Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Sony have all posted solid financial figures for the second quarter of the 2018 financial year.
All three publishers saw incomes and profits boosted by strong digital game sales and income deriving from games-as-a-service items such as in-game objects and downloadable content. Ubisoft reported: “Higher-than-expected performance,” EA said: “It was a strong second quarter,” and Sony’s profits from games rose 65 per cent year-on-year for the second quarter.
Ubisoft reported sales for the first half of the financial year of $870 million and a 49.5 per cent increase to $297 million in what it calls Player Recurring Investment (PRI). Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said: “Thanks to the depth and strength of our back catalogue and Live operations, our second quarter 2018-19 performance was above target. This momentum drove up our net bookings and financial results for the first half of the fiscal year. The steady rise in player engagement is feeding our digital development and the quality of our games is enabling us to achieve top-rate performance.”
EA posted total net revenue for the second quarter of the fiscal year amounting to $1.29 billion, up 34 per cent year-on-year; 61 per cent of which ($780 million) was attributed to digital sales. EA CEO Andrew Wilson said: “It was a strong second quarter, as we entertained players with four high-quality new EA Sports games, hundreds of content updates in our live services, and esports programs that reached record viewership. We’re incredibly excited to bring innovative new games like Battlefield V and Command & Conquer: Rivals to our players this holiday season, and launch our breakthrough new IP Anthem in February.”
Sony, meanwhile, could point to strong sales for games like Marvel’s Spider-Man and God of War, which increased its share of the console software market to 58 per cent. Its revenue for the second quarter of 2018 was $4.87 billion, up 27 per cent year-on-year, with operating profit for the quarter reaching $802 million, up 65 per cent year-on-year. Sony Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki said: “We’ve been very blessed with some blockbuster titles. The lineup will remain strong in the second half of the year.”
The games industry may be an entity which constantly changes shape and evolves, but for its biggest players, it is clearly becoming ever more lucrative.