Growing and Evolving
Frontier is a leading independent developer and publisher of video games founded in 1994 by David Braben, co-author of the iconic Elite game.
Frontier creates innovative genre-leading games, primarily for personal computers and video game consoles, with a growing team of over 900 talented people.
The main studio is in Cambridge, UK, with a second smaller studio in Winnipeg, Canada, following Frontier’s acquisition of Complex Games in 2022.
Frontier’s self-published game portfolio includes Elite Dangerous, Planet Coaster, Planet Zoo, Jurassic World Evolution, Jurassic World Evolution 2, F1® Manager 2022, F1® Manager 2023, and Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters.
In November 2023, Frontier will release Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin, incorporating the globally popular Games Workshop IP in a real-time strategy game, a new market segment for Frontier.
Frontier looks forward with confidence, based on a world-class team and a renewed strategy to deliver sustainable growth and financial performance through selecting, developing, launching, and nurturing genre-leading games in carefully selected market segments.
Highlights & KPIs
- A thriving and Growing Portfolio
- Frontier’s post-launch nurturing strategy delivered another strong performance in FY23, with games released before the start of the financial year delivering 72% of the total revenue in the period.
- Jurassic World Evolution 2, created in collaboration with Universal Products & Experiences and released in November 2021, was the biggest revenue contributor in the portfolio for FY23, benefitting from new content in the period including two major PDLC packs inspired by Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s Jurassic World franchise.
- In August 2022 Frontier further expanded its portfolio with the release of F1® Manager 2022, the first title in an annual series of Formula 1® management games, which sold over 800,000 units in FY23.
- The second annual title in the Formula 1® series, F1® Manager 2023, released in July 2023 (in FY24). This second iteration of the series has achieved good reviews and a positive reception from players, although initial sales were lower than expected.
- Support for F1® Manager 2023 continues whilst plans for F1® Manager in 2024 are developed.
- In November 2023, Frontier’s first entry into the popular real-time strategy (RTS) genre will be released. Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin, set within Games Workshop’s globally popular Warhammer IP , gives unique perspectives on the in-game action with unprecedented visual fidelity, and introduces an innovative control system to the proven gameplay mechanics of the genre, allowing console players to fully experience the RTS genre for the first time.
- Frontier has a strong position in the creative management simulation (CMS) genre, and development of further CMS games continues – the first is on track for release in FY25, with another title now in development for release in FY26.
- First Acquisition
- In November 2022, Frontier added a new development team through the acquisition of experienced game development studio Complex Games Inc. (Complex). This followed the successful collaboration between Complex and Frontier on the development and publication of the turn-based strategy game Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters, the biggest selling title in the portfolio of games published by Foundry.
- The acquisition has created a core development footprint for Frontier in Canada, a region with an extensive and growing talent pool for videogame development, and the team is in the process of scaling-up to support future growth.
- Integration activities and growth plans for Complex are on track, and the acquisition delivered modest accretive financial benefits in FY23, as expected.
- Closure of Frontier Foundry
- In June 2023 Frontier confirmed the closure of its third-party publishing label, Frontier Foundry (Foundry), following the completion of a strategic review.
- The decision has already enabled a heightened level of operational focus to be applied to Frontier’s own internally developed portfolio of titles.
- Revenue of £104.6 million (FY22: £114.0 million) was achieved through the ongoing performance of games which released in earlier financial years, sales from F1® Manager 2022 which released in August 2022, and modest contributions from new Foundry titles released during the period.
- Adjusted EBITDA* was a loss of £4.6 million (FY22: profit of £6.7 million), reflecting lower revenues achieved in FY23 versus the prior period and investment in titles for release in future years as Frontier gears up to deliver two new game releases per financial year from FY24 onwards.
- Operating profit in FY23 was negatively impacted by £28.7 million of non-cash intangible asset impairment and accelerated amortisation charges resulting from the closure of Foundry and a prudent re-assessment of the overall future performance of the F1® Manager franchise following lower than expected initial sales of F1® Manager 2023. The incremental non-cash charges resulted in an operating loss of £26.6 million in the period (FY22: profit of £1.5 million).
- Frontier continues to be well capitalised, with a cash balance at the end of FY23 (on 31 May 2023) of £28.3 million and £24.8 million as at the end of August 2023. The net cash outflow of £10.4 million in FY23 was after outflows of £10.9 million for the acquisition of Complex and £3.0 million for the purchase of shares in the Employee Benefit Trust. Cash would have grown in FY23 if the acquisition and share purchases are disregarded.
* Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation charges related to game developments and Frontier’s game technology, less investments in game developments and Frontier’s game technology, and excluding impairment charges, share-based payment charges and other non-cash items.
