Ubisoft FY 2012-13 Q3 Sales Call [WiiU/Vita Sales, AC:L 600K, PC/Console Split, More]

iMax

Member
Dec 5, 2012
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www.neogaf.com


Conference call begins at 18:15 CET (17:15 UTC). Paraphrased live transcription will be posted below!

  • Thanks for joining us!
  • This quarter has been a turning point for us.
  • 11% Market Share threshold passed in calendar 2012.
  • Calendar 2012 insights: physical market went down est. 20% (more than expected: US 22%, 15%), most decline attributed to consumers waiting for next-gen to come. This cycle has lasted too long and lacked major hardware innnovation. We are getting closer and closer to this new generation, boosting the market significantly, boosting Ubisoft's performance.
  • Assassin's Creed delivers great revenues and profitability. Great asset for Ubisoft.
  • Far Cry 3 - sold 4.5mil units, way better than expected. 2x better than Far Cry 2 in half of the time. Fantastic open world gameplay, making it unique. Nothing like it. Gamers love it. Expect Far Cry 3 to continue well in coming months.
  • Players eagerly waiting next Far Cry. 4 year gap between 2 and 3. We worked hard to find right gameplay. Now we have it. Fans won't have to wait 4 more years for the next one.
  • Drive from digital distribution from XBL, PSN, Uplay, Steam are not taken into account in monthly NPD. As a reference, it is fair to expect digital distribution to represent 6-7% of each game. This % should continue to grow in future.
  • Total back catalogue revenue down 1% versus last year in 1st 9 months of the year.
  • Online sales boosted by F2P. 137% for first 9 months of year. Postponed some titles in next fiscal year, e.g. Assassin's Creed Utopia. Optimistic of F2P prospects.
  • Trials Evolution (Xbox LIVE) was rated as one of the best games of the year. Set to be released on PC in March.
  • Wii U: satisifed by US/EU market share. 20%/27%. Nintendo's upcoming brands will boost potential.
  • Just Dance better than prior expectation. Close to 8mil units sold. Franchise demonstrating it is unique. Very committed fanbase. Success stems from combination of the best songs and high quality/innovative gameplay, casual, easy to play, fun experience. 2nd biggest seller in US in September. Calendar 12 5th biggest seller in world.
  • Looking forward we believe momentum will continue. Stronger core segment, digital distribution, F2P. Trends compensate for drop in casual revenues. Core games coming up include Splinter Cell Blacklist and Watch Dogs. Will benefit from stronger focus.
  • Splinter Cell has been in making for 3yrs, will be a great title. Much larger scope, deeper single/co-op/multiplayer. The game looks/feels fantastic. Players get free reign to create Sam Fisher to meet their game style. Assassin's Creed/Far Cry demonstrates players want to define their own experience. Splinter Cell Blacklist is doing just that. The additional time transforms it from 'good' to 'fantastic' and will be beneficial.
  • Watch Dogs. So much confidence, similar to when we launched Assassin's Creed. We are eagerly looking forward to reveal more details. Stay tuned for more. It will come.
  • Proud to announce FY 14 new Assassin's Creed by new team/new time period. Another major leap forward for franchise. More details to come.
  • Rayman Legends now multiplatform on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U (FY 14).
  • Other titles coming for FY 14 include Shootmania. (note: no reference of Rainbow 6)
  • Next-gen is coming. Believe it will boost market. Pipeline of franchises and new IPs, releasing more regularly. All combines with online expertise and know how, arriving with next-gen and growth of online market.



Q: Talk about next-gen. How much cost is anticipated in next FY to come from development in next-gen?
A: We are clearly not in a position to give further details, as people understand. So it's complicated to breakdown investment by platform. I apologise. We can say when we develop titles, now we develop on many formats.

Q: You said 16% of FC3 sales came from Digital. 16% of overall or PC?
A: Overall. Might be interesting for you that going forward (this can change), on average, on new release products about 6-7% of sales will be digital, up from <2%. Interesting reference, of course each game might change. We know it will continue to grow. Back catalogue, digital distribution is getting closer to 50%. 6-7% is more for new releases.

Q: Just Dance. New version coming out Fiscal 14? Do you expect franchise growth?
A: Only gave indication of overall casual market, we anticipate a gain in core games and digital revenue, year of download trends (casual).

Q: What's your thought at this point on the contribution from Wii U this year?
A: I think we are holding at about €40mil of sales this quarter. Considering Ray-Man delay, between €40-50mil, not as big as we anticipated.

