Overwhelmingly led by already-released games
[Update: Ubisoft has confirmed to us that Far Cry 5 does count as a back-catalog title for the purpose of the company’s first-quarter 2018-2019 sales figures. A representative responded to our inquiry by stating “Yes, Far Cry 5 qualifies as a back-catalog game. Back-catalog relates to games released in prior fiscal years, so that also means Rainbow Six Siege and For Honor are also considered back-catalog as well.]
Despite not launching anything that truly qualifies as a major release, Ubisoft has had a great start to its fiscal year. The best start ever, in fact.
Ubisoft has released its 2018-19 first quarter figures, and they’re record-breaking for the French publisher. With €400 million ($466.5 million) in sales, Ubisoft has raised its net bookings by 88.8 percent over the same period last year. Ubisoft’s first fiscal quarter ran from April 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018.
So how did Ubisoft have such a strong performance? The Crew 2 is the only big(gish) title that launched during the quarter. The effort was actually led by “back-catalog” games — presumably Rainbow Six Siege and For Honor which have both found steady, dedicated player bases. Back-catalog titles raked in €333 million ($388 million), and that represents 87.2 percent of net bookings and a 75 percent increase year-over-year.
However, this very well could include residual sales from Far Cry 5 which released on March 27, just four days ahead of the end of the 2017-2018 fiscal year. If Far Cry 5 qualifies as back-catalog, it starts to make a lot more sense as to where that huge increase came from. And, those sales have to be reported somewhere and this would be the only appropriate place. We’ve reached out to Ubisoft for clarification on this matter and we’ll update this article if/when we receive a response.
One more interesting tidbit from the financial report is a breakdown of sales by platform. PlayStation 4 still leads the way with 38 percent of sales (although it’s down from 44 percent at this time last year). PC has overtaken Xbox One as the second most popular platform. PC earned 24 percent of sales and Xbox accounted for 22 percent. These two have been dancing around each other for a while now as PC was ahead of Xbox during the first quarter of 2016-2017; Xbox took back over for the same quarter in 2017-2018. Switch sits at 5 percent, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering many of Ubisoft’s biggest properties — Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Rainbow Six, etc. — only release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.