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EA FY11: BF3 “flat out superior” to CoD, losses trimmed

Wednesday, 4th May 2011 21:15 GMT By Staff

EA has said pre-orders for Battlefield 3 are hugely higher than those for Bad Company 2, and has shown solid results for both the full-year ending March 31 and its fiscal Q4.

EA FY11 – highlights

Mass Effect 3 delayed into Q1 calendar 2012.

Need for Speed: The Run out Q4 calendar 2011, Kingdoms of Amalur out Q1 calendar 2012.

Full-year loss down from $677 million to $276 million in year-ending March 31, 2011.

Battlefield 3 pre-orders up over 700 percent on 2010′s Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

“Outside chance” SWTOR could slip into January 2012.

EA lost $276 million in the year ended March 31, narrowed from the $677 million lost in the previous year, while sales stayed virtually unmoved at $3.589 billion compared to last year’s $3.654 billion.

Profit for the fourth quarter, ending March 31, was well up, at $151 million compared to $30 million in the previous corresponding period.

The company also said that Battlefield 3 pre-orders were up over 700 percent on Battlefield: Bad Company 2, the last game in the series which released last year.

“We know we have a big competitor, but head-to-head with Call of Duty in Q3, we have the superior game engine, a superior development studio, and a flat out superior game,” said Frank Gibeau. “Our goal is to significantly gain share in the huge FPS category and to put the other team on defense.”

FIFA 11 has now sold 11 million units, EA said; Bad Company 2 has now moved 7 million; and NfS: Hot Pursuit and Madden 11 has now shifted 5 million apiece.

Cumulative sales of Dead Space 2 are now 40 percent higher than that of the original at this point in the game’s cycle, the firm said, although no specific figures were given.

The company also gave a full release schedule for the coming fiscal year, showing the newly-slipped Mass Effect 3 in the fourth quarter and confirming RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning for the same first three months of calendar 2012.

“We know we have a big competitor, but head-to-head with Call of Duty in Q3, we have the superior game engine, a superior development studio, and a flat out superior game.Our goal is to significantly gain share in the huge FPS category and to put the other team on defense.”

Need for Speed: The Run, which was only announced last week, has now been confirmed for the holiday quarter.

SWTOR could slip into January 2012

EA said during its call to investors that it while it had expected to release Star Wars: The Old Republic during Q2 or Q3 for FY 12, the “end of our guidance range assumes the outside possibility of a January launch.”

“We assume that Star Wars: The Old Republic ships in the calendar year, but our guidance range accounts for a range of ship dates within the fiscal year,” said games president Frank Gibeau. “We assume that Star Wars: The Old Republic ships in the calendar year, but our guidance range accounts for a range of ship dates within the fiscal year.

“While we fully anticipate launching Star Wars: The Old Republic in Q2 or Q3, the low end of our guidance range assumes the outside possibility of a January launch.”

The firm called the game the “biggest event of the year,” and a “jawdropping subscription-based MMO that is captivating critics and fans in the beta test.”

EA said the game has over one million double-opt-in beta testers for “the world’s first story-driven, fully voiced MMO.”

According to Gibeau, the firm plans to releases 22 primary titles down from 36 in fiscal year 2011, and the fiscal 2012 title plan posted below details the principal titles to be launched by quarter; however, SWTOR is not on the list as it will launch as a digital service.

EA plans to release the game as a subscription-based service, and is refusing to lock down a release date so it won’t “tip off the competition,” and due to the fact the firm wants the game to spend more time in beta to “guarantee a spectacular experience at launch.”

Going digital in a digital world

Digital revenue for the fourth quarter also showed heavy growth, up from $144 million in 2010 to $211 million this year. On a full-year basis, downloadable content – from console and PC combined – was triple the firm’s fiscal year 2010 results.

“We substantially exceeded our own ambitious target for digital revenue,” said CEO John Riccitiello. “We set out the year with the goal of hitting $750 million. In the end, our digital nonGAAP revenue grew by 46 percent and exceeded $800 million. I am particularly proud of EA’s rapid growth and scale in digital; and that our growth rate almost doubled that of the digital sector overall. We did it in a way no other competitor can and in a way that best addresses the future opportunity in the market.

“We did it across multiple IP, across all the relevant platforms, from social to mobile to console, and across a variety of business models.”

“We will transform EA from a packaged goods company to a fully integrated digital entertainment company.”

“Today, we are announcing a big shift to “offense”.

“The consumer has changed,” he continued, “200 million console players have become 1.5 billion consumers gaming on multiple devices. We are the only gaming company serving this larger opportunity.

“I’d now like to outline a shift in our strategies. When we established objectives around reducing title count, cutting costs and starting a digital business, we did so recognizing that we needed to execute a turn-around and the major part of what needed to change was to reduce titles and cost. Our strategies could be defined as fundamentally “defensive”.

“Today, we are announcing a big shift to “offense”. Over the coming years, we will transform EA from a packaged goods company to a fully integrated digital entertainment company.

Riccitiello said EA plans to “transform EA to a games-as-a-service model,” by focusing on three new strategies. One of these is Intellectual Property which he said will see titles FIFA, Madden, Battlefield, Need For Speed, The Sims, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect become a “year-round businesses that lead their sectors across a range of platforms.”

Riccitiello said the second strategy was through platform, as the firm sees itself as a “software platform every bit as much as… a content maker for other companies’ platforms.”

“We have a great start with 112 million consumers in our Nucleus registration system, up from 61 million a year ago,” he said. “And, while we will continue to be a great partner to our best retail customers and first party partners, you will see the beginnings of a consumer game platform emerge at EA that complements and extends the console ecosystem and addresses the wider opportunity on other devices.”