Q: Far Cry follow on sales, post Black Friday.
A: Very good actually. Game continues to sell well in US/EU, expect it will continue to grow, DLC is coming. One of our strongest products for last 3 weeks, doing well on digital.

Q: Coming quarter?
A: We have been prudent about guidance for end of FY. We are seeing market is tough, given fact we have postponed a few products, we prefer to take prudent stance on Q4. We have to wait 'til May to give you more.

Q: How was January?
A: As we said, top games have been doing well. Our strongest product is probably FC3 right now, in line with expectations.

Q: Recent acquisition.
A: We are going to see projects in the long run. We will be able to work with those resources on the products we are working towards for next year. Studio will be part of our network of studios and will help to grow upcoming games. South Park was a few months away from release when bought, we are excited, has potential. In the case of THQ Montreal, we don't feel we overpaid. We have both a team working on an interesting long term project, and long term resources on our other projects. Good addition to our resources.

Q: Can we expect other acquisitions?
A: Unless somebody else goes bankrupt, I don't know. I hope not! Normally we would be more focused on online/digital/mobile, it just happened to be the right price and a good deal.

Q: Talk about PSN/XBL downloads?
A: This is becoming more and more important on consoles. Sony pushed that first, we think Microsoft will make it happen closer to the launch of games at retail. PC downloads are more than 50% of revenue (Quoted Far Cry figures include all platforms). PC is giving more of a push, if consoles becomes more connected, we might have a boost. Nintendo is doing more than they used to on that front.

Q: Vita Digital Downloads?
A: 15-20%, more important in US than EU.

Q: After your heavy support for Vita, 3DS, Wii U - are you rethinking SKU counts for hardware launches?
A: We have always been early on new consoles. Sometimes it works, sometimes less effective. With new console launch, it's interesting for us, to make them shine on the market. It's a strategy to push our brand and to create new IPs. You have to look at this strategy in the short term and long term. Regarding Vita, last FY, we did pretty well on Assassin's Creed, close to 600k units - pretty happy with figure. I wouldn't discount PSVita, right quality, it might work.

Q: Pretty much everything has gone right for you, still looking at 25% lower operating profit though. Curious, what is your longer term view on operating margin?
A: It's very important to consider the business growth in two dimensions in current-gen and next-gen. Other side is F2P and digital. This has been a large investment for us. We will have revenue coming from next-gen, very good quality products using best technology possible.
Mobile/Digital helps growth in territories where consoles are not so strong. We mentioned casual went down 30%, Wii U went down quite significantly, stopped Facebook operation. We had some great success. One thing to consider on new consoles, always very interesting to develop at beginning of console, e.g. Wii U costs are getting cheaper. Continue to develop brands across all platforms. If machine takes off as we expect, we will get good revenues, like Vita this year.

Q: Looking at next-gen, do you have any clarity on console differences, forward/back-compat, core engine development transition?
A: The machines have fantastic potential, they will help the industry to grow exponentially because they are bringing innovation that will be fantastic for the industry. For 1st 2 years of next-gen, we expect no cost increase, due to the fact we can use lots of the engines we created on those machines, and use F2P/digital models, developing lots of elements to use on the games for those machines. As for forward/back compatibility, ask the manufacturers.

Q: Far Cry 3: Mix between consoles and PCs?
A: 1mil units on PC, 3.5mil on console.
 

Jb

Member
Oct 2, 2009
8,350
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0
This is the second worst french accent I've ever heard. God damn.
 

Fersis

It is illegal to Tag Fish in Tag Fishing Sanctuaries by law 38.36 of the GAF Wildlife Act
Apr 21, 2008
27,398
0
0
Argentina
Where's Silent Hunter Online ? :(
 

Ushojax

Should probably not trust the 7-11 security cameras quite so much
Nov 1, 2009
27,317
0
0
Splinter Cell has been in making for 3yrs, will be a great title. Much larger scope, deeper single/co-op/multiplayer. The game looks/feels fantastic. Players get free reign to create Sam Fisher to meet their game style. Assassin's Creed/Far Cry demonstrates players want to define their own experience. Splinter Cell Blacklist is doing just that. The additional time transforms it from 'good' to 'fantastic' and will be beneficial.
 

Quentyn

Member
Sep 2, 2011
1,798
0
0
Come on analysts. Ask about THQ Montreal or South Park.

There it is. 1666 is a long term project.
 

Acheteedo

Member
Dec 7, 2008
2,907
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London
I really like the game design conclusions they're drawing from FC3's success. If the suits think player choice is good, then gamers win!
 

