EA's investor call yesterday delivered some interesting slices of information regarding the publishing leviathan, and we've helpfully rounded up all of the information below for you.
Sales Figures Dip, SimCity Sells 1.6 Million
There were sales updates galore to be found, but the overarching image was really one of a company treading water financially as the industry enters a significant period of transition.
EA reported sales of $3.80 billion, which proved to be around 8% down on the previous year's figures at $4.14 billion. Revenues for Q4 fell 12% to $1.21 billion, as did EA's profits for that quarter dropping 19% to $323 million. Net income for the whole year was actually up, however, boosting 29% from $76 million to $98 million.
SimCity started off strong, perhaps unsurprising perhaps given the swathe of disgustingly irresponsible early reviews for the game by renowned outlets such as Polygon that should really have known better, shifting 1.1 million copies in the first fortnight , but EA's call revealed that the figure at the moment stands at 1.6 million copies since early March, suggesting the pace has slowed.
Labels boss Frank Gibeau said that the company has "learned our lesson", stating that such a thing "will not happen again".
There was good news for the likes of Battlefield and FIFA, however, particularly for the former, whose longevity through DLC proved profitable. The Battlefield 3 Premium downloadable content subscription amassed $120 million in Q4, with 3.5 million. Elsewhere, FIFA 13 ended the financial year with 14.5 million units sold -- a 30% increase year-on-year. On top of that, the game raked in more than $200 million in digital revenue through initiatives such as FIFA Ultimate Team packs, almost doubling the revenue from the year before.
The FIFA franchise as a whole generated nearly $350 million in FY 2013 helped on by EA Sports, FIFA Online and FIFA World Class Soccer.
Good news for SWTOR, as well. Since going free-to-play, EA reported that around 1.7 million new players have joined and monthly revenue has more than doubled, with paid subscriptions sitting at a cool half a million.
All in all, digital net revenue hit $453 million, up from $419 million year-on-year.
New Engine At E3 2013, New Games From EA Sports, Bioware, DICE
"Regarding next generation consoles, we are under a non-disclosure agreement with our platform partners, however, we’re planning a full reveal at E3 including more next generation titles in development for FY14," Gibeau said. "This will include breakthroughs in graphics and gameplay for some of our biggest franchises including Battlefield, FIFA, Madden, NBA LIVE, and Need for Speed. We plan to unveil new titles from EA SPORTS, Bioware, and DICE and a first look at some brand new games."
So Dragon Age III and maybe, maybe Mirror's Edge 2? We've heard whispers on the matter from our own sources on the latter, so fingers crossed on that front.
"I also want to call out a big accomplishment by the teams that built the development engines for our next generation of games — Frostbite3 engineered at DICE, and a brand new engine from EA SPORTS," Gibeau continued. "These world class tech stacks are powering all of our development on the new systems. They provide an enduring common technology that saves cost, fosters efficiency, and provides spectacular physics and graphics for our games. This isn’t a vision – these engines are fully functional right now and powering the games you’ll see at E3 in June."
Finally, Larry Probst touched on the nature of the coming transition and what EA need to do, and indeed are doing, in order to be ready for it.
"This is a time when we tighten our belts and position the company for future growth and success," Probst said. "We cut operating costs, sharpened our product focus and made strategic investments in next generation consoles, mobile and PCs. The world is changing and technology is about to take another big leap forward. Our goal is to capitalize on this opportunity by delivering high-quality games and services to our consumers on their platform of choice."