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EA 2012 – EA in profit, $80m on next-gen dev in FY13

Monday, 7th May 2012 21:20 GMT By Patrick Garratt

EA made a profit last year, the publisher said today, and is now looking forward to heavy investment in next-gen consoles.

EA FY2012 – at a glance

$80 million to be spent on next-gen dev in the next year.

New Need for Speed in Q4 2012. Crysis 3 confirmed for Q1 2013. A new Dead Space game was mentioned on the call, but no details were given.

SimCity confirmed for Q1 2013 release. Developer Maxis has a social game due this quarter.

Star Wars: The Old Republic subs down from 1.7 million in March to 1.3 million. New content promised for Q1.

More than 6.3 million people played Battlefield 3 in March. New content coming in May and June.

Mass Effect 3 generated $200 million in sales in less than a month.

Digital revenue up 47% to $1.2 billion. Total profit at $76 million from $4.14 billion in revenue, up from a loss of $276 million last year.

EA said today that it will invest $80 million in development of games for “Gen4 console systems” in fiscal 2013, giving the clearest indication yet that we’ll see new consoles on the market in calendar 2013.

EA also confirmed that Crysis 3 will launch in the first calendar quarter of 2013, and that a new Need for Speed will release in the fourth calendar quarter of 2012. A new Dead Space game was mentioned on the call, but no details were given.

The news came as part of some solid results which showed revenue well up, most big hitters performing well and the company in profit for the year ending March 31.

The news everyone had feared about Star Wars: The Old Republic, however, was proven correct: active subscribers now stand at 1.3 million, a 400,000 drop from the last reported figure of 1.7 million in early March. Two new content packs for the MMO, Legacy and Allies, will available in Q1.

EA games boss Frank Gibeau said that “some of the initial casual customers” have now dropped off to leave the core, but that subscription growth is the aim for BioWare. He described the content release schedule as “very aggressive”. CEO John Riccitiello described the game as not one of EA’s “top five” franchises, but definitely in the “top ten”, above titles like Tiger Woods PGA.

Most of the news was good, though. Battlefield 3 players are still “deeply engaged” with the shooter, which released in late October last year. More than 6.3 million people played in March. New content downloads will be available in May and June.

Riccitiello said there would be “exciting new development for the Battlefield brand” in the coming year.

Another golden child in EA’s year was Mass Effect 3. Sales totaled more than $200 million at retail: the RPG launched in March.

Digital revenue stood at $1.2 billion, a 47% rise over the previous year. Unsurprisingly, the company is still pushing the message of digital growth.

“We are proud to report a strong quarter and a fiscal year highlighted with $1.2 billion of digital revenue,” said Riccitiello. “In the coming year, we break away from the pack, with a very different profile than the traditional game companies and capabilities that none of our new digital competitors can match.”

Digital was a key highlight for the year. FIFA 12′s downloads and microtransactions totaled $108 million in FY12, and Origin now has 11 million registered players.

Origin generated approximately $150 million in its first ten months of life.

When questioned by investors as to EA’s aggressive acquisitions in the digital space, Riccitiello affirmed the publisher is still primed to snap up companies if necessary – but warned that it won’t buy “brands”. The executive’s comments hinted that EA is more interested in established, proven success stories rather than the flavour of the month, in what seemed like a subtle dig at Zynga’s acquisition of DRaw Something developer OMGPOP.

Total revenue was $4.14 billion for the year ended March 31, compared to $3.59 billion in the previous year. EA made a profit in the last financial year, with income at $76 million compared to a loss of $276 million in the prior 12 months.

While last year was strong, however, EA said it expects a loss in the first quarter of FY13. Lay-offs of staff associated with non-digital products were also announced, but specific figures weren’t mentioned.

The weak forecast pushed EA’s stock down 10% in after-hours trading.

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29 Comments

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  1. pukem0n

    EA made money?

    stop the presses ^^

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Erthazus

    It has begun. Someone this year will reveal Xbox Next or PS4. Cool.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. daytripper

    I wont name him/her but I have a Ubisoft employee on twitter, marketing, is certain aswell as Wii U details, we will see at least one new system announced this year.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Patrick Garratt

    Slides added.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. manamana

    @2 I don’t think so, they will invest in FY13 which starts in april 2013, so they can announce their new products, such as Battlefield BC3, on E3 2013. My guess, if daytrippers information is valid, would be nintendo is rolling out a 3DS2 with a second analog stick.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Patrick Garratt

    They’re studiously refusing to confirm BF3 sales figures.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Prof.Dr.Moertel

    @6 Aren’t they hidden on one of the slides though?

