Electronic Arts published its second quarter results yesterday (transcript available here), showing sales figures sliding downwards, but still beating its revenue and earnings forecast.
EA’s net revenues are down 15 per cent to $1.15 billion for Q2, with net income down 88 per cent to $185 million. Net bookings meanwhile are down 31 per cent to $910 million.
These lowered figures are likely a result of EA altering its yearly release schedule. Last year’s second quarter saw the release of Madden, Sea of Solitude, FIFA, and NHL, but this year’s FIFA and NHL released in Q3 – and Madden released much later in Q2 than last year.
In Q2 this year, EA released Madden, Star Wars Squadrons, UFC 4 and Rocket Arena. First week sell-through of Madden 21 was up 20 per cent year-over-year, while Star WarsSquadrons performed above expectations, although no figures were given.
Despite releasing FIFA 21 later than usual this year, the franchise has had an excellent calendar year.
“Even prior to launching FIFA 21,” said Andrew Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of EA, “our FIFA franchise is having the biggest calendar year ever with our business across all platforms, up 26% year over year in net bookings. FIFA 20 has reached nearly 35 million players on console and PC. FIFA Mobile continues to perform well and FIFA Online Asia broke engagement records across China and Korea in Q2. We just launched FIFA Mobile in Japan in October as we continue to see significant international expansion opportunities for our FIFA franchise.”
Apex Legends bookings are up 24 per cent year-over-year this quarter, with the game set to top $1 billion in lifetime revenues by the end of the fiscal year (March 31), having earned $500 million this fiscal year alone.
EA is still seeing significant success with The Sims franchise too, and the Sims 4 player base on PC and console is now the largest in franchise history.
EA’s subscription service, EA Play, is the most successful multi-platform subscription in the industry. The service has grown to 6.5 million paying subscribers, partly due to its recent release on Steam. The service is due to be included in Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate next week, and EA expects its user base to grow significantly as a result.
EA has kept its full year net revenue forecast at $5.63 billion, but increased its forecast for net income by 6 per cent, to $924 million.