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Far Cry 5, The Crew delayed as Ubisoft revises profitability targets

The publisher is also moving one of its unannounced titles as it expects better profit for the 2017-18 fiscal year

A lot of people are looking forward to Far Cry 5, in no small part because of its Montana setting amid rising political and ideological tension in the US, but now those people will be waiting an extra month as French publisher Ubisoft has pushed the game's release to March 27. Ubisoft also moved The Crew from March 16 into the first half of the 2018-19 fiscal year and it delayed an unannounced title that had been planned for 2018-19 Fiscal into 2019-20 Fiscal. All three games will now benefit from investments in further development time, the company said.

"This decision is in line with our strategic vision of developing even more engaging and higher quality experiences for gamers," noted Christine Burgess-Quémard, Ubisoft's Worldwide Studios Executive Director. "Taking more time with Assassin's Creed Origins enabled our talented development team to fully express their creative vision. As expected, this had a very positive impact on the game's quality and largely participated to its commercial success. Taking a similar approach, we have decided to invest additional development time in three upcoming games."

Ubisoft decided to make this announcement timed with a revision upwards to its profitability targets. Citing "continued excellent sales momentum both for back-catalog and new releases" in November, the publisher now expects sales in the current fiscal year to total €1.640 billion with third-quarter (the holiday period) sales of €700 million, and Non-IFRS operating income unchanged at €270 million. Importantly, it also expects a record-high non-IFRS operating margin of 16.5% versus 15.9% previously.

Alain Martinez, Chief Financial Officer, stated: "Our back-catalog performance throughout November followed the same excellent trends as in the first half of the year and sales for Assassin's Creed Origins continued their positive launch trajectory. As a result, we are now in a position to both update our financial 2017-18 targets, notably by revising our profitability upward, as well as invest additional development time in our future releases. These positive evolutions, which also give us higher visibility for 2018-19, demonstrate we are successfully transforming our model to make our business more recurring and profitable."

Ubisoft's next financial report is due on February 8, 2018.

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