Tagg9

Member
Feb 11, 2010
7,141
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Victoria, BC, Canada
[*]Calendar 2012 insights: physical market went down est. 20% (more than expected: US 22%, 15%), most decline attributed to consumers waiting for next-gen to come. This cycle has lasted too long and lacked major hardware innnovation. We are getting closer and closer to this new generation, boosting the market significantly, boosting Ubisoft's performance.
I don't understand how this analysis makes sense. They think gamers will be purchasing more games after they've had to shell out $400-$500 for new hardware?
 

Pooya

Member
Aug 12, 2009
19,861
0
860
not sure if heard right, wasn't paying attention.

AC Liberation shipped 600k unit?
 

Visualante2

Member
Oct 20, 2011
14,631
0
0
Kill ManiaPlanet, bring their titles to Steam/UPlay

ManiaPlanet is a failed ecosystem, a false economy, fighting against their own UPlay. Complete waste of Nadeo's time and effort. Damages end user experience. Shootmania isn't going to solve that and I have doubt that TrackMania 2 free will even revive the platform.
 

kuYuri

Member
Mar 30, 2007
14,782
0
1,025
On the silence for Rainbow Six:

Another Tom Clancy game, another troubled development cycle.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
3
0
Kill ManiaPlanet, bring their titles to Steam/UPlay

ManiaPlanet is a failed ecosystem, a false economy, fighting against their own UPlay. Complete waste of Nadeo's time and effort. Damages end user experience. Shootmania isn't going to solve that and I have doubt that TrackMania 2 free will even revive the platform.
I totally agree.
 

SolidSnakex

Member
Jun 7, 2004
85,527
1
0
On the silence for Rainbow Six:

Another Tom Clancy game, another troubled development cycle.
Wasn't that moved to the PS4, next Xbox and PC? Of course it isn't officially confirmed since UBI can't comment on those consoles, but I remember rumors from last years pointing toward that happening.
 

iMax

Member
Dec 5, 2012
13,413
3
0
www.neogaf.com


Conference call begins at 18:15 CET (17:15 UTC). Paraphrased live transcription will be posted below!

  • Thanks for joining us!
  • This quarter has been a turning point for us.
  • 11% Market Share threshold passed in calendar 2012.
  • Calendar 2012 insights: physical market went down est. 20% (more than expected: US 22%, 15%), most decline attributed to consumers waiting for next-gen to come. This cycle has lasted too long and lacked major hardware innnovation. We are getting closer and closer to this new generation, boosting the market significantly, boosting Ubisoft's performance.
  • Assassin's Creed delivers great revenues and profitability. Great asset for Ubisoft.
  • Far Cry 3 - sold 4.5mil units, way better than expected. 2x better than Far Cry 2 in half of the time. Fantastic open world gameplay, making it unique. Nothing like it. Gamers love it. Expect Far Cry 3 to continue well in coming months.
  • Players eagerly waiting next Far Cry. 4 year gap between 2 and 3. We worked hard to find right gameplay. Now we have it. Fans won't have to wait 4 more years for the next one.
  • Drive from digital distribution from XBL, PSN, Uplay, Steam are not taken into account in monthly NPD. As a reference, it is fair to expect digital distribution to represent 6-7% of each game. This % should continue to grow in future.
  • Total back catalogue revenue down 1% versus last year in 1st 9 months of the year.
  • Online sales boosted by F2P. 137% for first 9 months of year. Postponed some titles in next fiscal year, e.g. Assassin's Creed Utopia. Optimistic of F2P prospects.
  • Trials Evolution (Xbox LIVE) was rated as one of the best games of the year. Set to be released on PC in March.
  • Wii U: satisifed by US/EU market share. 20%/27%. Nintendo's upcoming brands will boost potential.
  • Just Dance better than prior expectation. Close to 8mil units sold. Franchise demonstrating it is unique. Very committed fanbase. Success stems from combination of the best songs and high quality/innovative gameplay, casual, easy to play, fun experience. 2nd biggest seller in US in September. Calendar 12 5th biggest seller in world.
  • Looking forward we believe momentum will continue. Stronger core segment, digital distribution, F2P. Trends compensate for drop in casual revenues. Core games coming up include Splinter Cell Blacklist and Watch Dogs. Will benefit from stronger focus.
  • Splinter Cell has been in making for 3yrs, will be a great title. Much larger scope, deeper single/co-op/multiplayer. The game looks/feels fantastic. Players get free reign to create Sam Fisher to meet their game style. Assassin's Creed/Far Cry demonstrates players want to define their own experience. Splinter Cell Blacklist is doing just that. The additional time transforms it from 'good' to 'fantastic' and will be beneficial.
  • Watch Dogs. So much confidence, similar to when we launched Assassin's Creed. We are eagerly looking forward to reveal more details. Stay tuned for more. It will come.
  • Proud to announce FY 14 new Assassin's Creed by new team/new time period. Another major leap forward for franchise. More details to come.
  • Rayman Legends now multiplatform on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U (FY 14).
  • Other titles coming for FY 14 include Shootmania. (note: no reference of Rainbow 6)
  • Next-gen is coming. Believe it will boost market. Pipeline of franchises and new IPs, releasing more regularly. All combines with online expertise and know how, arriving with next-gen and growth of online market.



