EA Q1 revs jump, losses tighten

[UPDATE] Deferred online revenue pushes publisher to nearly double its year-over-year quarterly earnings; Bad Company sells 1.6M; Tiberium delayed, PC sports gaming revived.

Getting its house in order has proven to be a costly business proposition for Electronic Arts. Thanks in part to a restructuring effort that the publisher initiated in 2008 to prioritize quality, the publisher has consistently posted soaring revenues at the expense of flagging profits.

Today, that trend continued. Reporting on its first-quarter performance for fiscal-year 2009, EA said that it brought in $804 million in net revenue, more than double its $395 million take during the same quarter last year. However, that number's impact was blunted by the fact it includes $231 million in deferred revenue from a change in accounting practices for unnamed online-enabled games. For the quarter, net losses stood at $95 million, down from $132 million a year ago.

EA tried to spin the lessened losses as evidence that its quality-over-quantity approach was bearing fruit. "We are now seeing the early returns of the change agenda we started last year," said CEO John Riccitiello in a statement. "Innovation and quality are rising, our games are more accessible and fun, and we have more new titles than at any time in our history. From Spore on the PC to Dead Space on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 to MySims on the Wii and Nintendo DS to Scrabble on the iPhone and Facebook, this is the best title portfolio in the company's history."

A number of key titles drove growth for the publisher. Namely, EA said that the DICE-developed Battlefield: Bad Company--released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 on June 23--has sold 1.6 million copies. Other top performers included UEFA EURO 2008 with 1 million units, and Rock Band, which despite being released in November, shifted 800,000 more units during the quarter. EA also noted that Wii-exclusive Boom Blox has now sold 450,000 copies, and is "meeting our expectations."

Trumpeting other wins during the quarter, the publisher noted that the Spore Creature Creator, released for the PC in June, had been picked up by 2.5 million users. In turn, those users had uploaded more than 2 million unique creatures to the Sporepedia in just six weeks, the publisher said. With Activision Vivendi expected to announce its first official financial report later this month, EA also made claim to the top-publisher throne in North America, claiming 17 percent of the market share.

Reiterating guidance issued as part of its year-end report in May, EA said that it still expects earnings to hit $4.9 billion to $5.15 billion for its full fiscal year ending March 31, 2009.

[UPDATE] Following the publisher's earnings announcement today, EA held a conference call to address the quarter's outcome with analysts. While relatively light on new information, the publisher did reveal one delay that will impact its full-year fiscal performance. Namely, the publisher said that the EALA-developed first-person shooter Tiberium will now ship during its 2010 fiscal year, which begins April 1, 2009. Previously, the Command & Conquer-inspired shooter was expected to arrive for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC this fall.

On the sports front, the publisher also offered an update on the future of PC sports gaming. "As many of you probably noticed, this year we cut back on our PC sports games, but only for a year," said EA Sports chief Peter Moore. "We were retooling these titles to take advantage of the online connectivity in a bigger and more meaningful way. Stay tuned for more on this." In April, Moore said that the sports label would be scaling back its offerings on the PC due to "very serious business challenges."

Written By

Want the latest news about Spore?

Spore

Spore

Discussion

79 comments
geniustiong
geniustiong

lol@ea fanboys now they're ****ed up already which of course sums up to UBER losses. No wonder Take 2 dosen't want to be a part of what we call Electronic f***.

xyboink
xyboink

i have found it is stupid that EA is working with a consequence. Look to the SIMS-increase. It should be better if EA invent new games for same platform ==> that is what sony does. But EA not... (be creative...)

evil_monkey248
evil_monkey248

@LindBergh2007 Even though EA has had a terrible past, by releasing sequels every **** year, and sucking at making/publishing games. NOW, there doing alright, They have NOT RUINED any games yet (Ones that I will pay for) Mass Effect, Crysis, Battlefield BC, and C&C3. There all good, and there upcoming games look promising: Spore, Sims 3, Rage, and so forth. Everybody should just stop bashing EA.

pajamas
pajamas

Although EA is the biggest gaming publisher, it doesn't make an impact in gaming other than sales. While they improve on certain genres (Battlefield for FPS, Rock Band for Music/Rhythm), they have not broke new grounds with any recent titles (perhaps Sims is the last innovation they have) I hope they can try with some more new ideas beside banking on Will Wright (Spore will be a great hit no matter what.) Activision reversed its fortunes by banking on quirky projects (Guitar Hero) and pure reimagination (COD4)

