EA had a slightly difficult end to 2018, as they underperformed and failed to meet their previous projections. Of course, that doesn’t mean they lost money, and they still turned a $262 million profit, it’s just that they didn’t match their own expectations.
To date, Battlefield V has sold a healthy 7.3 million copies across all platforms, but that’s a million less than EA had indicated in its guidance. EA COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen and CEO Andrew Wilson pinned the blame on a heavy quarter of major game releases like RDR2 and Call of Duty, a poor start to the game’s marketing and the fact that they focussed on keeping a single player campaign in the game at launch, instead of trying to get the upcoming Battle Royale mode ready, which was a decision that Activision made to great success with Black Ops 4. That Battle Royale mode is still on target for March.
Alongside BFV, mobile game revenue dropped significantly with Command and Conquer Rivals failing to gain a significant audience, a delayed game and Madden Mobile’s inability to drive microtransaction sales. This led to a year-on-year drop in net booking in mobile games of 23%.
However, EA can point to digital sales rising 6% year-on-year, an increase of 15% in FIFA Ultimate Team matches, FIFA 19 being the highest-selling game in Europe last year, and (in the hear and now) a very healthy start for Respawn’s new Battle Royale game Apex Legends.
Looking forward, they hope to grow Apex Legends (and other Titanfall “experiences”), launch Anthem, are working on a new Plants vs. Zombies shooter, Need for Speed racer, and expect to launch Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order this autumn.