Ubisoft reports strong profits, doesn't fire 800 people

In an earnings call today, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot reported that the company had a very strong third quarter. In a shocking twist of events, the publisher won't be laying off 800 people.

Ubisoft said net bookings for the first nine months of this fiscal year are up 13.5 percent, reaching 1.351 billion euros. Despite stiff competition in 2018 and early '19, that success is owed to strong sales of Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Far Cry 5, which also contributed to a 58.1 percent rise in Ubisoft's PC business over last year.

Instead of laying off the people partly responsible for that growth, Guillemot suggested growing its workforce and making them happy was a priority: "Ubisoft is building its organizational structure for the long term," he said in a statement. "Leveraging the ownership of our IPs and studios, we are striving to provide a fulfilling working environment so that our talented people can realize their full potential and to deliver players beneficial experiences that go beyond pure entertainment. Therefore, we are confident in our ability to continue to grow and increase our profitability over the coming years."

There were lots of other interesting tidbits in this earnings call. For example, despite The Division 2 being on Epic Games Store and not on Steam, preorders for the upcoming loot shooter had already exceeded preorders for The Division. Ubisoft also refused to comment on whether it'd be making its own battle royale game (Assassin's Creed royale?) and mentioned it will launch three or four AAA games in the next fiscal year (which ends in March 2020). We know at least one of those games will be Skull and Bones, Ubisoft's upcoming pirate game, but the other three are anyone's guess.

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.