SkullXero
SkullXero

Lol at bochap. Any thing to take a shot at EA huh. Take 2 does not care who buys them out. They just want more money and feel Ea's offer is not enough. However noone is outbidding EA, and soon enough t2 stock will fall some more and then the Offer will lower as well. Take 2 is a company that has turned a profit in 1 of its last 12 quarters.

bochap76
bochap76

Wow, they doubled total revenue , even after 37 million dollar drop in net profits compared to 1st quarter last year? Makes you wonder, what they hell they were doing with all their money in the first place. No wonder Take 2 doesn't want to belong to a company with such poor accounting practices.

LindBergh2007
LindBergh2007

2009? 2009! What I'm expecting by 2009 is that EA will file for bankrupcy.

dvros
dvros

NOOO!! Why did you push back Command & Conquer Tiberium!??! T_T And If I am remembering correctly it will be running by using the ultra stable Unreal graphics engine.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

I really enjoy Battlefield Bad Company. I'll look for more EA games with the DICE developers logo on it from here on out.

xdeiri
xdeiri

so that.s why star wars kotor mmo rpg ?

racerx737
racerx737

im not a big fan of EA itself simply because it often comes across as such a bully in the industry being as big as it is. Plus they put out a lot of games that arent nearly as good as they should be. Hopefully with their new business philosophy this will change. I'm definitely picking up Spore when it comes out, been waiting long enough for it.

lucien86
lucien86

Given there are half the number of PS3's as Xbox 360's or Wii's that number seems quite incredible, almost unbelievable. Maybe they sold one really expensive PS3 game for a hundred million, or maybe they just got the decimal point in the wrong place ?

blowtrees
blowtrees

So no PC EASports games this year? EA makes shiatty sports games on PC in direct conflict of their new mission, ie quality products, since it's always been about profit, and not enough people buy these titles for PC. So for the future of EASports titles on the PC, I think that they want to see how their new EASHL goes. If it is an astounding success, not only will they have a reason to make a PC game which is equal to the newest and best, but possibly with cross connectivity between PC and 360 leagues. They'll certainly do it with every sport as leagues will be implemented for Madden, NBA, and MLB titles in the next 2-3 years. Quality EASports PC games would be a very nice byproduct of the whole ordeal. Assuming the league pans out of course. If the EASHL blows, the concept may be delayed until they get it working right.

TagDaze
TagDaze

With another great lineup for the coming seasons, EA will surely rake in some more profits. Fact is; they have the room to invest, to sort out their departments, not to mention work on their public image. With the Spore Creature Creator being so popular, EA must be sure they've got another winner on their hands. Pushing back Tiberium might not be such a bad idea for that reason. Spore will take the spotlight for a while as the awesome and all new franchise. And of course these are only games they are developing, let alone the massive amounts of published game under their brand. Well done, guys.

STRIFE9288
STRIFE9288

this goes to boobush , actually EA didn't make the orange box they just sold it under their name. they published it not developed that's why it was a great game or games w.e you wanna call it

enoslives7
enoslives7

as long as there are dumb people who want to throw away their money, EA will profit

boobush
boobush

Yeah everybody says that EA makes crappy games. I think it was mentioned mostly by gamers that love Rockstar and thought it wasn't gonna exist anymore, and then everybody else heard and so it happened. Let's remember that the Orange Box, an award winning game was just released last year, as well as this game, that sold 1.6 million copies in a month are made by EA. Let's not forget Spore. I mean, I'm no 'EA fanboy', but if you wanna turn on crappy games, look at Atari, though it was a 'founding father', I don't think it's the original Atari.

Viral-venom13
Viral-venom13

OKay with this, we clearly see the reason why the publisher wants to cash in on Take-Two!!

mrkame16
mrkame16

some one said "More People buy EA games on the PS3" thats false.

kos1085
kos1085

IMO, EA has shown a lot of good changes in the last two years. They have decreased the amount of crappy games and increased their quality of games. I hope they continue on this path in the future.