Q: Talk about next-gen. How much cost is anticipated in next FY to come from development in next-gen?
A: We are clearly not in a position to give further details, as people understand. So it's complicated to breakdown investment by platform. I apologise. We can say when we develop titles, now we develop on many formats.

Q: You said 16% of FC3 sales came from Digital. 16% of overall or PC?
A: Overall. Might be interesting for you that going forward (this can change), on average, on new release products about 6-7% of sales will be digital, up from <2%. Interesting reference, of course each game might change. We know it will continue to grow. Back catalogue, digital distribution is getting closer to 50%. 6-7% is more for new releases.

Q: Just Dance. New version coming out Fiscal 14? Do you expect franchise growth?
A: Only gave indication of overall casual market, we anticipate a gain in core games and digital revenue, year of download trends (casual).

Q: What's your thought at this point on the contribution from Wii U this year?
A: I think we are holding at about &#8364;40mil of sales this quarter. Considering Ray-Man delay, between &#8364;40-50mil, not as big as we anticipated.

Q: Far Cry follow on sales, post Black Friday.
A: Very good actually. Game continues to sell well in US/EU, expect it will continue to grow, DLC is coming. One of our strongest products for last 3 weeks, doing well on digital.

Q: Coming quarter?
A: We have been prudent about guidance for end of FY. We are seeing market is tough, given fact we have postponed a few products, we prefer to take prudent stance on Q4. We have to wait 'til May to give you more.

Q: How was January?
A: As we said, top games have been doing well. Our strongest product is probably FC3 right now, in line with expectations.

Q: Recent acquisition.
A: We are going to see projects in the long run. We will be able to work with those resources on the products we are working towards for next year. Studio will be part of our network of studios and will help to grow upcoming games. South Park was a few months away from release when bought, we are excited, has potential. In the case of THQ Montreal, we don't feel we overpaid. We have both a team working on an interesting long term project, and long term resources on our other projects. Good addition to our resources.

Q: Can we expect other acquisitions?
A: Unless somebody else goes bankrupt, I don't know. I hope not! Normally we would be more focused on online/digital/mobile, it just happened to be the right price and a good deal.

Q: Talk about PSN/XBL downloads?
A: This is becoming more and more important on consoles. Sony pushed that first, we think Microsoft will make it happen closer to the launch of games at retail. PC downloads are more than 50% of revenue (Quoted Far Cry figures include all platforms). PC is giving more of a push, if consoles becomes more connected, we might have a boost. Nintendo is doing more than they used to on that front.

Q: Vita Digital Downloads?
A: 15-20%, more important in US than EU.

Q: After your heavy support for Vita, 3DS, Wii U - are you rethinking SKU counts for hardware launches?
A: We have always been early on new consoles. Sometimes it works, sometimes less effective. With new console launch, it's interesting for us, to make them shine on the market. It's a strategy to push our brand and to create new IPs. You have to look at this strategy in the short term and long term. Regarding Vita, last FY, we did pretty well on Assassin's Creed, close to 600k units - pretty happy with figure. I wouldn't discount PSVita, right quality, it might work.

Q: Pretty much everything has gone right for you, still looking at 25% lower operating profit though. Curious, what is your longer term view on operating margin?
A: It's very important to consider the business growth in two dimensions in current-gen and next-gen. Other side is F2P and digital. This has been a large investment for us. We will have revenue coming from next-gen, very good quality products using best technology possible.
Mobile/Digital helps growth in territories where consoles are not so strong. We mentioned casual went down 30%, Wii U went down quite significantly, stopped Facebook operation. We had some great success. One thing to consider on new consoles, always very interesting to develop at beginning of console, e.g. Wii U costs are getting cheaper. Continue to develop brands across all platforms. If machine takes off as we expect, we will get good revenues, like Vita this year.

Q: Looking at next-gen, do you have any clarity on console differences, forward/back-compat, core engine development transition?
A: The machines have fantastic potential, they will help the industry to grow exponentially because they are bringing innovation that will be fantastic for the industry. For 1st 2 years of next-gen, we expect no cost increase, due to the fact we can use lots of the engines we created on those machines, and use F2P/digital models, developing lots of elements to use on the games for those machines. As for forward/back compatibility, ask the manufacturers.

