Ubisoft meets FY24 sales targets at the cost of The Division Heartland

Ubisoft today released its financial earnings report for the full fiscal year 2023-24. The company reports about €2.3 billion in net bookings, or about $2.1 billion, a 33% year-over-year improvement, which it says is in line with its targets. Ubisoft also reports that it’s seeing growth thanks to strong performances from the Rainbow Six and Assassin’s Creed franchises. The company’s €200 million cost reduction program is also reportedly on track to reach its goal by FY26.

According to Ubisoft, it’s shifted its strategic focus towards reinforcing two pillars: Making the open-world adventure games for which it’s best known, and expanding its games-as-a-service presence. CEO Yves Guillemot said iin the earnings call that this year is a “pivotal first step” in bringing Ubisoft “back on track” adding, “With these core verticals, and leveraging ongoing investments in our technologies to reach and maintain a competitive advantage, we aim to drive growth and recurrence with the objective to gradually expand operating income and generate robust free cash flow.”

Ubisoft also revealed that its cost-reduction plan has resulted in a 1,700-person reduction in headcount between September 2022 and March 2024. The total number of employees stands at 19,011 as of the end of March. Frédérick Duguet, Ubisoft’s CFO, said, “While there remains work to be done in the coming years, we are on track to get back to free cash flow generation in FY25 and reach our €200m annual cost reduction objective by FY26.”

How are Ubisoft’s games doing?

The company gave more details about the performances of its individual games, and also released new information about its upcoming titles. Speaking of the latter, Ubisoft names two premium titles and three free-to-play titles in its FY25 lineup. The premium titles are Star Wars Outlaws and the recently revealed Assassin’s Creed Shadows. The free-to-play titles include XDefiant, which launches its preseason on May 21, and The Division Resurgence and Rainbow Six Mobile.

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Ubisoft also reports that, out of the new games, Skull and Bones and Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown showed high player engagement, though it didn’t give specific sales or player numbers. It also added that The Crew Motorfest is doing better than The Crew 2 on monetization and net bookings. The company also noted that its back catalog, Rainbow Six Siege and Assassin’s Creed in particular, are still bringing in new players.

However, Ubisoft noted one casualty of the aforementioned cost-reduction program: Namely, The Division Heartland. The company said in the earnings report: “Additionally, in line with the increased selectivity of its investments, Ubisoft has decided to stop development on The Division Heartland and has redeployed resources to bigger opportunities such as XDefiant and Rainbow Six.” Hearltand was a free-to-play third-person shooter originally announced in 2021, and would have been set in rural America.

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