Video games developer Frontier Developments (FDEV:AIM) is preparing for lift-off after announcing the earlier-than-expected launch of the next major of expansion of space adventure game, Elite Dangerous: Horizons.
The expansion, labelled The Engineers, should have a positive impact on revenue and profitability in the year ending 31 May 2016, news which sends the shares up 1.5% to 201.5p.
It’s a turn-up for the £67 million cap, which issued a profit warning in March when it pushed back the release of the title from April until the first half of its next financial year, which starts on 1 June 2016.
The slight delay has enabled additional development time, which Frontier says has greatly improved the quality of the game.
‘We are therefore optimistic that this new version is a catalyst for both for new and existing customers who have delayed their purchase of season two: Horizons,’ says FinnCap analyst Harold Evans.
Frontier plans to launch a version of Elite Dangerous: Horizons for Xbox One on 3 June.
Its second self-published title, Planet Coaster, is on track for a full release in the final calendar quarter of 2016. This will complete the group’s transition to a fully self-publishing video games company.
Frontier has had a lot of success with its original Elite Dangerous game, with unit sales exceeding 1.5 million since its launch in December 2014.
It has a strong balance sheet, with net cash of approximately £8.9 million as of 31 March, which puts it in a good position to support its investment plans going forward.
Despite the positive news, Frontier still has a lot to prove before its year-to-date 17% share price fall starts to reverse.