Q: Far Cry 3: Mix between consoles and PCs?
A: 1mil units on PC, 3.5mil on console.
Event over!
 

UrbanRats

Member
Jun 25, 2009
40,860
0
730
Kill ManiaPlanet, bring their titles to Steam/UPlay

ManiaPlanet is a failed ecosystem, a false economy, fighting against their own UPlay. Complete waste of Nadeo's time and effort. Damages end user experience. Shootmania isn't going to solve that and I have doubt that TrackMania 2 free will even revive the platform.
YES.
Fuck Mania Planet, such a clusterfuck system.
-

"Proud to announce FY 14 new Assassin's Creed by new team/new time period. Another major leap forward for franchise. More details to come."

Moving away from Connor? Thank God!
Despite AC3 being a low point in the series, looking forward to this, hopefully the setting and character won't be as dull.
 

darkside31337

Tomodachi wa Mahou
May 31, 2011
34,803
0
645
What's 15-20% of nothing?
I don't know seems like the Liberation sales were pretty decent, Ubisoft seems to be pleased with it anyway.

And 20% is a lot larger than I was expecting. Neat to see a publisher the size of Ubisoft put a number on it.
 

AranhaHunter

Banned
Mar 20, 2006
10,669
0
0
Q: You said 16% of FC3 sales came from Digital. 16% of overall or PC?
A: Overall. Might be interesting for you that going forward (this can change), on average, on new release products about 6-7% of sales will be digital, up from <2%. Interesting reference, of course each game might change. We know it will continue to grow. Back catalogue, digital distribution is getting closer to 50%. 6-7% is more for new releases.

Q: Vita Digital Downloads?
A: 15-20%, more important in US than EU.

Q: After your heavy support for Vita, 3DS, Wii U - are you rethinking SKU counts for hardware launches?
A: We have always been early on new consoles. Sometimes it works, sometimes less effective. With new console launch, it's interesting for us, to make them shine on the market. It's a strategy to push our brand and to create new IPs. You have to look at this strategy in the short term and long term. Regarding Vita, last FY, we did pretty well on Assassin's Creed, close to 600k units - pretty happy with figure. I wouldn't discount PSVita, right quality, it might work.
Very interesting. So games on PSN/XBL probably account to 6-7% of retail sales and 15-20% on Vita.

600K for AC:L is more than I expected and the fact that they are happy might bode well for future AC iterations on the machine.
 

Pooya

Member
Aug 12, 2009
19,861
0
860
Q: Far Cry 3: Mix between consoles and PCs?
A: 1mil units on PC, 4.5mil on console.

this can't be right, 3.5m on console?
 

Mpl90

Two copies sold? That's not a bomb guys, stop trolling!!!
Mar 10, 2011
22,885
0
855
28
theflyingthoughtsblog.wordpress.com
If the 15%-20% for Vita DD sales of retail titles and ACVita's total can be combined, we'd get something like almost 90.000 - almost 120.000 units sold through PSN. And then between 510k and 480k sold at retail.
 
Aug 27, 2007
32,910
0
0
Great sales figures for Liberation. They put way more effort into it than Activision did with Call of Duty, hopefully that's noticed by other publishers.
 

Pociask

Member
Nov 30, 2009
2,533
0
0
Q: Talk about next-gen. How much cost is anticipated in next FY to come from development in next-gen?
A: We are clearly not in a position to give further details, as people understand. So it's complicated to breakdown investment by platform. I apologise. We can say when we develop titles, now we develop on many formats.
Why are they not in a position to talk about how much PS4, NextBox, and Wii U titles cost to develop? Isn't that a pretty important piece of info for investors? What harm would it do to disclose?
 

CosmicQueso

Member
Feb 16, 2010
14,234
0
0
Mars
Extrapolating physical Vita game sales by that additional 15-20% doesn't get them in line with PSP benchmarks but it does get them a heck of a lot closer.

That is a surprising and encouraging figure for devs and pubs considering Vita titles.

Why are they not in a position to talk about how much PS4, NextBox, and Wii U titles cost to develop? Isn't that a pretty important piece of info for investors? What harm would it do to disclose?
Still under NDA on the next-gen stuff that hasn't been announced.
 

krimsoncharge

Member
Jul 20, 2009
886
0
0
Good to see they're taking far cry seriously, from what i know, the next game is set for q1 of 2014, Along with another surprise related to the series.