EA has revealed its financial results for the third fiscal quarter ending on December 31 via a new report, and here we find out that FIFA has served the company pretty well as a franchise, despite a difficult year for the company.
"The video game industry continues to grow through a year of intense competition and transformational change," said CEO Andrew Wilson. "Q3 was a difficult quarter for Electronic Arts and we did not perform to our expectations. We are now applying the strengths of our company to sharpen our execution and focus on delivering great new games and long-term live services for our players. We're very excited about Apex Legends, the upcoming launch of Anthem, and a deep line-up of new experiences that we'll bring to our global communities next fiscal year."
R&D (research and development) is being refocused, according to COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen, who also looks ahead to Anthem and the future of recently released Apex Legends, a game which has just accrued 2.5 million players in 24 hours, according to a Q&A following this earnings report.
We also hear that "related Titanfall experiences" will be growing (perhaps the Titanfall project Respawn CEO Vince Zampella recently tweeted about) as well as new Need for Speed and Plants vs. Zombies titles. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is mentioned as a game to be added to their portfolio too.
Digital net bookings - the net amount of products sold digitally or physically - for the trailing 12 months was $3.577 billion USD though, which is up 6% year-on-year. We also find out that during this quarter Ultimate Team matches on FIFA increased by 15% year-over-year, and that FIFA 19 was the highest-selling game in Europe during the calendar year 2018.
As reported by Investor's Business Daily, EA's stock fell sharply following this report of a "difficult quarter" falling below expectations, but according to EA's own predictions for this quarter - ending on March 31 - net revenue is expected to be around $1.163 billion, with net bookings expected to be approximately $1.170 billion.
At the end of last month we reported that EA had removed FIFA points from sale in Belgium as part of a Belgian law that Andrew Wilson made clear he disagreed with, so it seems as if business strategies are changing at EA.
Is this the best time for Apex Legends to launch, considering EA's performance?