May 7, the company EA reported on the results of its fiscal year (ended March 31).
The publisher boasted a significant increase in the involvement of players, the launch of two new IP (Apex Legends and Anthem), as well as the release of the biggest live-event in the history of Battlefield – Firestorm mode.
Net income for the year fell slightly, but the company warned about this even on the last financial report. Profit declined amid increased investment in research and development — the publisher is probably preparing for the next console generation.
Fiscal year results
- Net income for the fiscal year ended March 31 was $ 4.95 billion, from 5.15 billion a year earlier. Operating profit was 996 million compared to 1.43 billion a year earlier.
- In the current fiscal year, the company expects growth – largely due to the development of digital sales, which already account for 75% of the publisher’s revenue.
- In the “digit”, the publisher dropped only the mobile games segment (-13%), while consoles, PCs and “other” platforms grew.
- Revenue from purchases of full games in the “digital” grew by 8% compared with last year. It makes up only 20% of the total revenue of the publisher in the “figure”.
- 65% of digital revenue comes from live services, including DLC, micro-transactions and FIFA Ultimate Team.
- The number of active players in Sims 4 increased by 35% compared with the last financial year.
- In FIFA 19 and FIFA 18 for the fiscal year, 45 million unique players were registered on consoles and PCs.
- The publisher spent on research and development for the year 1.43 billion dollars – against 1.32 billion a year earlier.
Details from the press conference
- Apex Legends – EA’s fastest growing game(over 50 million players). 30% of shooter users are new to the publisher. Information about the second season will appear in June, at EA Play. The game will actively support.
- Anthem start was below EA expectations. Players spent 150 million hours in it (other numberspublisher silent). The team focuses on improving the quality of the game and the new content for it.
- The share of digital sales of full games on consoles at EA reached 49%. Anthem was one of the most “digital” releases of the company – the share of disk sales was unusually low.
- Firestorm has become the largest live event in Battlefield history.
- EA expects the Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order to disperse 6-8 million copies by March 31, Need for Speed - 4 million copies, Plants vs. Zombies – “a few million”, and Apex Legends can generate 300-400 million dollars in revenue.
- Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order will be promoted in the context of the ninth Star Wars episode.
- EA plans to release Apex Legends in China and on smartphones.
- Free-to-play was successful for the publisher – it will release more games with this monetization model., but the number of 60-dollar releases will not be reduced.
- Twitch is a key player engagement tool.
- Subscriptions are important for EA and make a profit. The company will distribute them to more platforms and add more games – their own and others.
- 3.5 million users have subscribed to EA Access and Origin Access.
- The subscription model allows you to attract new players to the already popular franchises, and also helps to make decisions about which games to add or follow the development of which titles.
- EA already modifies its engines next generation console.
- The company wants to more clearly interact with the audience: check the readiness of games for release and notify players about what they will get at the start and after.
- The games of the publisher will be more, but they will have more elements of service and online.
Plans for 2019
- Third Quarter (July-September): FIFA 20, Madden NFL 20, NBA Live 20, NHL 20, Sea of Solitude.
- Fourth Quarter (October-December): Need For Speed, Plants vs. Zombies, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order