Operating (loss)/profit (£m)£(26.6)m
Operating (loss)/profit margin (%)(25)%
Cash balance (£m)£28.3m
Adjusted EBITDA* (£m)£(4.6)m
EPS (basic) (p)(53.6)p
The Board is confident that the Company can return to attractive levels of financial performance.
It has been an interesting and eventful time at Frontier. I joined the Board on 22 September 2022 and became Chairman at the start of December 2022, succeeding David Gammon, who had been Chairman for 10 years. My thanks go to my predecessor for his significant contribution to the evolution of Frontier throughout his tenure. There have been several other changes to the Board with Jonny Watts becoming Chief Executive Officer and David Braben moving to the role of President and Founder in August 2022. Alongside those changes, James Dixon stepped up to join the Board as Chief Operating Officer and Jessica Bourne was promoted to the role of General Counsel and Company Secretary.
Chairmans Statement 2023.pdf (106.68 KB) (106.68 KB)
We are confident that our future projects will deliver.
I was delighted to step up to the role of CEO in August 2022, having worked with David Braben and the team at Frontier for many years. I continue to be amazed every day by what our talented teams are able to deliver – we have terrific people and an exceptional culture of quality and creativity.
Chief Executive Officer
We’re confident a renewed focus on our proven strategy will deliver for all of our stakeholders.
FY23 revenue of £104.6 million (FY22: £114.0 million) was delivered through a solid performance from the existing portfolio of games (released prior to 1 June 2022), which accounted for 72% of revenue during the financial year, together with contributions from games released during the period. Jurassic World Evolution 2, which released in November 2021 through collaboration with Universal Products & Experiences, was the strongest performer in the portfolio, with revenue in its first 18 months exceeding the performance of the first Jurassic World Evolution game during its first 18 months. F1® Manager 2022 was the leading revenue generator amongst new games, selling over 800,000 units in its first nine months following its release in late August 2022 up to the end of the financial year on 31 May 2023.
Chief Financial Officer
Annual Report and Accounts 2023 – Key Sections
Nurturing and growing our portfolio
We seek out market opportunities to leverage our extensive experience in sophisticated, authentic simulation games to deliver genre-leading titles which each deliver multi-year revenues through our ‘Develop, Launch & Nurture’ model, creating a strong portfolio of game franchises.Strategic Report 2023.pdf (2.88 MB)96Spa311dF[[[[[[11
Conquer the Mortal Realms
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin is set in Ghur, the savage Realm of Beasts, an inhospitable, violent land where only the strongest survive. In the single-player campaign, the forces of Order dispatch the celestial, reforged champions known as the Stormcast Eternals to reclaim this realm. After establishing a precarious foothold in this dangerous place, their fortress settlement is under serious threat from the Kruleboyz, the sinister and violent Orruk faction who call Ghur their home. When this Stormcast detachment’s leader, Sigrun, learns about a source of arcane power that can protect against the Kruleboyz, they venture into the swamplands at great risk to obtain it – beginning the campaign’s twisted cinematic tale of desperate survival.Strategic Report 2023.pdf (2.88 MB)96Spa311dF[[[[[[11
Rewrite Every Race
F1® Manager 2023 released in July 2023, digitally only, on Steam, Epic Games Store, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, followed by the physical release for all console versions in August 2023. This is the second instalment of our multi-year exclusive licence with Formula One Management to develop and publish PC and console management games annually for the FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™ (‘F1®’), the world’s most prestigious motor racing competition.Strategic Report 2023.pdf (2.88 MB)96Spa311dF[[[[[[11
Our Business Model
There are a wide variety of business models within the games industry and the wider digital entertainment sector. Our chosen model is to create and publish our own content with the ultimate aim of achieving strong financial returns on our investments over many years. This year we have introduced ‘Select’ to our existing ‘Develop, Launch, & Nurture’ model to emphasise and demonstrate the importance of our selection process.Strategic Report 2023.pdf (2.88 MB)96Spa311dF[[[[[[11
Create Your Own Jurassic World
Jurassic World Evolution 2 successfully launched in November 2021 on PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as a much-anticipated sequel to Frontier’s ground-breaking management simulation, Jurassic World Evolution (2018).
Jurassic World Evolution 2 delivers a compelling Campaign mode featuring Dr Ian Malcolm (voiced by Jeff Goldblum) and Claire Dearing (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard), a deeper, richer suite of creative tools and customisation options, over 75 awe-inspiring prehistoric species, and many more incredible features and modes. One of these is the all-new Chaos Theory mode, where players take charge as they revisit pivotal moments from across six films in the Jurassic World and franchise in a series of ’what if’ scenarios, such as taking on John Hammond’s original vision of Jurassic Park, where disaster is averted and the park is able to welcome in its very first guests, or working alongside Simon Masrani to build Jurassic World.Strategic Report 2023.pdf (2.88 MB)96Spa311dF[[[[[[11
Fulfil Your Duty
Developed by Complex Games, Canada, now part of Frontier Developments, Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters pitches humanity’s greatest weapon, the Grey Knights, against the corrupting forces of Chaos in this brutal and fast-paced turn-based tactical RPG.
