Ubisoft had a record breaking first half in 2023, generating a massive €836 million ($885.2 million) in revenue over the period, representing a 14.3% increase from the same period of 2022, according to the company’s latest financial report.
Net Bookings for the period also saw a 17.6% increase, standing at €822.4 million ($934.8 million). The majority of this income came from the company’s back catalog, which generated €694.6 million ($735.9 million). Among the most successful titles in the company’s back catalog was Rainbow Six Siege, which saw a 50% growth in net bookings over the period.
In particular, the second quarter proved massively successful for Ubisoft, with net bookings of €554.8 million ($587.8 million), representing a 36.6% increase from the same period in 2022 and well above the company’s target of €350 million ($370.8 million). This strong performance was led by the record launch of The Crew Motorfest, as well as a solid launch for Assassin’s Creed Mirage.
“Ubisoft delivered an excellent second quarter, well above our expectations,” said co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot. “Activity was mostly driven by the performance of our back catalog, thanks in particular to the remarkable growth of Rainbow Six Siege, in an overall competitive environment for first-person shooter games. I want to pay tribute to the exceptional level of commitment from our teams, who have done amazing work on this game to deliver top quality content across platforms. The signing of new partnerships also contributed to the overall quarter performance, confirming once again that Ubisoft is one of the most sought-after partners in the industry, with highly recognised brands and assets.
“We are also pleased with the sales momentum demonstrated by our two new releases, which mark the successful return of Ubisoft’s IPs among the major games launches of the industry. The Assassin’s Creed Mirage and The Crew Motorfest teams, respectively led by Ubisoft Bordeaux and Ivory Tower, have done a wonderful job to prepare the release of these new opuses, and the response from the community and fans has been fantastic.”
When discussing Ubisoft’s financial performance over the past few months, we’d be remiss not to mention the company’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard’s cloud gaming rights. The deal, which allowed Microsoft to close its acquisition of Activision Blizzard in turn, means that Ubisoft will generate revenue from Activision Blizzard’s slate of titles, including the massive Call of Duty franchise which proved to be a point of contention for regulators and competitors alike.
“October saw the finalisation of a major agreement with Activision Blizzard, which will grant Ubisoft the perpetual streaming rights for Call of Duty and all other existing Activision Blizzard Console and PC titles as well as those releasing over the next 15 years,” said Guillemot. “The cloud gaming market has a strong potential, and Ubisoft can play a leading role in its realisation. This deal will enable us to deliver even more experiences to more players across the world than ever before, one of the cornerstones of our strategy.
“Looking ahead, the current positive momentum builds confidence for the rest of the year as well as for next fiscal year. We are excited to bring our future lineup to players, and to deliver on our strategy and continue reaching larger audiences and building an increasingly recurring business thanks to major brands and live services.”
Despite the overall success of Ubisoft, the company did have some cost reductions, with mobile studios unfortunately being on the chopping block. The company is engaged in consultations regarding the proposed closure of Hungry Shark developer Ubisoft London, with the development of the franchise potentially being moved to the Ubisoft Barcelona Mobile studio. The company has also seen a reduction in staff, with 19,410 worldwide at the end of September 2023 compared to 20,729 at the end of September 2022 - a fall of 6.3%.
Despite this, the company still has high hopes for the future of its mobile division. Assassin’s Creed Mirage is just one of the console titles set to make their mobile debut on the Apple 15 Pro in early 2024. Additionally, the company launched the first closed beta test for the mobile exclusive Assassin’s Creed: Codename Jade in August, being the first effort to bring the game’s familiar gameplay to mobile natively. A release date for the title has yet to be announced.