Ubisoft's latest third quarter financials revealed some not so surprising sales results: more gamers play Ubisoft games on PS4 than Xbox One and PC combined.
Due to accessibility and ease-of-use consumers typically choose consoles over PC for their gaming needs, and Sony's PlayStation 4 has utterly dominated console sales throughout its lifetime. Ubisoft reinforces that point in their latest earnings report which confirms the PS4 platform accounted for nearly half of all Ubisoft game sales sold throughout the last nine months (April 1 - Dec. 31, 2016). In fact, PS4 game sales in both the last three-month quarter and nine-month half-year were more than Xbox One and PC combined.
The report states that in the last nine months the PS4 saw 42% of all Ubisoft game sales, whereas Xbox One trailed behind at 25% and the PC platform comprised 16% of sales. In the three-month third-quarter period from Oct. 1 - Dec. 31, 2016, PS4 continued to dominate at 46% of all game sales, with the Xbox One at 26% and the PC dropping to 13%.
This clear imbalance could affect Ubisoft's outlook on PC gaming as a whole, to the point where specific games are made to run better on consoles and be less optimized on PC given it's not the preferred platform. I must attest, however, that I've had good experiences with the past few Ubisoft PC games, including Far Cry: Primal and Watch Dogs 2.
But the disparity is still there and it's likely something any publisher--including Ubisoft--would take into consideration.
I'd also be interested to know how much Ubisoft's uPlay platform affects PC game sales. Console gamers can buy retail discs and can often circumvent the online service, whereas most PC gamers are mostly stuck with the uPlay digital distribution platform for Ubisoft games.
In any case, this doesn't necessarily mean Ubisoft will start sabotaging all of its upcoming PC games and ship out lazy ports because the platform is technically in the minority. But it does give us much-needed perspective on the market, and more specifically, how Ubisoft will use this data to fuel their business, development, and marketing strategies moving forward.
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