Ubisoft Q1 2019 Report
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How’s it going everybody, Adrian Simple here from The Gaming Observer. It is July 17th, 2019, and Ubisoft just released their Q1 financials, so let’s take a look here. Thegamingobserver.com for links and a transcript.
The whole report is led by their net bookings, which is down 17% year over year, but is actually higher than their predictions. They originally forecasted €270 million, and they came about 45 million above that. Not only that, but Player Recurring Investments were close to 50% of the bookings, so they’ve got a lot of user investment, which is up 20% year-over-year. That’s a really good sign for Ubisoft, and that number will probably only go up with the announced Uplay+.
They credit their bookings to a couple of games here, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Rainbow Six Siege, and The Division 2. They called Siege “one of the industry’s top-ten best-selling titles over the last five years”, which is for any games sold at $60, so obviously it won’t include free-to-play games. That’s an interesting one, I can’t say I would have predicted that one. Obviously it has seen success thanks to the constant interest over the years, but there are a lot of titles that could pull that off that aren’t yearly releases. Look at the Nintendo games, or things like The Witcher 3, Destiny 2. I mean, they’re all probably in that stat as well, but I’d be curious to know where in the top 10 Siege would be. They call The Division 2 the best selling game since the beginning of the year, which probably makes sense. It would be competing with Kingdom Hearts III, Mortal Kombat 11, and probably Crash Team Racing if it had a bit more time.
Sales, which under IFRS is basically revenue, is down 9%. They didn’t have a runaway game this quarter, as you can see with 86% of their bookings being from the back-catalog, so this isn’t a bad stat at all.
CEO Yves Guillemot calls their fiscal year lineup the strongest in the last five years, which includes Rainbow Six Quarantine, Gods & Monsters, Watch_Dogs Legion, and Ghost Recon Breakpoint. He’s probably right, I took a look at the last five years and I can’t say that one is definitely better. 2016-2017 is close, it had Trials of the Blood Dragon, Watch Dogs 2, AC: Origins, and For Honor. In terms of revenue though, it’s no contest.
In terms of predictions, they’re expecting a 15% downgrade on bookings, which is apt considering their lineup for Q2. They’ve got a whole bunch of DLC coming up, with two pretty minor releases. So they’re gonna ride on the 50% PRI this quarter, but Q3 and Q4 will be much better for them with the lineup they’ve got, and with the Uplay+ launch in September.
The only significant note in the breakdowns is that PC jumped up 10% this quarter, though that can be attributed to the Anno 1800 release. There was speculation that this may rise even more with Uplay+. Otherwise, things are pretty standard across regions and platforms.
Okay, so that is Ubisoft’s Q1 2019. Let me know if you enjoy this kind of content on the YouTube channel, and if you’d like to see more of it. I know it’s short, but it gives you an idea of where the company is at without having to do all of the research yourself. A big thanks to Brandon for supporting videos like this through Patreon. My name is Adrian Simple, see you tonight with the daily update, and happy gaming everyone.
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Sony buys Insomniac Games, details on Death Stranding, Nintendo & more
If you’re a PlayStation owner who loved last year’s Spider-Man as much as the critics (and just about everybody else), then Sony’s newly-announced plan to snag Spidey developer Insomniac Games in its web of in-house development studios probably comes as welcome news.
Just ahead of the kickoff of this year’s Gamescom convention in Germany, Sony revealed that it just acquired Insomniac as the newest member of its elite roster of first-party studios — meaning that any future projects that Insomniac puts out will likely remain firmly encamped in Sony’s lineup of PlayStation exclusives.
Spider-Man already lit up the gaming charts just on the strength of its PS4-only availability, and Insomniac already has a long track record making games that align with the PlayStation brand (like the original Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet & Clank, and the Resistance shooter series).
Sony Interactive’s Shawn Layden even tipped his hat to the role Spider-Man’s success played in the timing of the pickup, telling The Hollywood Reporter the hot-selling game “underscores how consequential Insomniac is to gaming in the overall… There are just a clutch of studios in that independent sphere who are at an accomplishment level of something like Insomniac. They are a very rare bird and we felt that this was the time to formalize the relationship.”
By formally joining team Sony, Insomniac stands alongside makers of other critically-acclaimed PS exclusives like Horizon: Zero Dawn developer Guerilla Games, Little Big Planet maker Media Molecule, and Uncharted creator Naughty Dog. We don’t know what Insomniac has in the works next, but if it does even half as well as Spider-Man (which has sold more than 13 million copies to date, via Polygon), we’d call it a welcome addition to Sony’s in-house friendly neighborhood of PlayStation game makers.
Tons of other cool tidbits dropped from Gamescom’s first day, including a handful of new details about Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima’s first post-Metal Gear game.
Apparently, all those babies we’ve been seeing trapped in jars in previous Death Stranding trailers are integral to tying the game’s fragmented world together, with the one that star Norman Reedus’ character carries — nicknamed “Bridge Baby,” or just “BB” for short — serving as a bridge between the worlds of the living and the dead, according to Game Informer.
Kojima himself turned up at Gamescom to unveil an exclusive new Stranding trailer that showed off Sam (played by Reedus) peeing, an act that’s reportedly a repeatable game mechanic that can yield some kind of player perk, according to Gamesradar+. If that’s not enough to get you even more curious ahead of the game’s Nov. 8 release, then have another drink: Death Stranding hits PlayStation 4 this Nov. 8.
A cyber-dude having a heart-to-heart talk with his robo-cycle: that’s the Gamescom intro we got in Disintegration, the upcoming sci-fi game announced from Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto and V1 Interactive.
Check out the reveal trailer for Disintegration below, which takes off on a riding tour of the game’s post-apocalyptic world. The game reportedly will be a first-person shooter that serves up both a single-player campaign and a multiplayer experience, and is due for a 2020 release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Nintendo opened Gamescom with a 23-minute sizzle reel showcasing a batch of new indie games, and a common thread that seems to run throughout the whole thing is a whimsical take on science fiction, from one developer after another.
Whether it’s the rolling, bumping action of 2D side-scroller Earth Night (which tackles the “dragon apocalypse”) or the wild, Little Big Planet vibes we got from the deconstructed world of Youropa (which features a cutesy yellow character hopping across the ruins of the Eiffel Tower), the indies on display from Nintendo definitely don’t look like they’re being done on a shoestring budget.
Buckle in for a wild ride and check ‘em all out in the trailer below:
Finally, there’s nothing whimsical about the new gameplay trailer for Predator: Hunting Grounds, an “immersive asymmetrical shooter set in remote areas around the world,” as the description notes. And thankfully, it teases the alien stalker series returning to its stifling, lost-in-the-jungle roots.
“Play as a member of an elite Fireteam and complete paramilitary operations before the Predator finds you,” teases developer IllFonic of the game, which lets players control every character. “Or, play as the Predator to hunt the most worthy prey, choosing from your vast array of deadly alien tech to collect your trophies, one by one.”
Check out the new trailer above, and get Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Glover on speed dial now — Predator: Hunting Grounds is set to arrive on Earth sometime next year for PlayStation 4.