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Sherif Saed

    Surely they reached the 8mil goal ?

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Patrick Garratt

    I can’t see a figure anywhere. Would have thought it’d be front and centre.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. GrimRita

    ‘content packs’ for SWTOR – more crap for poor suffering fans to pay for?

    They probably wont confirm BF3 sales as its overshadowed by ‘you know who’.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Sherif Saed

    Also that definitely means no C&C 2 ?

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Patrick Garratt

    That last slide is the only thing in the entire release on the schedule for this year.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Sherif Saed

    Yeh, prob been delayed to Q1 14 :(

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Patrick Garratt

    Next year, yeah.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. daytripper

    Can we have Mirrors Edge 2 now please?

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Patrick Garratt

    Yeah. That seems a long way away.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. someguy2

    What’s a Maxis?

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Erthazus

    @17, Simcity, Sims and Spore developer.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. someguy2

    @18 I know it’s the SimCity developer, it’s just on the slide everything is listed as a game while SimCity is listed as ”Maxis”

    #19 2 years ago
  20. polygem

    “Digital was a key highlight for the year. FIFA 12′s downloads and microtransactions totaled $108 million in FY12…”

    oh good for them. i didn´t even buy or play fifa12. then someone hacked my 360 account and spent my ms points on fifa DLC. many others had the same problem. no statement about how many $$$ of those 108 millions are coming from that shit???
    luckily ms gave me a refund. ea….pff!

    #20 2 years ago
  21. AHA-Lambda

    seriously guys you need to get over Mirror’s Edge 2, it’s not happening…

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Deacon

    @20 my thoughts exactly ; )

    #22 2 years ago
  23. GrimRita

    So SWTOR sold around 2.4 million copies – 2million of those signed up, March it was down to 1.7 million ‘active’ subs and now its 1.3 – WoW! Probably the biggest free fall for a triple A MMO in history?

    I guess the figure could have been alot worse if you take out the free trials/friends promotions.

    Unless they radically change the game around, it will only continue on a downward spiral and I think that this is proof that Themepark based dull, generic shitty MMOs have had their day, if you have the cheek to charge £9 a month for it.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Talkar

    @23
    Except you don’t know how many of the 1.3 have paid for their sub. One could assume it is a lot more than it was in February / March, but one could also assume like you do, that they are also lower now. Truth is, neither of us know.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. GrimRita

    @25 – indeed. EA will admit the truth. The only thing for sure, is that the game will continue its free fall. If they are smart, turning it F2P, character transfers/server mergers around the same time could save this long term.

    But they also need to change the setting. Its about as close to Star Wars as Eastenders is!( I dont mean the Old Republic setting, just the quests are totally unrelated to faction/war winning)

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Talkar

    @25
    Well, i don’t think they need to make it F2P, but yes they absolutely have to merge servers, and implement the server transfer system fast!
    But it also comes down to what content they are introducing in upcoming content patches. For example, i can’t wait to see the 3D space combat they’ve been hinting at, but i know it is a long way off x)

    #26 2 years ago
  27. DSB

    Seems like GrimRita has succesfully “turned” RPS :P

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/05/08/old-before-its-time-swtor-subs-sliiiiiide/

    #27 2 years ago
  28. GrimRita

    @26 – Lots of MMOs have done very well turning F2P, seeing an increase in revenue. If they are smart(LOL) about it, there isnt any reason why the same cant happen here.

    I DO actually like the combat in SWTOR compared to WoW but not so much PvE but PvP. However, Daniel Erickson is clearly a liar after stating recently how PvP took the dev team by surprise at being so popular(Hang on, this is Star WARS – clue in title DE) and of course stating that subs had not declined – when he knows full well they have.

    As for these content patches – they will just be the same rehashed crap every MMO churns out and call it ‘new’. The 1.2 update didnt manage to increase numbers and I dont see any reason why anything else will – unless they polish the engine, revamp pvp totally and flex a Star Wars themed muscle(not fucking more rakghouls!)

    @27 :)

    #28 2 years ago
  29. shogoz

    EA is the sound a small cornered child makes when a man tries to enter him from behind

    #29 2 years ago