In the grim darkness of the 41st millennium a new monstrous threat looms over the galaxy. The champions of the plague god Nurgle have begun to spread a new contagion, The Bloom. This virulent plague that spreads Nurgle’s influence across worlds and mutates planets into manifestations of his twisted image. It falls on you, the newly appointed Force Commander of the Grey Knights aboard the Baleful Edict Strike Cruiser, to take up arms and strike down the heresy before it spreads out of control.Strategic Report 2023.pdf (2.88 MB)96Spa311dF[[[[[[11
An Engaging, Exciting Culture
Our team are amazing, talented people who are instrumental in making our much‑loved authentic games that define genres, break boundaries, and sell millions of copies to players around the world. We connect with our hybrid team through our internal livestreams, allowing us to share in our vision of creating, launching, and nurturing world‑class games that put both Frontier and the games industry itself at the forefront of the global entertainment industry.Strategic Report 2023.pdf (2.88 MB)96Spa311dF[[[[[[11
Discover Limitless Creativity
Frontier’s fourth self-published title, Planet Zoo, launched exclusively for PC in November 2019. Planet Zoo rapidly established itself as the ultimate zoo simulation, becoming Frontier’s biggestselling PC game during an equivalent time period from release, crossing 1 million units in less than six months.
Featuring authentic living animals, rich management, and limitless creativity, in Planet Zoo players can build and manage a truly modern zoo where animal welfare and conservation come first. Players nurture their animals throughout their lives, study and manage every species to see them thrive.Strategic Report 2023.pdf (2.88 MB)96Spa311dF[[[[[[11
Create Sky-High Thrills
Planet Coaster was successfully launched on PC in November 2016 after a short beta period, achieving the global #1 position on the Steam distribution channel and continuing to sell strongly through the subsequent holiday period. In accordance with the game’s roadmap, free updates have added headline features, while expanding and improving different creative and management aspects of the game.
In addition to the free updates, players can introduce further content into their parks through the purchase of paid downloadable content (PDLC) packs. The first of these was released in July 2017, and in total Planet Coaster now has 11 separate PDLC packs available to purchase.Strategic Report 2023.pdf (2.88 MB)96Spa311dF[[[[[[11
A Responsible, Considerate Approach
Frontier has always endeavoured to conduct business in a considerate, responsible, and ethical manner. To do this, we place our key stakeholders – our people, our players, our partners, our investors, and the public – at the core of everything we do. We aim to be a leader in our industry for creating games which, in themselves and through the process of creating and nurturing them, resonate with the key environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles of our stakeholders.
Launched in September 2021, our ESG hub is a dedicated section of our website which consolidates all of our ESG information in one place. Our ESG hub enables our investors, our partners, our players, and our people to access all the latest Frontier news, data, statements, and policies relating to ESG topics. Find out more by heading to frontier.co.uk/esg-hubStrategic Report 2023.pdf (2.88 MB)96Spa311dF[[[[[[11
Fight For Humanity
Elite Dangerous is now in its tenth financial year since its release on PC in December 2014. It then released on Xbox One in 2015, and PlayStation 4 in 2017. Since its first release, Frontier has continually supported Elite Dangerous and Commanders with updates, free content, major expansions, and personalisation opportunities, selling over 5.1 million base game units to date.
Over the years, we have seen the Horizons season, concluding with the Return. The Beyond season delivered enhancements to the overall player experience. May 2021 saw the release of the most ambitious expansion to date on PC, Elite Dangerous: Odyssey, marking the birth of a highly anticipated new era for Frontier’s long-running definitive space simulation, allowing players to touch down on countless new planets powered by stunning new tech, see breath-taking new scenery, engage in first-person combat and explore with unrestricted freedom from a feet-on-the-ground perspective.Strategic Report 2023.pdf (2.88 MB)96Spa311dF[[[[[[11
Effectively Managing Our Risks
Our people are our greatest asset, and so naturally many of our key risks relate to our people. Our strategy of nurturing and growing our portfolio of games requires a large number of talented and engaged individuals working together to produce amazing content and to deliver that content to our player communities.
The significant increase in remote working since the pandemic has heightened people-related risks for us, with the main challenges related to collaboration, connectivity, and engagement. In our view, exclusive or predominant remote working introduces additional risks around people working together and feeling connected and engaged with each other and the Group as a whole. Of course, there are great benefits from remote working too, and so finding the right balance has been, and will continue to be, important.Strategic Report 2023.pdf (2.88 MB)96Spa311dF[[[[[[11