Frontier eyes 50 per cent sales boom on top of record revenues
Cambridge video games pioneer Frontier Developments has laid the foundations for stunning growth heading into 2022.
Chief executive David Braben has revealed a major new game release, slated a potentially huge sales surge on top of record revenues, and charted a potential return to the office for certain workers once COVID restrictions are lifted.
A new trading update highlights the potential for the business through the rest of 2021 and into 2022. Frontier has announced Jurassic World Evolution 2, a much-anticipated sequel to the highly successful Jurassic World Evolution (2018), the company’s biggest selling game to date. The sequel will release later in calendar 2021.
Braben revealed that continued strong performance across the whole game portfolio delivered record annual revenue for FY21 – provisionally £91 million. Based on the anticipated ongoing performance of the existing portfolio, combined with an exciting release schedule for FY22 including Jurassic World Evolution 2, the board's projected revenue range for FY22 is £130m-£150m.
For FY23 the board's projected revenue range is £160m-£180m – based on the anticipated performance of current and future game franchises, together with a growing contribution from the company’s games label for third-party publishing, Frontier Foundry.
Trading in the final months of the financial year included the ongoing performance of the existing portfolio and the initial revenue contribution from the launch of Elite Dangerous: Odyssey on PC on May 19.
Building on the performance in the first half of the financial year and the important December festive period, sales of both base game units and paid downloadable content in the remainder of the financial year helped to deliver provisional unaudited total FY21 revenue of approximately £91m, which is a company record, and was achieved without the launch of a major new franchise.
Braben said that working exclusively at home continued to be the norm for the majority of the Frontier team, who “continue to manage admirably through the challenges posed by coronavirus.”
He added: “The greatest challenges which we have experienced from exclusive home working tend to relate to the collaboration of staff on large projects, particularly in their later stages, such as previously noted for Elite Dangerous: Odyssey where we took the difficult decision to delay and split the PC and console releases.
“Looking ahead we are hoping to transition back to more office-based working later in calendar 2021, subject to government guidance and the safety of our staff.
“In the first instance, this will be a planned phased return to using the studio on an ad-hoc basis, followed by a transition to a hybrid office/home working model which we plan to adopt for a trial period of approximately six months.
“We believe this will resolve the collaboration challenges from exclusive home working, whilst also providing our staff with the flexibility to enjoy both the efficiency benefits and the personal benefits that home working can provide.”
Braben said that having delivered record annual revenue in FY21, Frontier was well positioned to grow significantly in FY22 through the ongoing performance of its existing game portfolio and the first results of its scale-up strategy delivering an exciting line up of new games, new platforms and new PDLC.