As gamers, we moan about a lot of things – and then we buy or spend money on those things anyway. We saw yesterday that Pokémon Sword and Shield that sold over 16 million copies in no time, despite threats of online boycotts thanks to a diminished Pokedex. Apparently moaning about stuff online doesn’t do very much. One of the things we moan about a lot is the prevalence oif in-game microtransactions. It sucks to spend full price on a game, and then still have to shell out extra cash. Seems like people are more than willing to do that though.
Publisher Electronic Arts has reported on its quarterly earnings for the last three months of 2019, and they’ve made an awful lot of money on their “live services” which is a bit of a catchall-term for microtransactions. According to their financials, they’ve made $993 million from those live services in the three months ending December 2019. Nearly a billion Dollars, in three months – on digital spending. That doesn’t actually include full digital games or full-priced mobile games either, which accounts for an extra $450M.
EA made a profit of $361 off a total revenue of $1.593 billion in the quarter. According to GI.biz, digital now makes up 70% of EA’s income.
New game releases for that quarter included Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville, Need for Speed Heat, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Star Wars has done particularly well for EA, coming in above the upper limits of their internal expectations. EA expected to sell through between 6-8 million copies, but now expects that number to reach 10 million.
EA has no games planned for this quarter, but apparently that doesn’t matter as people will keep spending money on Ultimate Team stuff in FIFA, NFL, NHL and Madden games anyway. EA expects to continue earning money through Live Services, with COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen saying that a new Battlefield will be a big driver of those earnings in the 2020 Financial year.
Last Updated: January 31, 2020