EA is being conservative heading into the Christmas period as the publisher is forecast to be under its earnings estimate for the next quarter. Initially, the company's earnings were to be valued at $2.01 billion for the quarter by analysts but EA themselves have put the prediction slightly lower at $2 billion.
The drop in estimate has also led to a 3.4 per cent drop in the company's share price. This is despite a strong performance in Q2 by the EA Sports brand with the release of FIFA 18 and Madden 18. Going into the next quarter, EA is hoping for big from Star Wars Battlefront 2 whose main competition will be Activision's Call of Duty WWII.
Interestingly, EA said that its digital sales (which it called Net Bookings) were up to $3.24 billion and up 26 per cent year on year. This time last year EA was in a position where it released two similar titles in a short space of time. Both Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 were released within weeks of each other, along with the Call of Duty annual instalment making for a very split market. Although no mention is made of Titanfall 2's performance, the earnings reports noted that Battlefield 1 grew to reach over 23 million players globally.
"It was a strong second quarter for Electronic Arts, with players around the world captivated by our new EA SPORTS titles, top-performing mobile games, and expanding esports competitions,” said EA's CEO Andrew Wilson, in a press release. “The digital transformation is accelerating across our industry, and we are well-positioned for continued growth with more stunning new titles, thriving event-driven live services including competitive gaming, and continuing innovation for our players on all platforms.”
“We saw a notable shift to digital in our sports titles and remarkable growth in Ultimate Team,” added CFO, Blake Jorgensen. “Our sports titles have once again shown their value in delivering a stable and dependable performance. This quarter demonstrates how they can drive our business and offers a window into how our games will evolve over the months and years to come.”