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Ubisoft reports record bookings for 2023

Performance was driven by R6 Siege and AC, publisher reveals Assassin's Creed Shadows, set to launch in November

Assassin's Creed maker Ubisoft has released its 2023 fiscal year report, which says its sales grew by 27% to hit €2.3 billion ($2.5 billion).

Here's what you need to know for the 12-month period that ended on March 31, 2024.

The Numbers:

  • Sales: €2.3 billion ($2.5 billion), an increase of 27% year-over-year
  • Net bookings: €2.32 billion ($2.52 billion), an increase of 34% year-over-year
  • Operating income: €313.6 million ($341 million), compared to a loss of €586 million ($638 million) profit the previous year.

The Highlights:

Ubisoft's year-end report was headlined by record annual and Q4 net bookings, with the company citing particularly strong performances from the Rainbow Six and Assassin's Creed franchises.

Digital revenue for the year hit €2 billion ($2.2 billion), an increase of 34% compared to last year.

During the 12 months, its back catalog generated €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion) in revenue, a 49% year-on-year growth.

Ubisoft said its back catalog numbers were driven by a "stellar" performance from Rainbow Six Siege, which boasted "excellent results" in acquisition, activity, viewership, and monetization.

Additionally, its Assassin's Creed series performed well during Q4. This was attributed to the effect of the third quarter launch of Assassin's Creed Mirage and the inclusion of Assassin's Creed Valhalla on Xbox Game Pass.

The publisher said that its unique active users for PC/console grew by 4% year-over-year to 138 million.

Regarding Ubisoft's overall performance for the year, CEO Yves Guillemot said that the results "confirm that Ubisoft is back on track on its profitable growth trajectory."

"This year marked a pivotal first step in our turnaround, showcasing solid performance and the first benefits of our transformation toward a more balanced and recurring business model, one supported by multiple revenue streams," he said.

"The year also demonstrated the strength and value of our key assets, including our talented global teams, a diversified portfolio of high-quality franchises that drove our back-catalog revenues to all-time highs, passionate communities of fans across franchises, cutting-edge proprietary technologies, and a unique position in the gaming industry that enabled us to sign profitable partnerships."

The company noted that its strategy is now focused on two core verticals: open-world adventure and games as a service (GaaS)-native experiences.

Open-world adventure includes titles such as Far Cry and Assassin's Creed. Ubisoft categorizes games such as X-Defiant and The Division under the GaaS label.

As to why it chose those segments, the report said it was to "capitalize on our brands, secure strategic territories, and grow with multiplayer and mobile. Build and grow recurrence through social driven communities."

As part of its ongoing cost reduction plans, Ubisoft has halted the development of The Division Heartland and reallocated resources to XDefiant and Rainbow Six.

Additionally, as of March 31, 2024, Ubisoft's employee headcount is 19,011. The workforce figure represents a decrease of 1,700 staffers across 18 months, but Ubisoft added that employee retention has improved over that time.

"The cost reduction plan is well on track, with the FY 2023-24 fixed cost base standing at around €1.6 billion. This represents a year-on-year reduction of around €150 million, including a favorable foreign exchange impact," said the publisher.

Ubisoft's just-announced Assassin's Creed Shadows, set to launch November 15

Looking ahead:

Ubisoft projects that net bookings for Q1 of its 2025 fiscal year will hit approximately €275 million ($299 million), which would be up about 3% year-over-year.

It also noted the upcoming release of Star Wars Outlaws on August 30.

Meanwhile, the newly announced Assassin's Creed Shadows, an action title set in feudal Japan, will be launch on November 15. It will star dual protagonists, Naoe and Yasuke.

Additionally, Ubisoft will launch the "preseason" of free-to-play title XDefiant on May 21.

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Jeffrey Rousseau avatar
Jeffrey Rousseau: Jeffrey joined in March 2021. Based in Florida, his work focused on the intersectionality of games and media. He enjoys reading, podcasts, staying informed, and learning how people are tackling issues.
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