Ubisoft explained that the revenue generated by players’ micro-transactions over the past nine months was $318.5 million. Micro-transactions revenues, which increased by 87.4 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, accounted for 26.7 percent of all income of the company. In 2016, this rate was 21 percent.
Other major publishers earn much larger amounts in micro-transactions. Activision-Blizzard’s micro-transaction revenues for 2017 were announced at $4 billion, while EA reported $787 million for the last quarter of the year.
In a statement made for the investors of the company, Ubisoft CFO Alain Martinez noted that micro-transaction systems generate huge revenue despite low marketing and R&D costs. Martinez also announced that they’ll increase the mobile gaming revenue ratio in the total revenue.
Speaking about the loot box controversy after Electronic Arts’s micro-transaction systems in Star Wars: Battlefront 2, Martinez noted that Ubisoft should offer quality content to ensure that the experience offered to the gamer is fair: “The products offered for sale are not mandatory. Even if the players don’t buy the content, they can have a good time. ”
He was wondering what kind of regulation the game industry would face regarding the loot boxes. While the State of Hawaii is already regulating loot boxes, according to Martinez, it is unlikely that there will be a state regulation. Therefore, publishers will setup ‘fair’ micro-transaction systems themselves.