Electronic Arts said it expects Star Wars: Battlefront to sell 13 million units during its 2016 fiscal year which ends on March 31, 2016.
EA Q2 at a glance
Star Wars: Battlefront expected to move 13M units.
Battlefield Hardline players have spent 1.7M minutes in the game.
Star Wars: The Old Republic subscribers up 33%.
Digital revenue came in at $502 million; 34% coming from consoles.
DLC digital downloads accounted for 27% of all digital sales.
Total net revenue down 18% to $815M compared to $990M yoy.
All things Star Wars: Battlefront
The firm reiterated in its financial release that over 9.5 million players joined the Star Wars: Battlefront open beta and that 1.6 billion minutes of gameplay were logged.
CEO Andrew Wilson told investors today the firm expects to sell 13 million units (shipped) for the full 2016 fiscal year of Star Wars: Battlefront.
This estimate is up from the 9-10 million the firm targeted six months ago. Due to continued engagement through social media and the beta numbers, EA changed its target sales. Pre-order numbers for the game are “excellent” and the interest in the game from younger players, were also factors in the new estimated sell-in number.
“What we have seen is that Star Wars is bringing in two groups that are very important groups to us,” Wilson said. “One are gamers that have lapsed, traditionally who have been big gamers in the past and maybe haven’t played for a while. It’s certainly been a catalyst for those people to come back into the gaming universe as it relates to console. And two, onboarding a new younger age demographic.”
Star Wars: Battlefront is expected to have a “long tail” and continue to achieve banner sales into fiscal year 2017, in part thanks to the already announced four expansion packs planned as post-release content.
EA COO Peter Moore added that the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens helped contribute to bringing folks in on the Battlefront beta.
“Now if Han Solo was here, we’d say great but, ‘Don’t get cocky, kid.’ Our ability to be able to deliver against this is solid and the preorders are excellent,” he said, “so you’ve heard from both Blake [Jorgensen, CFO] and Andrew. We feel very good about 13 million units.”
During the call to investors, Wilson also reiterated the firm has a long term relationship with Disney, and will release more Star Wars titles “where is the opportunity for engagement.” There are more games planned as part of the license agreement, the firm doesn’t have a specific time frame for future project releases as of yet.
Digital sales are king; players do millions of things in EA games
EA didn’t mention the delay of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst in the financial press release, but it was briefly touched upon during the start of the financial call, but no additional color was provided.
The firm reported active users (MAU) for Madden NFL 16, NHL 16 and FIFA 16 increased 30% year-over-yea and that Star Wars: The Old Republic subscribers increased 33% since the announcement of the latest expansion at E3, Knights of the Fallen Empire.
The biggest driver for the MAU uptick was FIFA Ultimate Team.
EA’s live services for Battlefield Hardline and Battlefield 4 continue to “engage players” with more than 6 million monthly average players across both games.
From July through the end of the quarter in September, over 16.4 million Draft Champions games were played in Madden NFL 16, 10.9 million massages received in The Sims 4 and there were 1.3 billion game sessions in SimCity BuildIt.
Battlefield Hardline players spent 1.7 million minutes in the game, NHL 16 players scored 85.5 million goals, and over 1.5 million Battlefield 4 players played Zavod: Graveyard Shift during September.
More stats are shown in the infographic below the financial slides.
Game sessions for Madden NFL Mobile are up more than 300% over last year.
For the quarter, digital revenue came in at $502 million, down 6% from $508 million for the same period the prior year. Digital revenue made up 62% of total revenue for the firm.
Digital console sales made up 34% of total sales in this sector, PC 17% and mobile 2%. DLC was the big digital earner, bringing in 27% of all sales, compared to 5% of full games downloads, 9% in subscriptions, and 2% in mobile.
Packages goods and other revenue came in at $313 million down 13% compared to $482 million year-over-year.
The rest of it
Total net revenue was down 18% to $815 million compared to $990 million in Q2 FY 2015.
A call to investors will start in 30 minutes or so, and if anything interesting comes out of it, we’ll let you know. We listen so you don’t have to.