Frontier Developments plc (AIM: FDEV, ‘Frontier’, the ‘Group’ or the ‘Company’), a leading developer and publisher of videogames based in Cambridge, UK, provides an update on current year trading and Frontier’s future roadmap.
Frontier has a proven track record of launching multiple genre-leading game franchises with a strong post-launch nurturing strategy, supporting and expanding on the initial releases to deliver multi-year revenues. Frontier has launched and nurtured four successful titles to date since transitioning to self-publishing in 2013-2014; Elite Dangerous (December 2014), Planet Coaster (November 2016), Jurassic World Evolution (June 2018) and Planet Zoo (November 2019).
Planet Zoo was released as planned on PC on 5 November 2019 following a highly successful pre-launch marketing strategy. The base game and the deluxe product achieved the global number one and number two bestseller spots on Steam both prior to, and after, release at 12 noon GMT on 5 November 2019. Planet Zoo achieved a day one PC launch record for Frontier, having sold more PC units by the end of day one, including pre-order sales, than any of Frontier’s previous PC launches. Planet Zoo is the ultimate zoo sim where players can let their imagination run wild, with authentic living animals who think, feel and explore the world around them. Planet Zoo allows players to experience a globe-trotting campaign, create unique habitats and vast landscapes, make big decisions and meaningful choices, and nurture their animals as they construct and manage a truly modern zoo where animal welfare and conservation comes first.
On 14 November at XO19 in London, Microsoft’s annual global celebration of all things Xbox, Frontier made exciting announcements concerning both Planet Coaster and Jurassic World Evolution.
Frontier is delighted to reveal that Planet Coaster, the ultimate coaster park simulation game, will come to consoles in Summer 2020. Following great success on PC, Planet Coaster will join the Xbox One all-in-one games and entertainment system and PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system for fans and newcomers alike. Planet Coaster: Console Edition will bring all of the depth, strategy and customisation found in the beloved PC game, allowing new players the chance to dream big and build bigger on their journey to simulation stardom while benefiting from the ongoing development since its original launch.
For Jurassic World Evolution, Frontier is pleased to announce Jurassic World Evolution: Return to Jurassic Park, a premium DLC pack in partnership with Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, and created in collaboration with Universal Games and Digital Platforms. Jurassic World Evolution: Return to Jurassic Park takes place following the events of Jurassic Park, set in 1993, and features park designs, dinosaurs and characters from the original film. In the game, players will be able to go back to Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna to rebuild beloved locations on the islands. With seven new story missions featuring characters voiced by the original cast, including Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), players will be challenged to repair and restore the destroyed park and open its iconic gates to the public. The pack will be available on PC, the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and the Xbox One all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft on 10 December 2019.
The future for Elite Dangerous is also exciting. Frontier is developing a major new paid-for release for the iconic space simulation which will dramatically expand gameplay and mark the beginning of a new era for Elite Dangerous. This will be characterised by significant new features to appeal to existing commanders, whilst being specifically designed to be a compelling, attractive and welcoming entry point for new players. Targeted for launch at the end of 2020, this major new release on multiple platforms will fall into financial year 2021 (the 12 months ending 31 May 2021).
Frontier is also targeting a number of other very significant future opportunities. Two major new releases from internal development teams are currently planned for financial year 2022 (the 12 months ending 31 May 2022), one of which will benefit from a major global IP licence, as announced in March 2019, and will be released on multiple platforms.
Current trading and outlook
Taking into account the strong launch sales and the anticipated performance of Planet Zoo, together with the ongoing contributions from Elite Dangerous, Planet Coaster, and Jurassic World Evolution and all support and expansions, the Board continue to be comfortable with the current range of analyst revenue projections of £65 million to £73 million for the current financial year 2020 (the 12 months to 31 May 2020).
David Braben, Chief Executive, said:
“The reception to Planet Zoo has been very positive, which is a source of particular pride given our legacy in the genre, and I look forward to seeing more of our players’ creations. At the same time, I am delighted with the successful nurturing of our established titles, with some truly exciting developments coming to Elite Dangerous, Planet Coaster and Jurassic World Evolution.”
“We continue to target very significant new opportunities. I am particularly excited that we will be building on the success of Elite Dangerous with a major new release in financial year 2021 and will follow this with two major releases in financial year 2022, one of which will be our next game based on a major global IP licence.”