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Tuesday 11th May 2021
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Ubisoft today reported its annual earnings for the year ended March 31, prompting a bit of déjà vu. For the third time in four years, the company posted record sales figures and delayed the anticipated open-world pirate game Skull & Bones all the way out of its new fiscal year.
For the full year, Ubisoft reported sales up 39% to €2.22 billion ($2.7 billion), while net bookings were up 46% to €2.24 billion ($2.72 billion).
As for the bottom line, the publisher reported consolidated net income of €105.2 million ($128 million), compared to a €124 million ($151 million) net loss last year.
Ubisoft also confirmed that while its current year will see the launches of Far Cry 6, Rainbow Six Quarantine, Riders Republic, The Division Heartland and Roller Champions, the long-in-development Skull and Bones has been pushed out of the current fiscal year yet again, and will now be released in the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2022.
Ubisoft previously delayed Skull and Bones during its 2017-2018 year-end financial report and its 2018-2019 year-end financial report.
When asked in an investors call about Skull and Bones’ numerous delays, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guilemot expressed confidence in lead developer Ubisoft Singapore, saying it has been “a big part of the Assassin’s Creed franchise.” He added that Ubisoft has increased the number of associated studios supporting Ubisoft Singapore with the project, suggesting that will make development go more smoothly.
While the remaining lineup would seem to fit Ubisoft’s previously stated goal of releasing three or four AAA titles a year, Ubisoft CFO Frédérick Duguet said the publisher is moving away from that metric.
“We are moving on from our prior comment regarding releasing three to four premium AAAs per year,” Duguet said. “It is no longer a proper indication of our value creation dynamics.”
While he said Ubisoft’s expectations for games like Riders Republic are in line with what people expect from high-end AAA titles, the publisher is also “building high-end free-to-play games to be trending toward AAA ambitions over the long term.”
Separately, Ubisoft also highlighted an upcoming portfolio including the previously announced games, as well as Beyond Good & Evil 2 and new titles based on Star Wars and James Cameron’s Avatar.
Looking ahead, Ubisoft is expecting to end the current quarter with net bookings down 22% to €320 million ($389 million). While the current quarter has a much busier schedule of digital-only releases, last year’s first quarter saw significant gains in net bookings for franchises like Just Dance, Assassin’s Creed, and Rainbow Six: Siege as players turned increasingly to games during the first months of the pandemic.
For the full year, Ubisoft expects to post single-digit percentage growth in net bookings.
“The top-line growth will be driven by both back-catalog and new releases,” the publisher said. “Back-catalog growth will be spurred by its underlying robust dynamic, by a significantly stronger release slate in 2020- 21 than in 2019-20 and by bigger post-launch plans, more than compensating for the high comparison 2020-21 base resulting from the lockdown impact on overall engagement.”
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Argentina: Codere Introduces Zitro’s LOTBA-Approved Online Games – GamblingNews.com
Global gaming industry provider, Zitro, announced on Thursday that its online subsidiary Zitro Digital expanded its presence in the Latin American region.
Zitro Digital revealed that its portfolio of digital games is available for the first time within the jurisdiction of the City of Buenos Aires, thanks to a deal with Codere Group. As a result, players can enjoy the highly-popular Video Bingo games, as well as the famous progressive multigame Pick & Win.
To complete the deal, Zitro received approval from the gaming regulator of the autonomous city of Buenos Aires called Loteria de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Sociedad del Estado (LOTBA). As a result, the company’s digital games were approved for casinos licensed within the jurisdiction. The company’s games have been highly successful for years throughout land-based casinos. However, now, players in the autonomous city of Buenos Aires can enjoy those games via desktop PC, tablet, or mobile devices.
The latest move complements Zitro’s ongoing expansion in Argentina. Besides the autonomous city of Buenos Aires, back in December, the company increased its presence in the country by completing three casino installations. As a result, Zitro’s highly popular games and cabinets were introduced to three venues in the Mendoza region.
