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EA Q1 – Cash climbs, BF3 and TOR pre-orders rocket

Tuesday, 26th July 2011 21:25 GMT By Patrick Garratt

EA has posted its first quarter ’12 financials, showing increases in both revenue and profit and record pre-orders for The Old Republic and Battlefield 3.

EA Q1 financials

Revenue up from $815 million to $999 million.

Profit up from $96 million to $221 million.

Still no release date for The Old Republic other than “holiday,” but pre-orders are EA’s highest ever.

Sales figures: Portal 2 on 2 million; Crysis 2 on 3 million; Dead Space 2 on 2 million; Dragon Age 2 on 2 million.

PopCap deal to be completed in August.

Revenue stood at $999 million for the three months ended June 30, up from $815 million in the same quarter last year.

Profit soared in the quarter, up to £221 million from $96 million in the previous corresponding period.

“This was another solid quarter driven by both digital and packaged goods,” said John Riccitiello, CEO.

“We saw strong digital revenue growth over the prior year. On packaged goods, NCAA is off to a great start and pre-orders for Battlefield 3 are tracking extremely well.”

Digital revenue for the quarter was up from $176 million in Q1 2010 to $232 million this year.

“Most of us recognize that the industry has radically changed and the pace of change has altered dramatically,” Riccitiello added.

“Eighteen months ago there was no iPad. Google was just experimenting with Android. Most games were a single revenue opportunity.”

Battlefield boost

Battlefield 3 pre-orders are standing at more than 10 times those seen for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 at this point before launch, the firm said, although it failed to give any firm numbers.

EA Games boss Frank Gibeau said BF3 pre-orders are “significantly ahead” of those seen for Medal of Honor.

“Most of us recognize that the industry has radically changed and the pace of change has altered dramatically. Eighteen months ago there was no iPad. Google was just experimenting with Android. Most games were a single revenue opportunity.”

The Old Republic still has no firm release date. EA included an updated schedule for the fiscal year in its earnings report today, but ommitted the MMO, saying only that it “is targeted to launch holiday 2011.”

Riccitiello described pre-orders for the game as “strong” in the call following the figures release. No specific number was given, but pre-orders are at a record level for EA, higher than Battlefield 3. The company’s guidance makes room for a “range of ship-dates in the financial year,” CFO Eric Brown added.

Investors were assured that TOR can easily scale to millions of users, and it was confirmed that firmer detail on the launch would be coming in the firm’s Q2 call. It was specifically said that EA would be in a position to give a release date in September.

Riccitiello said that anything over 1.5-2 million subscribers for the game makes it look like a “great investment”.

EA’s recent acquisition of casual game firm PopCap – which is to cost a total of some $1.3 billion, including $650 million in cash, $100 million in stock, and a multi-year earn-out – is to be completed in August.

Portal 2 sold in more than 2 million units in the quarter; the Valve puzzler released on April 19.

Crysis 2, launched on March 22, has sold in approximately 3 million units life-to-date; Dead Space 2 and Dragon Age 2 have both sold in over 2 million units life-to-date, having released on January 25 and March 8 respectively.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 sold in over 9 million units.

A question of sport

TOR goes without date

EA released an updated schedule for the rest of the financial year today, but BioWare’s The Old Republic was left quarterless, remaining only as a “holiday” ship.

FIFA 11 has sold a dizzying 15 million units to-date, the firm said today.

FIFA 12 will launch on 12 platforms this year, and EA Sports is expecting double-digit growth for the new game over its predecessor.

EA Sports’ Peter Moore expressed delight at the end of the NFL lock-out, and confirmed that NCAA Football 12 has now sold more than 700,000 units.

Moore added that more FIFA 12 features are to be unveiled at gamescom next month. He also said that SSX will see “new content” shown at the German expo.

The digital version of FIFA 11 has seen 3.3 million users in the past year, Moore said. Paying users have spent $51 on average on the game’s digital goods.

Moore also said that EA Sports games on Facebook are seeing an average spend-per-user of $56.

EA was keen to talk up its E3 successes in addition to its sales today. EA Games Label and EA Sports took 148 award nominations and 19 wins away from the June show.

EA’s E3 Game Changers press conference was viewed by more than 2 million people on Spike TV’s broadcast and live webcasts, the publisher said.

See the full release here.

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23 Comments

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  1. Maximum Payne

    Crysis 2 has sold in approximately 3 million units life-to-date
    I thought it sell like 1 mill but 3 mill its not bad at all.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    I’ve added the release schedule there. Click on it for an amazing larger version.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. someguy2

    Did they mention anything about Shadows of the Damned or were they ashamed?

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Patrick Garratt

    Nothing yet. Still listening to the call. They’re talking about the money at the moment.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. GrimRita

    EA said that 500k users for SWTWoW will see it break even so anything more than that is a bonus. However, I think he is being extremely optimistic on the subs 1.5-2 million because, sure like many MMOs, launch is extremely strong but its how many stay on after is when it really counts.

