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To say it's a surprise that 2018-19 has been a record-breaking year for Paris-based publisher Focus Home Interactive (EPA:ALFOC) would be somewhat disingenuous. Why? All year the group has been posting large, mostly record-breaking quarters. Q1 was strong, H1 was record-breaking and Q3 followed up with another record-breaking quarter.
Ending the year on a high note, Q4 has also been successful as shown by the press release posted yesterday. Focus Home Interactive have brought in €24.5 million, a year over year increase of €14m or 134%. This brings the total revenue of the fiscal year to €126m.
A Strong Year, Ending on a High
Over the year the publisher has seen a host of successful launches. At the start of the year, the publisher teamed with developer DONTNOD to publisher Vampyr, proving to be one of the companies most successful games both critically and commercially. In addition to the success of Vampyr came Farming Simulator 19, selling over 1 million copies in its first ten days and over 2 to date. Other titles may have sold in smaller figures, but were still very successful. Insurgency: Sandstorm has sold over 500,000 copies to date and the American Wilds expansion for MudRunner has proven to be a popular entry to the series.
Part of the success for the year is attributed to the company’s back-catalogue of titles. This is something we've mentioned before, with MudRunner, previous Farming Simulator titles and more all proving successful. This is particularly true when the publisher places titles on sale. On their back catalogue, the company had this to say:
Over the fiscal year, the back-catalogue accounts for 25% of total sales, with 90% of sales now generated internationally and digital sales representing 66%.
Focus Home Interactive - What's Next?
The current financial year has already gotten off to a fantastic start for the company, with the recently released World War Z selling over 1 million units in its first week. That was just one of the upcoming releases from the publisher I saw at the recent Focus Home Interactive - What's Next event held in Paris.
In addition to World War Z, this year will see the release of A Plague Tale: Innocence, MudRunner 2, GreedFall and The Surge 2. In particular, MudRunner 2 is the sequel to MudRunner, a game which sold over one million units. Furthermore, updates to titles like Insurgency: Sandstorm can be expected, driving sales to legacy titles. Also, there will be a Nintendo Switch release for Farming Simulator 19, as well as additional eSports content.
Looking further afield, the company also had posters revealing twelve additional titles to be released over the coming three years, in partnership with developers they have had long-term relationships with. One such title will be Necromunda: Underhive Wars. The company had this to say about their upcoming partnerships:
Focus is proud to renew key partnerships with talented players such as DONTNOD Entertainment (Vampyr), SABER Interactive (MudRunner, World War Z), DECK13 (The Surge), ASOBO (A Plague Tale), STREUM ON (Space Hulk: Deathwing), and PASSTECH Games (Space Run). It will embark on new partnerships with industry veterans such as SUMO Digital (Eve: Valkyrie), GASKET Games (former members of Relic Games–Dawn of War), and promising new studios such as LIMESTONE Games and LIGHTBULB Crew. The Group also announced an agreement with historical partner Games Workshop for the development of three new Warhammer games, and a partnership with Chaosium for the exclusive operation of a series of Call of Cthulhu video games over the next ten years.
With the success of World War Z, performing way above expectations, you can expect Q1 of the current financial year to prove strong. Further afield, you're likely to see strong figures from titles like The Surge 2 and MudRunner 2 - particularly based on the brand recognition of the titles. Other titles like A Plague Tale: Innocence and Greedfall certainly have potential.
Following a record-breaking 2018-19 fiscal year, the lineup of 2019-20 has been set up to deliver big, particularly after such a strong start. Beyond 2019-20, there are games in the making, with others as of yet unannounced but essentially guaranteed, such as Farming Simulator, which will also be released provided Focus Home retain their publishing rights of the series, something that has been in place since 2013.