It continues to be financial report season, and Ubisoft are the latest to provide their third quarter results covering the end of calendar year 2017. The French publisher reports €725 million in sales for the quarter, outstripping their estimate of €700 million - already revised from their original target of €630 million.
What Ubisoft titles made the list of the best PC games of 2017?
Among the reasons for their success, Ubisoft cite exceptional performance from Assassin’s Creed Origins, which is expected to see double the playtime from players over Syndicate two years ago. Naturally, that’s important as Ubisoft continue to focus their business on support for live games - and while the company hasn’t yet committed to a new AC title this year, they do say there will be more content for Origins.
There’s also Rainbow Six Siege, which slowly grew to a regular top five game on Steam and a popular esports title, driving even further interest. That comes along with increased digital sales overall - translating to bigger margins for Ubisoft without retail taking a cut.
Sales are expected to drop a bit year over year for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018 (ending March 31), with a target of €449 million, compared with €648.6 million for the same time period last year. That’s to be expected, however, since fourth quarter last year saw the releases of both Ghost Recon Wildlands and For Honor, while this year will see Far Cry 5 as the only standalone release mere days before the end of the quarter.
Ubisoft also say they’re looking at significant growth in the future, and PC gaming is one of the primary reasons why. They see PC gamers playing 30% more hours than those on consoles, and 37% more likely to buy extra content. Additionally, most of esports is focused on PC titles, and PC gamers are the “most engaged on social media” and “most influential” players out there. The fact that the massive Chinese market is almost exclusively on PC certainly doesn’t hurt, either.
The company believes they’re in a solid position to expand reach on PC, with a big catalog focused on the “multiplayer and RPG” titles that are strong on the platform. They also cite “high quality PC versions yielding stronger Steam user ratings” as well as “great online services through Ubisoft Club platform” as further reasons for success on PC.
Some PC players might point to frustration over Uplay and the controversial DRM of Assassin’s Creed Origins as marks against Ubisoft’s plans for PC, but the game’s “very positive” user rating on Steam doesn’t show much of an ill effect from either controversy. The company says within the past five years, PC sales have more than doubled from 7% of their business to 18% now.