Electronic Arts’ financial results for both Q4 2020 and the full fiscal year have beaten investor expectations, thanks in no small part to the success of its live service titles (via VentureBeat). The company reported $1.39 billion in revenues for Q4, and $5.54 billion for their fiscal 2020 – a 12 per cent y/y increase from 2019.
The company has seen a strong performance from its recent titles. Apex Legends was the most downloaded free-to-play title on PS4 through 2019, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has seen over 10 million unique players and FIFA 20 has had more than 25 million unique players to date. Even older titles such as The Sims 4 have seen a boost, seeing more monthly average players in every quarter of fiscal 2020 than in the previous year.
“We’re humbled to see people around the world connecting through our games during this unprecedented period,” EA chief executive officer Andrew Wilson said. “Thanks to the amazing dedication and determination of our teams at Electronic Arts, we’re able to deliver the games, experiences, and content choices that our players are looking for during this challenging time.”
Blake Jorgensen, chief financial officer at EA, points to the company’s live-service strategy as the reason for the financial success:
“We’ve had a strong year. Our results this quarter prove the value of the live services path we’ve been on now for a decade. The breadth and depth of our live services give the flexibility we need at times like this to meet player needs,” said COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen. “I want to thank everyone at EA for rising to the challenge. People across the company have shown extraordinary innovation, energy and ingenuity. Learnings from this period will forever change the way we work at EA.”
EA is reporting heightened levels of engagement live services net bookings growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the crisis does pose risks for the company. For instance, the risk of cancellation of sporting events that EA seeks to launch games or provide live services, as well as the disruption to development cycles themselves.
Looking ahead, EA anticipates Q1 net revenues of $1.2 billion, while expects approximately $5.525 billion in net revenue for the full year.