EA Financial Results Show Growth Despite Recent Player Backlash

Star Wars Battlefront II

Electronic Arts has posted its fiscal sales numbers for the end of 2017, and, with the help of certain titles, they’ve exceeded their statistics from the previous year.

According to the report from Business Wire, EA saw approximate digital net revenue to the tune of $3.2 billion, compared to the $2.6 billion from the previous year, as well as $1.8 billion in “packaged goods and other net revenue” (likely from DLC), compared to $1.9 billion from the previous year. Despite the slight drop off in the second total, the overall net revenue for the year was $5.09 billion, up from the $4.6 billion in the previous year. That’s about $1 billion in net income, although that’s a slight drop from the $1.3 billion in 2016.

“Players enjoyed hundreds of millions of hours in our games across console, mobile and PC during the holiday quarter, and we’re thrilled to see our titles driving excitement for more fans around the world,” said Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson. “We’re expanding the reach of our top franchises across more geographies, our competitions are growing in participation and viewership, and we’re continuing to grow our network with more amazing games and content coming this quarter and beyond.”

“Our diversity in portfolio, platforms, geographies, and business models is the foundation of a robust business that enables us to deliver dependable cash flow,” said Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen. “Through the fourth quarter and fiscal 2019, we’ll be launching games across five different genres, on three different platforms, and to players around the world. We expect growth in full-game downloads, subscriptions, extra content, and in our mobile business.”

With the report, EA also had statistics for a number of individual games, including Star Wars: Battlefront II, which actually met expectations, despite heavy backlash from consumers over the proposed “loot crate” system:

  • The FIFA community saw expansive growth, to over 42 million players on consoles alone, over the course of the year
  • FIFA’s mobile game also added 26 million players to its total player base for the quarter.
  • FIFA Ultimate Team saw a growth of 12 percent year-over-year, from the launch of FIFA 18 to the end of the quarter.
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II’s single player campaign was highly effective, with 70 percent of players giving it a try to some extent. (This could be an argument to include them in more games in the future, even with focus on multiplayer.)
  • Battlefield 1 has now reached more than 25 million unique players, a new high for the series.
  • The Sims 4 saw a growth in its player base, up 35 percent from the previous game in the franchise, and is considered the highest-performing expansion pack for the year.
  • Finally, the Madden Challenge was a huge hit on the CW Network, considered the number one esports television broadcast for the year.

How will EA perform for 2018? It really depends on the game releases, and how well Battlefront II holds up. We’ll see what unfolds over the next few months!