Ubisoft: Cyberpunk 2077 Not Showing Up in Q4 Is Good News; Stadia Development Cost Isn’t That High
During yesterday’s Q1 investors call, Ubisoft executives Frédérick Duguet (Chief Financial Officer) and Yves Guillemot (Chief Executive Officer) provided quite a few interesting responses in the Q&A session.
Duguet, for example, revealed Ubisoft expectations for Ghost Recon Breakpoint to be higher than for the previous game, Wildlands, while the post-launch plan is going to be even stronger. He also admitted the company will face less competition in their Q4 given that Cyberpunk 2077’s release date (April 16th, 2020) has now been set outside that window. Still, Ubisoft remains cautious on the guidance front.
The good start from Ghost Recon Wildlands in the first quarter is, of course, good news. It doesn’t really change what we anticipate for Ghost Recon Breakpoint. We believe Breakpoint will be stronger than Wildlands on the PRI side overall why because it’s coming with PvP from the very beginning, while it was not the case for Wildlands. So we can have a stronger fun base that we can build upon from Breakpoint and we will come with a two-year post-launch program that would be even bigger than on Wildlands. So that we are busy talking of stronger PRI for Breakpoint. Then, of course, it’s good to see that Wildlands continues to do well.
On Q4, yes, it’s good news that Cyberpunk is not in the quarter but we will stay cautious on this. We stick to your assumption that we might have a strong potential competition in Q4. The key point for us was really to have a fantastic release with Wildlands at Q3 and that’s what we achieved, we believe that our guidance across our games in Q4 is a good reflection of all the potential of the games and of the potentially strong competition there.
Later, Yves Guillemot mentioned that developing games for Google Stadia (the cloud-only streaming platform due to launch in November) isn’t that costly. As a reminder, Ubisoft is one of the major partners of Google Stadia so far and will release The Crew 2, Trials Rising, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Just Dance 2020, The Division 2, Ghost Recon Breakpoint as part of the launch lineup.
Yes, the cost — the extra cost to put to make sure the games work well on Stadia is not that high. It’s part now of our pipelines and we have a good relationship with Stadia to make sure it is profitable for us.
On the platform commission, we will let Google talk about. What we can just say is that the financial equation is good for us.
Lastly, the two commented favorably on the partnership with Epic to deliver games on both UPlay and the Epic Games Store instead of Steam.
We can’t give much information on that because we have been with them for a short time now. What we can say is we’re working very well hand-in-hands to make sure we can grow the sales directly now between our Uplay Store which is doing extremely well and Epic Store that is growing step-by-step. So overall when you take Uplay and Epic Store, we are very happy with what we are achieving.
And we did well on Anno 1800 on Epic Store, but the key point here is really that we continue to have a very strong momentum on Uplay.