EA’s Free iPhone Simpsons Game Netted $28 Million Last Quarter

EA made $100 million last quarter in mobile games, according to their latest investor report. That’s a staggering amount of money, but tellingly it wasn’t entirely from simple game purchases. Take the case of the free-to-play Simpsons Tapped Out game, which netted the company $28 million.

That income was from in-app purchases, the now staple economy of iPhone games, and it’s this piecemeal bite-sized model that we’re highly likely to see rolled out in force next generation.

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Indeed, it’s what EA are doing with Dead Space 3, due out soon for the current generation consoles. EA’s chosen path might have caused upset but it’s founded on solid business credentials.

In-app purchases, if done right, work.

EA also said that they see digital downloads as the future, although cite “significant volatility” due to the current console transition period. We’ve already covered the disaster that was Medal of Honor, with EA retiring the brand for now.

Sadly for Wii U fans, it seems EA aren’t really onboard, although they do reckon Nintendo will bounce back. “Never count Nintendo out,” they said. “They have great IP. You will see a bounce when they bring these IPs out. We see no correlation between Wii U sales and what we expect from other next-gen consoles, can’t talk a lot about that though.”

And does the company see Wii U as next-gen? No. “What we describe as ‘Gen 4’ is yet to come. We’re excited and investing in it.”

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11 Comments

  1. I had tapped out for a bit. Even if you bought the in app purchase for £70 you wouldn’t have enough donuts to buy all the buildings etc. what a rip off!
    Knights of pen and paper is an example of how to do in app and a bloody great game. Everyone go buy it now!

  2. IAPs do well in games like tha Simpsons ios game, because you get the game free, ask people to pay 40 quid and they’re gonna be reluctant to pay for similar in game purchases.
    especially as they run out and would need to be bought again.

    good for them with the Simpsons game, boo hiss for Dead Space 3.

  3. Is it really what they’re doing with Dead Space 3!?! Didn’t expect EA to give away free copies of Dead Space 3 and then recoup their losses from in game purchases…oh wait, no… they’re not doing that.

  4. Wonder how many people know how much they spent on games like this.

    I think this is a bubble that will burst as people (casual/mobile gamers etc…) catch on to how much these games really end up costing. It’s not a model that’s going to see loads of games making money just a few at the top that take it all. Someone might spend a lot on one game but I think they’ll learn quickly not to do it again.

    I can see future of single player games going down the road of releasing episodes with season passes.

    The skylands/disney infinity method could work. At least when you buy the DLC you get something physical as well. How great would Uncharted be if you bought new chapters through buying models of Drake, Elena, Sully etc…?

  5. I would just like to say that I hate EA and that it is sad that they have so many franchises i.e. dead Space, all the sports games, Need for speed, Burnout, MoH and Battlefield. With all this control over games they give no f**ks about the consumers.

  6. I will never pay for micro-transactions. If that means I miss out on half of next-gen’s games, so be it.

    • Ahh but there is a difference between not buying micro transactions, or buying games with micro transactions.

      I’ll always avoid micro transactions, but that won’t stop me from enjoying a game just because MTs are part of the game. I just won’t purchase them.

      • Yeah, but the problem comes when EA, and others, expect the consumer to give in to MT’s. Once this happens the game will revolve around them, and then those who refuse to buy the MT’s will suffer.

  7. I sincerely hope this fails & they are put off doing it in more games. As I’ve been gaming since the 90’s I am used to getting the whole game when you pay £40. I already wait for the GotY editions of games that have masses of dlc announced before release, unlimited in-game purchases is the unfortunate next step it seems.

  8. preorder your bullets for Battlefield 4 folks. ^_^

  9. The thing many, many people forget, is that it’s not just EA that milks the IAPs on iOS and android, and they’re not the worst offenders on those platforms for doing it. But by the same token, unless you’re going to reduce the retail price of games, IAPs in console and PC games are never ever going to sit well.

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