It’s little surprise to hear that a majority of Ubisoft’s revenue comes from digital distribution. We’ve been used to digital games on PC for some time, and it’s quickly becoming the standard across all platforms. What’s more surprising is just how those numbers break down – and how Ubisoft now makes more money from DLC than retail.
Ubisoft made €745 million in the six months ending on September 30. The only major release in that time was The Crew 2, though it does include all but the first week of Far Cry 5 sales. That revenue is still a marked increase of 60% compared to last year, led primarily by increased sales in the digital realm.
Digital revenue is up 51.5% compared to the previous year, totalling €519 million – that’s 69.6% of total Ubisoft revenue. That splits out to €256 million from full game sales, and €262 million from what these financial reports refer to as ‘player recurring investment.’ In more human terms, that’s DLC, in-game items, subscriptions, and advertising.
Break it down, and PRI accounts for 35.1% of Ubisoft revenue. Yes, over a third of Ubisoft’s revenue in the last six months was generated from DLC and microtransactions. The effect of those long term sales are somewhat more pronounced in a six month period without many big releases, but in last year’s full earnings, PRI had already reached 27.9% of net bookings. That number is continuing to rise.
Maybe you can get one over with free Crimsonveil Packs in Rainbow Six Siege, but don’t be surprised to see Ubisoft continuing to lean on long-term purchases and DLC to support its triple-A development.