As microtransaction controversy surrounding Loot Boxes, Season Passes, and DLC continue to fuel the fire of angry gamers everywhere, the question on everyone’s mind has to be when we will see an end to it? If the latest data surrounding Ubisoft sales is any indication, no time soon.
According to Ubisoft’s mid-year financial check-in, digital sales revenue is already up 69 percent year over year, earning the company approximately $396.6 Million over the first two quarters overall. Of that, approximately $202.6 Million can be attributed to sales from in-game items, DLC, season passes.
This marks the first time that Ubisoft microtransactions brought in more revenue than digital games sales. Not only did it make up 51 percent of the total revenue, it’s sales grew by a whopping 83 percent year over year. Digital game sales numbers also rose considerably as well, increasing 57 percent year over year with about $194 Million raked in.
It’s no surprise that two of Ubisoft’s recent trademark game release, South Park: The Fractured But Whole and Assassin’s Creed: Origins, both sold considerably well digitally too. South Park – which has been out for longer – pulled in around 50 percent of it’s sales, while Assassin’s sold 35 percent of its copies digital.
Compare that to the last release in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, which only sold 15 percent digitally throughout its run, and proof is in the pudding that things are skewing away from hard copy.
Despite the hate surrounding the business nature of microtransactions, the writing has been on the wall that those that are voicing their displeasure around the practice are in the minority, and have been for a while. Just a few years ago in 2016, it was revealed that Rockstar’s GTA: Online had made over $500 Million alone on microtransactions, more profit than was made from the actual game.
We will see over the next coming year or so just how much microtransactions will continue to affect the climate of games, singleplayer and multiplayer alike, but it doesn’t look like the fad it was made out to be by many at its outset.