PC gaming is now the best-performing platform for Ubisoft, overtaking the PlayStation 4 in terms of profitability, and the company said Tom Clancy's The Division 2 is "the industry's biggest hit" this year in terms of units sold for console and PC. Ubisoft's online shooter The Division 2 launched earlier this year, on March 15.
Ubisoft has been one of the biggest publishers in gaming for some time now, and early 2019/late 2018 saw several significant releases for the company, including Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Starlink: Battle for Atlas, Just Dance 2019, Far Cry: New Dawn, The Division 2 and the PC-exclusive Anno 1800. Many of these games include microtransactions and DLC, increasing their sales potential for the company. Upcoming Ubisoft releases include Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Watch Dogs: Legion, Rainbow Six Quarantine and Gods & Monsters.
More than one third of Ubisoft's net bookings in the first quarter of the 2019-20 fiscal year came from PC, according to a Ubisoft sales report. Compared to last year's first quarter, Ubisoft's PC net bookings increased by 10%, jumping from 24% of total net bookings to 34%. PS4 and Xbox one, meanwhile changed from 38% and 22% of the company's net bookings to 31% and 18%, respectively. In a report last February, Ubisoft emphasized the growth potential of the 300 million-gamer PC market, which hosts a community of players that play more games and are more likely to spend money on additional content. Given the numbers in its new report, it appears Ubisoft was able to successfully dig into this market.
Ubisoft attributes much of its success in the first quarter of 2019-20 was due to player recurring investment (PRI), or players' add-on content purchases. The company saw a 19.5% increase in PRI net bookings compared to last year's first quarter. Ubisoft notes that both Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Rainbow Six Siege saw increases in player engagement and PRI compared to that of their respective franchises in last year's first quarter.
It's no surprise that much of the company's earnings come from PRI. The Division 2, Rainbow Six Siege and Assassin's Creed Odyssey all embrace the live service model (to varying degrees) commonplace in the games industry today, despite Assassin's Creed Odyssey being a single player game. The shift of profitability from console to PC, though, is a bit more interesting, and Ubisoft's PC success isn't likely to end anytime soon. The company recently announced the Uplay+ subscription service, which allows PC players to have access to Ubisoft's PC gaming library for $14.99 a month.