Ubisoft joins the frantic rush of 2013 financial reports, but after a strong report from most every other major publisher, Ubisoft is reporting that profits have decreased from its 2012 fiscal year despite strong sales from its biggest franchises.
All in all, Ubisoft's 2013 fiscal year saw the company make $986 million in profits, which is a respectable number that comes in a little shy of the $1.2 billion it made in 2012. I wouldn't credit the drop as showing a decrease in quality, but rather, 2012 was just such a huge and exciting year for Ubisoft that it set a high bar to follow up. I remember not being as excited for the company after its 2013 E3 presentation compared to how excited I was after 2012.
Yet, despite the drop in overall profits, Ubisoft still triumphed in Q4 of the fiscal year with a jump in profits of $265 million. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot pointed towards Obsidian Entertainment's South Park: The Stick of Truth and its "solid performance" and its "higher-than-expected digital distribution levels" for the reason of the unexpected profits.
Guillemot foresaw the return to "double-digit profitability" in the 2014 fiscal year with huge releases like Watch_Dogs, Far Cry 4, Just Dance, and Assassin's Creed Unity highlighting what is guaranteed to be a busy year for the company.
The biggest hits for Ubisoft in the 2013 fiscal year come from two of its longest established franchises. Naturally, Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag was a big hit selling 11 million copies worldwide. While Ubisoft reminded everyone that it was "the best-rated game of the Christmas season for PS4 and Xbox One," sales still dropped from the 12.5 million copies Assassin's Creed III moved.
Far Cry 3 was also another huge hit for Ubisoft. The once impenetrable first-person shooter series has found its balance point of critical and financial success in the third game, and it managed to find an audience of 9 million gamers to show for it.
We're looking forward to more Ubisoft games in 2014. We are already off to a great fiscal year with Child of Light and Valiant Hearts: The Great War showing the more artistic and personal side of the company while Watch_Dogs is set to break all kinds of records for the corporate business side.
What else can we expect to see from Ubisoft at E3 this year, and will it help them pull the profits up?