It’s that time again where NASDAQ: EA announces its preliminary financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter and fiscal year ended March 31st, 2019. According to the new report, things aren’t looking too good for Electronic Arts when it comes to Anthem’s figures.
The publication site’s introductory paragraph is followed by woe after woe pertaining to EA’s Q4 FY19 report, which reads:
“Both income and revenue were down year-over-year for Electronic Arts over the first three months of 2019, the company disclosed in a financial report on Tuesday.
EA’s total net revenue for the period came in at $1.2 billion, down from nearly $1.6 billion over the same stretch of time in 2018. Meanwhile, net income tumbled from $607 million to $209 million.
It’s a bit surprising, given the hot start that Apex Legends had at launch. The game grew quickly to 10 million players in its first 10 days of release and now boasts 50 million players.
For the total fiscal year, EA recorded a total income (before provision for income taxes) just north of $1 billion in 2018 against a total net revenue of $4.9 billion.
The final quarter of 2018 saw the video game publisher launch two new titles, Apex Legends and Anthem, both released in February. EA did not provide figures for either game in its initial report.”
Apex Legends did get off to a hot start, but it quickly faded as players lost interest once EA stopped pumping sponsorship money into the coffers of influencers.
Contrary to bad news, EA also faced an up via Battlefield V‘s battle royale mode Firestorm and The Sims 4 with the website outlining:
“The company did, however, tout the success of the Firestorm Battle Royale mode in last year’s Battlefield V. The new mode launched in March and EA boasted it as the “biggest Battlefield live service event ever.” Meanwhile, 2014’s The Sims 4 continues its success with a 35 percent increase in active players year-over-year over the quarter.”
Looking back to Anthem, the game had one job to do back on February 5th, 2019, according to a PDF file that EA released related for its Q3 FY19 financial results. Blake Jorgensen and crew at EA expected Bioware’s online game to move five or six million units within six weeks (after Anthem‘s release). Additionally, EA’s CEO, Andrew Wilson, forecast coincided with Jorgensen’s outlook — despite issues surfacing in the demo of Anthem.
Although Anthem’s demo garnered a mixed reaction from gamers months back, with both positive and negative takes bubbling up, Wilson told the company’s investors the following information on February 5th:
“We think there is a great opportunity, not just this year for [Anthem], but that should sell well for a long period of time as we add more content through the live service plan.”
To clarify what Wilson said, he thought that 2019 would have been a “great opportunity” for Anthem thanks to a live service plan that will bring content throughout the game’s “active” life cycle.
Fast forward to today and EA admits that Anthem has failed to meet projected sales in the Q4 FY19 prepared remarks section:
“We are similarly committed to the live service for Anthem, and delivering for our community in this new IP over the long-term. The launch of Anthem in Q4 did not meet our expectations. However, we believe in the team at BioWare, and we also believe in what they set out to achieve with this game –building a new IP and melding genres to reach a new audience. Players have spent more than 150 million hours in Anthem since launch, and we’ve heard from them that the beauty and expanse of the world is stunning, and that traversing the environment in the Javelin suits makes for amazing gameplay. However, we’ve also heard feedback from our community about issues that began to manifest as the game reached scale, and that they want more depth and variety in the mission modes of the game. The team is now very focused on continued improvements to the game, and will then bring more content updates and in-game events that will enhance and expand the Anthem experience.”
The prepared remarks on Anthem’s downfall continue:
“We significantly outperformed our expectations in Q4. This was, of course, largely driven by Apex Legends, but sports were also stronger than we had anticipated. Anthem underperformed our expectations.”
Last time EA released video game sales numbers was Battlefield V during its Q3 report, which websites and reports were quick to point out that that game failed to meet EA’s projected numbers too.
(Header image courtesy of Reddit user The_Afro_King98)