Star Wars and digital boosts EA’s Q3

13m copies of Star Wars Battlefront has been sold into stores, boosting EA’s revenue to 1.8bn.

The company boasts it was the No.1 publisher on PS4 and Xbox One during the quarter as it exceeded its own expectations, although that 1.8bn is broadly in-line with what the market had predicted.

EA says that the new Need for Speed comfortably outsold the previous game in the franchise, which suggests the firm may have been right to give the series a year off.

Star Wars Battlefront was, unsurprising for a big blockbuster release, primarily sold via physical channels – more so than the company expected. However, it was the biggest month year for EA’s digital sales, with $807m in revenue coming from that sector – up 16 per cent compared with the same period a year previously.

"Continued growth of our digital part of our business is important to our profitability," said CFO Blake Jorgensen. "All of our digital streams are higher in profit than our traditional packaged goods."

Despite raising its internal outlook for the fiscal year, EA’s expectations for the next three months were lower than certain analysts had predicted, which has had a slight negative impact on the company’s share price – down by about 6 per cent.

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