The industry seems to be clapping back at Electronic Arts and their grabby business tactics. According to its Q3 financial results, the company isn’t doing nearly as well as it had hoped to. CEO Andrew Wilson addresses this:
“The video game industry continues to grow through a year of intense competition and transformational change. Q3 was a difficult quarter for Electronic Arts and we did not perform to our expectations. We are now applying the strengths of our company to sharpen our execution and focus on delivering great new games and long-term live services for our players. We’re very excited about Apex Legends, the upcoming launch of Anthem, and a deep line-up of new experiences that we’ll bring to our global communities next fiscal year.”EA launched two big titles last year, Battlefield V and the mobile game Command & Conquer Rivals. However, neither performed as expected. EA wanted Battlefield V to sell around 8.3 million units but only ended up around 7.3 million. According to a statement from EA, these lower sales are a result of the company’s “difficult window” regarding its launch, and “prioritizing the single-player campaign over battle royale”. That said, they aren’t giving up, as fans tend to play Battlefield for a long time. To showcase this, the company reveals that Battlefield 1 still has around four million monthly players with Battlefield 4 achieving nearly two million despite launching five years ago.
Looking at the numbers, Q3 ending on December 31, 2018, had EA hitting $1.289 billion in net revenue. This number comes from $908 million in digital profits and $381 million from everything else. Overall, the company had a total income of $262 million with net bookings reaching $1.609 billion. Both of these numbers fell short of projections, however. EA expected $1.375 billion in net revenue and $1.725 in net bookings.
According to COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen, FIFA is still performing well despite the other franchises falling. He then goes into EA’s future plans, stating that they’re “refocusing R&D”.
So far this quarter, EA and developer DICE released Battlefield V’s Season 2 content in January, making it the “largest Battlefield game ever.” Then, Monday was the surprise launch of Respawn’s free-to-play Battle Royale, Apex Legends, which takes place in the Titanfall universe. The game will launch a battle pass in March and has had over 2.5m players since its launch with 600k peak concurrent players.. Finally, the much-anticipated service game, Anthem, releases later this month. Of course, we've yet to see how these games will perform. But, EA predicts $1.163 billion in net revenue, $170 million in net income, and $1.17 billion in net bookings. March 31st is the end of the fiscal year as well. Come that time, EA hopes for $4.875 billion in net revenue, $980 million in net income, and finally, $4.75 billion in net bookings.
What do you think of EA's performance in Q3? Do you think Battlefield V's 'underperformance' was due to the 'single-player campaign'? Let us know in the comments below!