Besides Latin America, Zitro’s games are also popular in Europe. In fact, last month, Zitro’s most popular games were introduced to more Barrière Group venues in France. Consequently, the top-performing Link Me and Link King games were introduced to more Barrière Group venues.
Zitro’s Regional Director for Latin America, Alejandra Burato, deemed the company’s steady growth as an outstanding achievement. Moreover, she acknowledged that the growth helps pave the way for Zitro to enter new jurisdictions in Argentina and around the globe. Burato revealed that creating a “product that is as successful and profitable to operators as our land-based games” is the main goal for Zitro. She explained that after the team’s hard work the company is proud to see this goal become reality.
“It is an outstanding achievement to watch Zitro Digital growing steadily and opening the way to new online casino markets not only in Argentina but across all continents.”
Moreover, Burato said that receiving approval by the LOTBA is an important step for the expansion of Zitro Digital. She added that Zitro is grateful for Codere Group’s trust. In conclusion, Burato said that the company is “excited about adding new game titles soon.”
“We are convinced that players will enjoy the same success in the online channel and that it will support our omnichannel growth strategy.”
Codere online’s regional director, Salo Leder, added that bringing world-class entertainment for its clients in Argentina is a key priority for the company. He acknowledged that this partnership brings a “broad portfolio of online video bingo and Zitro video slots games,” which have already proved to be successful at brick-and-mortar casinos. In conclusion, Leder predicted that the same success will be observed within the online channel, which will further help Codere grow.
Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he’s accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.
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Maker of PS5 And Xbox Scalper Subscription Claims To Be A Jobs Creator – Kotaku
PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles are still notoriously difficult to acquire. This is partially because of the chip shortage that affects the availability of the components inside the machines, but also because of scalpers who can buy consoles and sell them for a much higher price. One guy named Jack Bayliss is really sticking up for the little guys in that equation: the scalpers.
As originally reported by VGC, Jack Bayliss runs Aftermarket Arbitrage, a paid subscription service that notifies scalpers when a next-generation console is about to become available at an online retailer, so they have a steady supply of hardware to sell. A monthly membership costs £30 a month, and a yearly subscription costs £300. While he claims that 95% of his subscribers don’t use bots, that’s cold comfort to anyone who’s hoping to get a PS5 or a Series X this year. Bayliss claims that subscribers who successfully score merchandise are making a month’s worth of salary in “a couple of days” via his supply tip-off service. Some have reportedly even quit their jobs to scalp full-time, he says.
So how does he justify a practice that’s widely reviled by the gaming community? In addition to noting that video game consoles are a luxury that nobody actually needs, he explains: “What they’re doing is they’re being entrepreneurs, they’re going out, creating a side income, and they’re doing something that 90% of the population can’t be bothered to do.” Gee, I wonder why most people aren’t going out of their way to increase the average cost of a next-generation console on the marketplace.
According to Bayliss: “Look at every single step in the supply chain. Someone is adding value somewhere. It’s not being sold at cost price. It’s capitalism.” While it’s true that we all live in a capitalist hellscape, labor-added value is usually supposed to add value for… you know, the consumer. Scalpers are making it harder for you to buy consoles, and you get zero added benefit out of it. In the case of console scalping, only one side is benefitting from this lopsided transaction: the scalper.
When asked about whether or not he was concerned about how he was affecting console availability for other people, Bayliss told Kotaku: “It does not concern me because we aren’t decreasing the overall supply. Every console is still in circulation. The exact same number of people can play next generation games. Our subscribers are able to sell these rapidly so they filter back into circulation quickly for gamers to use, the fact that average marketplace cost of consoles is increasing doesn’t stop people purchasing.” So there you have it: console prices will likely remain high because people can’t stop buying from scalpers.”
Take control of your entertainment
The PDP gaming remote is officially licensed by Xbox and will just work with no need to sync devices, making it the easiest way to navigate your Xbox.
But hey, things aren’t all bleak in the console market. The next time you fail to secure a next-generation console, you can comfort yourself with the thought that a scalper can consider themselves a successful entrepreneur.
AMD, Nvidia Lead Chip Stocks Lower in Broad Tech Selloff – Bloomberg
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