Ubisoft’s biggest game launch for the early part of the year was, unsurprisingly, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. The French publishers’ expectations were huge for the sequel to its biggest new IP launch in history, yet The Division 2 has ended up falling somewhat short of Ubisoft’s internal targets.
"The Division 2 ended up short of our ambitious expectations on console. We believe this was due in large part to a more competitive market than expected," explained Ubisoft’s financial guru Frederick Dugue during its financial briefing.
It’s unclear what the aforementioned competition is, exactly. The obvious contended to The Division 2 was always Anthem, until Anthem launched and unceremoniously flopped harder than a whale off a diving board. The other notable games around The Division 2’s launch were Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice a week after and Devil May Cry 5 the week before. Neither of these games falls in the same ballpark as The Division 2 though, and they’re also far lower-key commercial successes.
Still, it’s not all bad news for The Division 2. Ubisoft has said sales across boxed and digital combined on all platforms are in line with the original The Division. They also envisage The Division 2 will "grow and gain traction" as additional content is rolled out. It’s worked for Rainbow Six Siege and For Honor, so you can’t blame them for thinking the same will happen here.
It’s on PC where Ubisoft found the most success for The Division 2 though. Ubisoft sold more than 10 times as many copies of The Division 2 on Uplay than the original The Division. The obvious reason here is The Division 2 didn’t launch on Steam, arriving exclusively on Uplay and the Epic Games Store. On its own store, Ubisoft enjoys a 100% cut on sales, as well as an 88% cut on the EGS. This compares to the 30% it was giving away on Steam. We can’t imagine it sold many copies at all on Epic’s storefront though.
Total PC sales were up 79% for Ubisoft, an impressive figure. PC game sales now account for 27% of Ubisoft’s overall revenue (compared to just 18% in 2018), swiftly becoming a core component of Ubisoft’s financial success. No more hastily cobbled together ports then; PC is a big player for Ubisoft now. Moving away from Steam doesn’t seem to have done Ubisoft any harm at all either, with Uplay’s overall revenue rising 150% year-on-year.