Ubisoft today released its earnings report for the first quarter of its fiscal year, and the publisher's numbers showed a significant year-over-year drop.
For the three months ended June 30, Ubisoft reported net sales down 14% to €353 million ($415 million), with net bookings down 21% to €326 million ($384 million).
While the bookings total was slightly above Ubisoft's forecast, the publisher was facing a difficult comparison to last year's first quarter when the pandemic pushed sales to record highs despite a release slate headlined by the Stadia debut of Monopoly and new seasons for Rainbow Six: Siege and For Honor.
This year's first quarter had a more robust lineup of releases, including Uno: 50th Anniversary and new updates for Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs: Legion, Immortals Fenyx Rising, Rainbow Six: Siege, Anno 1800, For Honor, and The Division 2.
Looking ahead, Ubisoft is forecasting second quarter net bookings of €340 million ($400 million), which would be down a little more than 1% year-over-year. That reflects a release slate led by another assortment of updates for its franchises, as well as the China-exclusive Switch game Rabbids Adventure Party and the launch of the Rocksmith+ service on PC.
The publisher expects to make up for these declines in the second half, and told investors it is expecting single-digit growth in net bookings for the full year.
In a post-earnings call, Guillemot emphasized the publisher's strategy to expand its traditional AAA premium content business while also releasing free-to-play entries of its brands in order to expand the overall audience.
Guillemot said the publisher is putting 80% of its future content investments into premium content titles, with the remaining 20% focuses on expanding its free-to-play slate.