For over 30 years, Ubisoft has been in the business of video games. Today, it has 26 studios worldwide and has established itself as one of the top five games publishers in the world with its impressive portfolio of popular games franchises, including Just Dance, Far Cry, Prince of Persia, Ghost Recon, and Assassin’s Creed.
CEO Yves Guillemot and his brothers — Christian, Gerard, Claude, and Michel — founded Ubisoft in 1986. Starting as a small business importing games and selling them at 50% of the price of other suppliers, Ubisoft developed from its understanding about what people were looking for in the games it supplied. It wasn’t long before the brothers began creating their own games.
Now the French company has 10,000 team members, offices all over the world, and it’s chasing target sales of around €1,700 million next financial year.
“Since our initial public offering 20 years ago, we have built one of the world’s leading players in the entertainment industry and have created significant value for our shareholders with a 14-fold increase in the company’s share price,” says Yves Guillemot.
“Over the past few years, we have considerably strengthened our portfolio of owned brands. For example, we have tripled the audience for Far Cry, doubled it for Rainbow Six, and launched The Division and Watch Dogs, which were the first and third-largest releases ever for a new video game brand.”
New frontiers for Ubisoft
“There’s been a real growth in the number of people playing games. Whether that be a casual game on your phone or a high-definition, surround-sound experience on your home flat-screen television, more and more people are engaging with games,” says Edward Fong, MD of Ubisoft Australia and New Zealand.
With more people playing games than ever before, Ubisoft is pushing its boundaries in terms of sales and technology.
Record-breaking sales and player engagement
Tom Clancy’s The Division broke Ubisoft sales records in the first 24 hours after it was released in March. As well as being Ubisoft’s top-selling game, it’s the industry’s best-selling new game franchise for an opening week.
The Division is also smashing the company’s player engagement records, with players spending more than 100 million hours playing online on Ubisoft’s servers in the first week.
“On top of record-breaking sales, player engagement is the highest ever for any Ubisoft title, demonstrating, among other things, that our investments in our online infrastructure and services are paying off,” said Stephanie Perotti, Vice-President of Online Services at Ubisoft. “We are delivering an online experience that’s on par with the best in the industry, and that matches the quality and connectivity demanded by The Division and its players.”
The market for mobile entertainment is booming in China, and Ubisoft has been talking about its plans to dominate that market by launching new games for smartphones. When Hungry Shark World, the stunning sequel to Hungry Shark Evolution, was released earlier this month, it quickly became the world’s second-biggest release of the year, reaching more than 10 million downloads in less than six days.
For adventure hunters who dream of being able to perform incredible feats — like Eagle Flight’s spectacular aerial manoeuvres high over the streets of Paris — Ubisoft is bringing fantasy closer to reality. Ubisoft is leading the way in immersive gaming with its virtual reality games like Eagle Flight, which will be available on new platforms PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive for PC this year.