their shitty "live service" multiplayer games failed.

It says right there in the article that Rainbow Six Siege is their biggest success.

And yeah, I'm hoping for AC: Vikings too ^^

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Juub1990

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#14 Juub1990
Member since 2013 • 8836 Posts

I would have preferred AC with Romans rather than Greeks. I’d also like an AC outside of Europe to follow up Odyssey. AC Samurais or ancient China would be fantastic. Hell the Achaemenid Persian empire would be nice too.

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Valgaav_219

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#15 Valgaav_219
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@Juub1990 said:

I would have preferred AC with Romans rather than Greeks. I’d also like an AC outside of Europe to follow up Odyssey. AC Samurais or ancient China would be fantastic. Hell the Achaemenid Persian empire would be nice too.

That's a great idea but would Ubisoft really want the scrutiny of being directly compared to titles like Sekiro or Ghosts of Tsushima. They should stay in their own lane, otherwise they risk exposing their mediocracy lol

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#16 mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 44797 Posts

What i want to know is how GR Breakpoint made it out the door in that state. Were the people that tested the game not real gamers? Did they even test it out? Did they just pay people to tell them it was good?

With that said, it's a bit frightening that a company like Ubisoft, with so many successes under their belt--Division 2, Anno 1800, R6 Siege, Far Cry 5 and New Dawn, and so on--can suddenly do so poorly with, what? One poor selling game and one under-performing one?

Yikes.

Less is more, Ubisoft (and EA. and Activision). Less is more. Really hope they take that lesson to heart.

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PAL360

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#17  Edited By PAL360
Member since 2007 • 29655 Posts

Well, that's what happens when you release 5 ok games per year, instead of one brilliant game every 4 or 5 years.

Rockstar, CDPR, Naughty Dog, etc, are some of the most respected big companies for a reason.

Even though, i think Ubisoft has improved this gen compared to last one. At least they droped the awful checklist formula (AC1, AC2, AC3, AC Black Flag, FC3 and FC4) to a much more organic one (FC5, AC Origins and Odissey).

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PurpleMan5000

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#18 PurpleMan5000
Member since 2011 • 9840 Posts

They are a lot more dependent on Assassin's Creed than I realized.

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#19 Dark_sageX
Member since 2003 • 3445 Posts

ROFL at OP's sig! XD XD XD

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#20 Macutchi  Online
Member since 2007 • 6931 Posts
@PAL360 said:

Well, that's what happens when you release 5 ok games per year, instead of one brilliant game every 4 or 5 years.

yeah this, they've desperately been trying to find their golden cash cow a la gta or cod but haven't got the quality or vision to pull it off. i agree with pedro that ultimately it probably means nothing but anything that sends the message that soulless, gameplay-lite, busy work filled game design by numbers is a huge waste of the talent they have at their disposal is good in my eyes, whether the message gets through or not

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R4gn4r0k

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#21 R4gn4r0k  Online
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@PurpleMan5000 said:

They are a lot more dependent on Assassin's Creed than I realized.

Yeah, here I thought they were getting rich of the million special editions they have for each game they release.

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Guntster22

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#22 Guntster22
Member since 2019 • 39 Posts

Hopefully Ubisoft place more thought into their future products. No one wins when gaming companies struggle.

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PAL360

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#23 PAL360
Member since 2007 • 29655 Posts

@Macutchi said:
@PAL360 said:

Well, that's what happens when you release 5 ok games per year, instead of one brilliant game every 4 or 5 years.

yeah this, they've desperately been trying to find their golden cash cow a la gta or cod but haven't got the quality or vision to pull it off. i agree with pedro that ultimately it probably means nothing but anything that sends the message that soulless, gameplay-lite, busy work filled game design by numbers is a huge waste of the talent they have at their disposal is good in my eyes, whether the message gets through or not

I agree. I feel bad for the talented people who work in companies like Ubisoft or EA. That's why i love to support indie gaming, and their total creative freedom.

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Netret0120

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#24 Netret0120
Member since 2013 • 3572 Posts

Follow the Naughty Dog & Rockstar model.

Release 1 or 2 great games a gen that people will buy throughout the whole gen.

Seriously, who DOESN'T have GTA 5 at this point lol.

Quality over Quantity . The internet will break when the inevitable GTA 6 trailer drops.

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IgGy621985

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#25 IgGy621985
Member since 2004 • 5543 Posts

Ubisoft had a successful business model that worked for years with the majority of their franchises.

I mean, similar happened when they decided to delay AC development. Media predicted doom and gloom for Ubisoft.

This just shows some franchises need to take a break.

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#26 Daredevils2k
Member since 2015 • 2135 Posts

This is what happens when a company puts its main focus on games with service. Heck, you would think they saw what happened to MS’s Sea of thieves .

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#27 cainetao11
Member since 2006 • 36967 Posts

@uninspiredcup: The reason they haven't made a new Splinter Cell is because they don't know how to make it a "Live Services" type game ala Division and Ghost Recon imo.

Ubi has done this shit to games and I don't care to buy them anymore.