Ubisoft Leans on Assassin’s Creed for Fiscal Recovery

KEY TAKEAWAYS
Ubisoft faced a challenging fiscal year with a significant drop in net sales and an operating loss.
The Assassin's Creed franchise remained a financial stronghold for Ubisoft, with Assassin's Creed Valhalla performing well and generating higher revenue per player.
Ubisoft plans to increase the number of people working on the Assassin's Creed franchise by 40% and release several new titles under the franchise, including Assassin's Creed Mirage.
Ubisoft is implementing targeted restructurings and cost-cutting measures, reducing its global headcount and focusing on major franchises.
Apart from Assassin's Creed, Ubisoft has a diverse portfolio of upcoming games, including Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Tom Clancy's The Division Resurgence, Rainbow Six Mobile, and others.
Ubisoft is interested in exploring generative AI and believes it can be a game-changer for the creative industries.
Despite the challenges, Ubisoft maintains an optimistic outlook and anticipates a turnaround in the coming year with projected income.
The strategic focus on the Assassin's Creed franchise, along with a diverse portfolio and interest in generative AI, aims to secure Ubisoft's future in the competitive gaming industry.

 

Following a financially taxing year, Ubisoft, the French video game publisher, is fortifying its position in the gaming industry by concentrating on one of its most successful franchises, Assassin’s Creed.

A Tough Year for Ubisoft

The fiscal year proved challenging for Ubisoft, with the company reporting a significant drop in net sales of 14.6% from last year.

The decline, totaling €1.81 billion ($1.97 billion), resulted in an operating loss of €500 million ($543 million).

This downturn was primarily due to the underperformance of major releases like Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope and Just Dance 2023.

Despite the scarcity of new releases, the Assassin’s Creed franchise remained a financial stronghold, recording an impressive increase in active users and revenue per player.

Assassin’s Creed: A Lifeline for Ubisoft

The franchise’s latest title, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, has been instrumental in Ubisoft’s sustained income, boasting 44% more players life-to-date than its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and 19% more than Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

Additionally, Valhalla has generated higher revenue per player, a promising sign for the franchise’s future.

Ubisoft has taken note of this trend, announcing that it will increase the number of people working on the Assassin’s Creed franchise by 40% in the coming years.

The move is part of a strategic plan to focus on the company’s most significant growth opportunities.

As part of this decision, Ubisoft is preparing to release several new titles under the Assassin’s Creed banner, including Assassin’s Creed Mirage and three other major games.

An additional VR game and a mobile game are also in the pipeline.

The franchise’s latest title, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, has been instrumental in Ubisoft’s sustained income, boasting 44% more players life-to-date than its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and 19% more than Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

Restructuring Amid Challenges

Despite the promising outlook for the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Ubisoft is also implementing a series of targeted restructurings, which, along with other cost-cutting measures, have reduced the company’s global headcount to below 20,000 from a previous total of over 20,700.

Ubisoft aims to continue this control on recruitments and divest non-core assets, thereby dedicating more resources to its major franchises.

A Diverse Portfolio of Upcoming Games

While Assassin’s Creed remains a primary focus, Ubisoft has several other projects planned for the next fiscal year.

Among the anticipated releases are Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Tom Clancy’s The Division Resurgence, Rainbow Six Mobile, The Crew Motorfest, Skull and Bones, XDefiant, and an as-yet-unnamed large game.

The company’s interest in expanding its gaming portfolio also extends to generative AI. Ubisoft is eager to adopt this technology, believing it to be a game-changer for the creative industries. 

Already, creators and developers within the company are experimenting with the technology, promising an exciting future for Ubisoft’s game development.

Optimistic Outlook for Ubisoft’s Future

Despite the challenges faced, Ubisoft maintains an optimistic outlook, anticipating an income of €400 million ($435 million) for the coming year – a significant turnaround from the previous year’s loss.

It seems Ubisoft’s strategic focus on the Assassin’s Creed franchise, coupled with a diverse portfolio of upcoming games and a keen interest in generative AI, could be the winning combination to secure its future in the competitive gaming industry.

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