EA reports revenue decline despite Apex success

Need for Speed, Plants vs. Zombies set for 2019

Electronic Arts has reported a decline in its latest quarterly results, despite the release of both Apex Legends and Anthem.

The publisher announced net revenue of $1.24 billion for its fourth quarter, a decline of 22% from $1.6 billion reported during the same period last year.

Net revenue for the full year ended March 31 was also down at $4.95 billion, compared to the last fiscal year’s $5.15 billion.

The year’s big success was Apex Legends, which EA said is the fastest growing game in the company’s history with over 50 million players.

EA said it’s “overjoyed” with the performance of the Respawn battle royale game, and that the first details of the game’s second season will be revealed at EA Play on June 7.

The company is currently negotiating to bring Apex Legends to mobile and the Chinese market, it said.

Battlefield V’s Firestorm Battle Royale mode became the series’ biggest live event ever, EA said, bringing more than a million players back to the game.

Despite having the highest digital share of any game it has launched, Anthem did not meet the company’s expectations, it said. However, CEO Andrew Wilson insisted the company “believes in” BioWare and that that team “is very focused to make improvements to the game”.

Jedi Fallen Order is forecast to ship up to 8 million units

Looking ahead, EA is projecting a stronger year ending March 31, 2020 with net revenues forecast to be up 8% to approximately $5.375 billion.

The publisher is set to release its suite of sports games before October 1, alongside adventure game Sea of Solitude.

At the end of the calendar year, it will release Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order and a new Need for Speed title that it says will “revitalise the street racing versus cops fantasy at the core of the franchise”.

A Plants vs. Zombies “HD shooter title” will release in the same window.

EA said it forecasts Jedi Fallen Order to ship between six and eight million units, Need for Speed to ship four million units and Plants vs. Zombies in the low millions.

On PlayStation 5 and the next Xbox, EA said it’s “still in the discovery phase about what that means” for the company. However, it has “tried to build our engine structure so that it can be modified for new consoles or technology quite easily”.