Ubisoft is now facing a mess. The publisher was under harm management after major reports of structural problems relating to sexual assault, other abuse, and neglect by high-performers within the company. At the beginning of the study for the 1st Q20/21, published yesterday, this surveillance is ongoing, with a comment by Yves Guillemot, CEO:
“We nonetheless face a very serious challenge following the recent allegations and accusations of misconduct and inappropriate behavior within our Group. I am determined to make profound changes to improve and strengthen our corporate culture. We already have acted swiftly and firmly, announcing and introducing large-scale initiatives intended to transform our organization.”
In the Q&A portion of the conference call, complaints against Ubisoft staff came up multiple times. Some of these investor concerns appeared to deal more lately with violence and corruption that had an impact on Ubisoft production ventures. Still, one deliberately crafted question directed at CEO Yves Guillemot. It was asked, paraphrased, how and why he did not know the company’s reputation for bullying or wrongdoing.
This is difficult not to report Ubisoft without, at least, focusing on the latest scandals and the apparent impact it has on the company’s reputation and the evident fact that this needs to be avoided by improvements.
Only put, for the organization, it was a big one, the best yet. The player behavior and each metric in figures. Ubisoft knew the CO VID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns confirmed. It was reported that in June and July events as in January and February took place, before significant raises in April and May, the conference call also reported.
Concerning the figures, Ubisoft made net bookings of €410 million for the three months ended June 30th, substantially exceeding its goal of €335 million. The back catalog of headings and microtransactions (repeating spending by users) for these titles was included. It was motivated by the lockout of employees, but also by the latest Ubisoft Forwards case that has, surprisingly, had an unprecedented high-peak audience, surpassing the company’s previous E3 meeting.
Primary indicators show that benefit from recent games coming from the Assassin’s Creed that net bookings have risen by 60 percent year-on-year have, according to the forthcoming Assassin’s Valhalla credits, partly been motivated by renewed interest. Nonetheless, the highest raise was Just Dance, with a net booking rise of 500% for the franchise YoY. One of the games described as Hyper Scape’s greatest success in the quarter was published later this summer, but during the technological reveal, it hit its highest level in Twitch.
How the future looks
Net bookings for the future are forecast by Ubisoft to be about €290 m, around 16% lower than last year’s second row. This prediction is focused mainly on the previous year’s estimates, which were significantly improved by Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint early shipments. The organization predicts net reservations between €2.35 and €2.65 billion for the current fiscal year and operating sales between €400 and €600 million.
The latest headlines of some editors revealing their intentions to increase rates for the coming wave of titles has been one topic taken up during the conference call. Ubisoft addressed the query by suggesting that all written news should remain in the current RRP (£50/$60) this year, around Christmas time. This leaves the possibility of price changes beginning in 2021, which could come after the reception of predictors of this proposal.
When it moves ahead, the possibility for further price increases will not affect the next financial year, but it should be looked at. What will drive Ubisoft further is to deliver games such as the recently announced Valhalla Creed of Assassin, Watch Dogs: Legion, Far Cry 6, all with release dates. In the next financial year, two new ‘AAA’ games will be announced with potentials such as Beyond Good and Evil 2, Skull & Bones, Gods and Monsters, and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow six Quarantine with free-to-play titles, including Roller Champions and Hyper Scape.
The future is looking bright for the company. While numbers will fall inevitably when the planet opens in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, Ubisoft has a great list of games to gain from the new wave of consoles and the desire to enjoy more of the series they love.