The third strategy involved working with talent, as Riccitiello claimed EA was “the only company with world-class teams working cross-platform on social, mobile and console development.”

“We are integrating these teams and augmenting them with product monetization and marketing,” he said. “It’s a big change. You can see this as a way to better manage our IP, and drive up the ARPU for our core properties. As a developer, you can see this as the reason EA will be the most interesting and satisfying place to work in the game industry.”

“We expect the worldwide interactive entertainment segment will grow 5 percent to 10 percent in calendar ’11 versus calendar 10’, with more than 20 percent growth in digital and an
approximate 5 percent decrease in packaged goods,” added CFO Eric Brown.

“We expect the packaged goods segment to remain bifurcated, with stronger growth of approximately 4 percent in high definition-consoles and PC offsetting 15 percent declines in standard definition-consoles and dedicated handheld devices.”

Upcoming releases and Mass Effect 3

During the call, it was noted that more on Mass Effect 3 would be shown at E3, such as features and ways to play it. The game will ship simultaneously on all three platforms, something promised by BioWare when the game was announced, and since the game is more of a shooter-rpg, it will have a far larger market opportunity than Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2 did upon release.

In addition, four unannounced sports games will ship from EA in the fourth fiscal quarter.

Breaking news

26 Comments

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  1. Razor

    Nearly $1 billion lost in two years?

    That’s, er, not great, is it.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Johnny Cullen

    Guess EA is remaining light on the announcements until E3, then.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Razor

    Dead Space 3 :)

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Grimrita

    Im not pre-ordering BF3 until I see some actual multiplayer footage and get my hands on it. After Bug Company 2, I am yet to be impressed by all the PR bullshit

    #4 3 years ago
  5. GwynbleiddiuM

    Well, EA is my favorite publishing firm among many but I truly thought their business were picking up during last 2 years. I meant BFBC2, Dragon Age, FIFA, Mass Effect, even MoH and Dead Space titles sold well, didn’t they? And as far as BF3 pre-order goes, I’m waiting and waiting on the steam version so I can put my mind at ease but I see nothing and dunno why!

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Yoshi

    @4 I’m pretty sure they said there would either be a multiplayer beta or demo like BF2 :)

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Patrick Garratt

    The call’s ongoing now. It’s absolutely shocking quality, though. Can hardly hear it. Basically, packaged goods are dead, digital’s all the go :)

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Stephany Nunneley

    Mentioned the “outside possibility” SWTOR might hit in Jan or March despite planning to release it during Q3 or Q4 FY 12 (which falls in the calender year 2011)

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Patrick Garratt

    We’ll get the quote later, but they said Battlefield 3 is “superior” to Call of Duty there.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Razor

    They mentioned anything about PSN being down yet?

    Surely someone will quiz them on it.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Patrick Garratt

    They said there’ll be a “modest impact” for the quarter and they want it back up ASAP.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. AHA-Lambda

    If BF3 was up for pre order on steam i’d have preordered it already ;)

    “Need for Speed: The Run out Q3 calendar 2011″

    dont you mean Q3 fiscal or Q4 calendar?

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Patrick Garratt

    It’s Q4 calendar 2011, sorry.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Patrick Garratt

    Some robust talk on BF3 and CoD added in there.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Patrick Garratt

    Call’s done. I’m going to bed.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. nofear360

    Patrick, did they say what their two other strategies were? Thanks.

    “Riccitiello said EA plans to “transform EA to a games-as-a-service model,” by focusing on three new strategies. On of these is Intellectual Property which he said will see titles FIFA, Madden, Battlefield, Need For Speed, The Sims, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect become a “year-round businesses that lead their sectors across a range of platforms.””

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Epic Fool

    “EA has said”

    who the fuck cares duh

    noobs

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Stephany Nunneley

    @16 yeah he did. I had to take a break for a minute and feed the horde, but I am finishing the post up now. The rest was really inconsequential bragging but I have now added it in. Sorry for the delay. Hungry boys are not nice boys :)

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Moonwalker1982

    @4

    Bug Company2? i have no idea what you’re talking about. I love BC2, bugs? i barely encountered any, and i know some much worse games in that sense.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. nofear360

    @18: Thanks a lot! :)

    #20 3 years ago
  21. DarkElfa

    I will let this game touch me in naughty places.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. G1GAHURTZ

    EA talk big, but rarely deliver.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. ultramega

    @24
    I hope it’s not Battlefield you’re talking about, because DICE never disappoints.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Erthazus

    @22? EA Maybe. DICE? Deliver always.

    Pathetic Activision can’t make even game that is somewhere close to shitty Mass Effect, not even deliver something :D

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Grimrita

    @ 19. theres plenty of videos on youtube and I have always encountered annoying issues with the game. Hitboxes that dont actually register a hit, invisible walls that recon shots cant shoot through (Operation Hastings, the small bunch of trees just outside the US base to the left)

    Hill 137 – on top of the huts at C, you throw a nade it will hit the air and bounce back. And my old favourite – the bullet proof leaf.

    In addition to that, it feels like a shambles of a game on the pc which is such a shame because outside of these bugs, it can be alot of fun

    Im not a CoD fanboy, as I refuse to touch a port and BC2 feels just like that, despite being ‘made for the pc’, as claimed by DICE.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. LethalKi11ler

    Well you’re going to have my money for sure. Bought Portal 2 on 360, planning on getting Fifa 12, Madden 12, NHL 12, Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3. Enjoy EA.

    #26 3 years ago