    Various sites are saying that the game is too much like WoW and playing it too safe and from what I have played, it does appear to be so. Will ‘story’ be enough to keep gamers in? Only time will tell.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Patrick Garratt

    I get the impression you’re going to see them scale the game very carefully. They’re clearly deliberately limiting pre-orders so they don’t get a giant day one rush flattening everything.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. GrimRita

    Im not so sure Pat. I think its an attempt to ‘create’ an addition rush to get the pre-orders in early. No MMO has ever had a limited launch recently. I know thanks to Origin, some areas of Europe have been excluded, in addition to most places outside North America.

    Theres nothing like limiting your stocks early on, to create a demand. Sounds crazy, but after all, it is EA and they have to make this one a success come hell or high water to take on Blizzard

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Patrick Garratt

    I think they’re very aware that if they put it on limitless pre-order they’re going to have to provide a giant infrastructure on day one that probably won’t cope no matter what they do, leaving them with tons of servers – and really high costs – right from the off. I reckon they have a figure they’ll “allow” to play the game at launch, and then they’ll manage the growth by restricting game sales.

    Pre-orders are really expensive. When I look at it on Origin in France, I get a massive notice saying it’s limited. I think it works out at €60 for the basic digital edition. That’s $87, or something. I’m pretty sure they’re doing it to maximise revenue from a fixed, limited number of players at launch.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Patrick Garratt

    I could be completely wrong, obviously.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. DSB

    Did I miss something, are they limiting preorders? As in “No, you may not buy our game in advance”?

    I’m pretty sure they’re gonna go for more than they need in terms of infrastructure. If your servers are going up and down on launch, that’s an extremely bad first impression.

    Even if it might mean a small hit, they’d do well to aim over the top. Leaving people stuck looking at an updater going “Not available at the moment” will make some of them piss right off :P

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Patrick Garratt

    You may be able to get a pre-order for £27. I wouldn’t know about that.

    http://savygamer.co.uk/2011/07/23/star-wars-the-old-republic-pc-27-29/

    #11 3 years ago
  12. KillerDD

    I still wish they’d make a non-mmo Kotor. But hey, since I can’t have that I’ll just pre-order the CE. ;)

    It’s going to be an expensive end of 2011…

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Dralen

    I pre-ordered my copy ages ago through GAME, so I got it quite cheap at £25. The price has gone way up since then. I also just got my early access code through them, which I’ve just registered too. BTW the box art looks awesome for SWTOR.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Gekidami

    I have to ask, Mr. Riccitiello; Looking at your Q1 results, where the hell did you get THIS BS from?

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Patrick Garratt

    @14 – That’s hilarious. It’s 70% console, almost on the nose.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Gekidami

    ^ Its seems that brown-nosing the very vocal PC fanboys -to point where they’re just making shit up to do so- is ‘a la mode’ for publishers right now. Its quite sad really.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Patrick Garratt

    He was talking about the entire industry in that previous article. EA’s a core IP publisher; it’s suppose the split for them isn’t indicative of the wider trade.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Gekidami

    EA is the second biggest publisher behind Nintendo, its quite clear that they arent making most of their money from PC. The third is ActiBlizz, they make a decent amount off of MMO’s (mainly WoW, obviously), but even adding that to their “PC & Others” figure, its still not as much as consoles. After that is Ubi, who dont release that much on PC, then Take Two whose two last biggest games (LA Noire & RDR) didnt come out/ arent out yet on PC. Then Sony, I’m gonna assume SCE is bigger than SOE.
    I dont see any way you can spin it to make that claim even nearly true.

    I stand by my claim; PC fanboys are the most vocal, and publishers just want to stroke their egos to shut them up.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. BraveArse

    I think this is the biggest chunk of news in there…

    “The digital version of FIFA 11 has seen 3.3 million users in the past year, Moore said. Paying users have spent $51 on average on the game’s digital goods.

    Moore also said that EA Sports games on Facebook are seeing an average spend-per-user of $56.”

    AVERAGE spend? So some people out there must be spending WAY above that on facebook games? Jebus. And they’re earning what? Nearly 100% the price of the game back on DLC in Fifa. I’m shocked that it’s that anywhere close to that high tbh. Wow.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Patrick Garratt

    I think he was talking about everything, including mobile, iOS, Android, Facebook, etc, for all companies, like Apple, Zynga, whatever. I’m not sure he was saying that core PC games revenue was overtaking console revenue. Maybe the PC chaps saw it as such, but I don’t think that’s what he meant.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Patrick Garratt

    @19 – Yeah. I was really shocked by that. It’s not a misquote, either. That’s what he said.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. BraveArse

    @21 – no wonder we’re moving to Games as Services and F2P so quickly. It’s obviously where the motherlode is…

    #22 3 years ago
  23. viralshag

    That’s great for EA. I have really enjoyed a lot of the games they have released recently and I’m really looking forward to TOR and BF3.

    Shadows of the Damned was one of my favourite games of this year too.

    #23 3 years ago