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Net bookings decline, but still beat expectations as Ubisoft closes out Q2

Net bookings decline, but still beat expectations as Ubisoft closes out Q2

October 30, 2019 | By Alissa McAloon

The close of Ubisoft’s second quarter, and the first half of its fiscal year, saw the studio’s back catalog of titles, including the likes of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Rainbow Six Siege, carry it past net booking targets for the period.

Ubisoft is usually able to boast strong performance from its back catalog, a trend that continues at the close of Q2.

Rainbow Six Siege, a 2015 release, surpassed 50 million registered players and hit record (but undisclosed) highs for monthly active users during the quarter ending September 30.

Likewise, Ubisoft says Assassin’s Creed Odyssey continues to beat player engagement, recurring investment, and sell-through when compared to its predecessor Assassin’s Creed Origins’ performance last year.  

For just the second quarter, sales (reported under the IFRS 15 accounting standard) came in at €334.1 million (~$372.3 million), down 9 percent year-over-year. Net bookings, meanwhile, were reported as €346.9 million (~$346.9 million) for the quarter, down 4.9 percent but less of a decline than Ubisoft had previously forecasted.

For the first six months of FY20, Ubisoft reported IFRS 15 sales of €697.5 million (~$777.3 million), down 9.1 percent year-over-year, and net bookings of €661.1 million ($736.8 million), down 11.4 percent from the year prior. Income from player recurring investment, meanwhile, rose 18.3 percent year-over-year to €310 million (~$345.5 million).

Non-IFRS operating income declined to €6.9 million (~$7.7 million) from €110.2 million (~$122.9 million), with Ubisoft noting that the figure was affected by impairment charges record for Ghost Recon Breakpoint, a recent release that launched below expectations. 

The company’s report also includes the significantly lowered full-year forecasts announced earlier this week. Those alterations saw projected full-year net bookings drop from €2.185 billion (~$2.428 billion) to a €1.45 billion (~$1.611 billion), and non-IFRS operating income decrease from €480 million (~$533.3 million) to the range of €20 million - €50 million (~$22.2 million - $55.6 million).

The changes, as detailed a call held alongside the release, are due to delays that pushed several planned released out of fiscal 2019-20 after two recent games, Ghost Recon Breakpoint and (to a lesser extent) The Division 2, failed to meet expectations. Ubisoft particularly noted in that call that Breakpoint, released October 3, saw “very disappointing” reception, both from critics and players, causing the company to delay titles to ensure those new releases avoided the same fate.

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