Ubisoft reports record first quarter, PC sales surpass Xbox One

The first quarter of Ubisoft's 2018-19 fiscal year was a very good one for the company—a record-setter, in fact. Ubi reported sales of €400 million ($466 million) for the quarter, driven primarily by continued growth of digital sales and "player recurring investment" [PRI] in "digital items, DLC, season passes, subscriptions, and advertising."

"We had a record first quarter, which exceeded our expectations. This performance was fueled by steady growth for our back-catalog and an excellent momentum for PRI, once again confirming the increasingly recurring profile of our business and the ever-greater success of our digital transformation," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said. Back-catalog net bookings reached €333 million ($388 million) over the quarter, an increase of nearly 75 percent that represents 87.2 percent of total net bookings. 

Ubi's future is looking pretty bright too: "Our teams are continuing to deliver on our strategic plan of ramping up our franchises. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and The Division 2 were very well received at E3, confirming their full potential in a highly competitive environment. Our new creation, Skull & Bones, also made a very good impression due to its innovative gameplay combining naval battles with a multi-player experience." 

And of course we don't want to overlook the PC's role in all of this: PC sales accounted for 24 percent of Ubisoft's total for the quarter, up from 21 percent of the first-quarter total in 2017-18 and behind only the PlayStation 4, which accounted for 38 percent of sales (down from 44 percent in Q1 2017-18). The Xbox One, which barely edged out the PC last year, came in third this time around, accounting for 22 percent of sales by platform.

It's not the first time that PC sales have surpassed Xbox One—in the first quarter of Ubi's 2016-17 fiscal, the PC notched 26 percent of sales versus 23 percent on the Xbox One—but the Xbox 360 was more of a factor then, too, claiming 3 percent of sales by platform. This time out, the 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, and Wii U collectively accounted for just one percent of by-platform sales.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.