"Tom Clancy's The Division" was the biggest launch of a new video game property ever, which helped Ubisoft report a profit for its fiscal 2015-2016, the company said Thursday. Ubisoft reported a decrease in sales but a rise in profit for its fiscal 2015-16. Sales were $1.8 billion, down 4.8 percent compared to the previous year, but the $147 million profit was up from the $128 million posted the previous year.
"The Division" has amassed 9.5 million registered players since its launch on March 8. Active players are spending around three hours daily on the open world third-person shooter. Bolstering Ubisoft's earnings report was the better-than-expected release "Far Cry Primal," which had the biggest February launch. After a sluggish start, "Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege" also performed well for Ubisoft. Despite the sales miss, the reported revenue was higher than the targeted $1.54 billion.
"We ended fiscal 2015-16 on a very positive note, having effectively executed our plan. The performances delivered by 'The Division' and 'Far Cry Primal' exceeded our expectations," Yves Guillemot, co-founder and CEO of the company headquartered in Rennes, France, said in a statement. With the success of the three games, Ubisoft's fourth-quarter sales rose 267.76 percent to $710 million.
Noticeably absent from Ubisoft's presentation was "Assassin's Creed Syndicate." Released in October 2015, the latest entry in the popular action-adventure series failed to capture a wide audience. Initial sales for "Assassin's Creed Syndicate" were lower than expected, thanks to the fiasco of 2014's "Assassin's Creed Unity." That game shipped with so many glitches that Guillemot apologized for its release. Ubisoft announced during its earnings report presentation in February that "Assassin's Creed" will no longer be an annual title.
For its current fiscal year, ending March 31, 2017, Ubisoft has five major titles scheduled for release. "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands," " Watch Dogs 2," "South Park the Fractured but Whole," "For Honor" and a new property will be released in the next year. Ubisoft is targeting sales of $1.93 billion. In addition to games, the movie adaptation of "Assassin's Creed," starring Michael Fassbender, will be released in December.