May 24, 2024

Video game maker Ubisoft posted full-year operating profits thanks to record bookings

French video game company Ubisoft announced on Wednesday that it achieved operating profits for the full year through the end of March. Record bookings helped the company recover a loss of 500 million euros, the largest loss in its history.

Ubisoft’s full-year net bookings rose 33.5% to €2.31 billion, with non-IFRS operating income of €401.5 million ($435.35 million).

“Our full-year 2024 results confirm that Ubisoft is back on track for profitable growth, with record annual net bookings and in the fourth quarter,” CEO Yves Guillemot said in a statement.

During the year, the company saw strong growth in the “Rainbow Six” and “Assassin’s Creed” franchises as well as new releases, which led to higher bookings and offset the much-delayed “Skull & Bones” game.

Michael Butcher, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, told Reuters that the game Skull & Bones, which was released last February, received bad reviews, which are among the lowest ratings for a Ubisoft game, and did not achieve significant sales.

Skull & Bones had a “slightly slower start than expected,” Ubisoft CFO Frederick Doggett said during a call with reporters, adding that it still had the second-best daily play time for a Ubisoft game.

The company hopes to increase player numbers and retain players for a longer period in the first half of the fiscal year, which begins on April 1.

To allay British antitrust concerns about Microsoft’s acquisition of Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard, the latter agreed to sell streaming rights to Ubisoft.

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Duguet said on the conference call that Ubisoft received seed payments from Microsoft in the first three months of the year, which already exceeded the company’s initial investment of between 50 million and 100 million euros.

The company expects net sales for the next quarter to reach approximately 275 million euros.