Ubisoft‘s first quarter earnings have revealed a drop in sales compared to the same quarter during the last financial year, something the publisher was expecting. To halt this decline, Ubisoft wants to expand the size of the audience for some of their franchises by expanding them into the free-to-play sector, but this doesn’t imply they are going to be utterly forgetting about premium titles — they’ve “ambitious plans” for these too.

The 17% drop in gross sales in contrast to this time final yr was predicted by the writer due to various components. Not solely did they not have a significant launch inside the first free months of the yr, the writer was benefitting from a massive boom in sales final yr due to the coronavirus pandemic. During this quarter, greater than 94% of gross sales have been from Ubisoft’s again catalogue of titles as many video games acquired important updates and/or DLC, like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs: Legion, Immortals: Fenyx Rising, and Rainbow Six: Siege.

While gross sales through the subsequent quarter are anticipated to be related, Ubisoft feels the second half of the yr can be way more worthwhile. One of the methods they are going to be doing that is to invest in free-to-play titles; 20% of the writer’s yearly funding can be within the F2P sector. The Division is likely one of the franchises to be launched to a wider viewers with The Division Heartland and Tom Clancy’s The Division on mobile. Tom Clancy’s XDefiant has just been announced, and there will even be one other unannounced cell sport aiming for the ultimate quarter of the yr.

The remaining 80% of the price range can be geared toward premium AAA titles. These are available in three classes, the primary of which is present franchises that can quickly be expanded. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will get a second year of content and Far Cry 6 can be released in OctoberRainbow Six Siege has just lately reached a milestone of 75 million gamers and Ubisoft hopes Rainbow Six Extraction will enchantment to each present and new gamers. Beyond Good and Evil 2 additionally remains in development however isn’t any nearer to getting a launch window.

The second class is the creation of latest IPs. While Riders Republic can be released in October and can be a dwell service title with loads of updates, the destiny of Skull & Bones is much less unsure. While the game has passed alpha, developer turmoil threatens its future. The last class is video games based mostly on main leisure manufacturers. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is a standalone story in the Avatar universe, whereas Ubisoft Massive continues to work on their Star Wars title.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot concluded their presentation by explaining the writer’s plans:

The trade continues to provide vivid prospects. With our high-quality manufacturers, know-how and distinctive groups, Ubisoft is ideally positioned over the approaching years to ship double-digit topline progress in addition to continued profitability development main to a cloth rise in working revenue.

Read More on Ubisoft

[Source: Ubisoft, Ubisoft Conference Call through Daniel Ahmad on Twitter (1, 2)]