ThAdEa82
ThAdEa82

Tiberium slated for this fall, is one of the few ea games I was going to pick up aside from NHL 09. I could understand some delays but another 6 months? By that time the new halo will be announced and I won't have any interest in this one. At the same time..they should take a couple of months to make their work quality...but 6 months??? come on.

MFDABADKID
MFDABADKID

More People buy EA games on the PS3

Mortis_Noctem
Mortis_Noctem

Lulz at the people calling EA evil... Their a corporation? Do you think Blyzzard, Activision, Sony, Nintendo, etc. care about you ridiculous fanboy "crusaders"? F**K NO! They'll care as long as you buy their products. I've always bought EA products that I enjoyed, and the same for any other company's product. I like Sims, Simcity and I will devore and love SPORE. Stop pretending that there are any companies that would rather loose all their money in exchange for their "love" for some fanboy that rants about the company's achievements and attacks it's competitors in some god forsaken Internet Forum or any other site for that matter. If your worried about EA buying off a company (or vice-versa), well then **** YOU! If they can and have the money to do it then let them, that's how capitalism works! Stop hating companies because they have more money then your favorite one and go back to playing and buying games like the good little obedient consumer larvae you truly are and know it, you fanboyish c*nt! As for me, I'll buy whichever game I believe will entertain me, not giving a rat's arse about who made it, but still giving credit where credit is due (such as thanking a team of designers or a company for making a game I enjoyed).

markharris31
markharris31

Sweepin in on Dark's coattails here so I'll be brief. Take a look at EA's game lineup this year and you really can't use the tired, old "they churn out nothing but crap sequels" routine. They're bringing out some of the most highly-anticipated games of the year, people. Get over your mindless hate and give recognition to a company who has heard your groaning over the last few years and is trying to turn things around.

henry4th
henry4th

It's so sad. Only shooters sell these days. Games are no longer about variety, but shooters shooters and shooters.

darkride66
darkride66

@ philly215. I'll stop buying EA games when I stop enjoying them. NHL 08 was one of the best Hockey games ever created, hands down. Burnout is amazing. Army of Two was just good fun and I can't wait to take some time with Bad Company, I hear it's pretty good. They seem to be making good on their claims from a couple of years ago to give more autonomy to their individual studios and develop more unique IP's...they have more unique games in their 2008 lineup then at any point in their history, and this is a pioneer in the gaming industry. Why should I care about if Take Two's bought out or not? I don't remember any complaints when Take Two bought out 7 smaller studios in recent years, and now somehow EA is the bad guy? Frankly I believe their offer is too high considering the amount of debt from Take Two they would have to absorb. Take Two has been on the brink of bankruptcy for years now, and that's with an amazing library of games. Someone needs to save them from themselves. Might as well be EA.

seeddrmmr
seeddrmmr

Keep whining and buying there games at the same time....HAHAHA

philly215
philly215

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

rikjuh
rikjuh

Hurray for EA. And can we please stop crying about EA being the devil and all now? EA's fall/winter line-up is one of the strongest there is right now, and looking at games like morrors edge and dead space they are deffenitally heading in the right direction.

generalvonngene
generalvonngene

A TWIST OF FATE?? EA BECOMING GOOD AND ACTIVISION BLIZZARD GOING BAD??? BOBBY KOTICK MUST BURN IN VIRTUAL HELL!!!!!

Stalker700
Stalker700

Heh,I knew there's no way Tiberium will ship his fall...seemed to good to be true.

CDudu
CDudu

I hope they make FIFA 2010 and NBA Live 2010 next-gen for PC at last...

HufflePuff-TLH
HufflePuff-TLH

So EA delaying for quality woot woot, EA is not my favorite team i must say the least.

Belwar555
Belwar555

For some reason, i dont believe. Half a year ago, they were trying to take over 2k. And now they are saying "We shall now care about what the gamers want instead of giving out so many crappy sequels" I just dont believe it.

grootelaar
grootelaar

WTF 2010 GOD FIRST SOON AND NOW 2010 well adleast Red Alert 3 is coming soon and Mercenaries

brain20035
brain20035

It's about damn time someone understood that PC was a challange

Gamesterpheonix
Gamesterpheonix

Hmm well if EA keeps this up I might stop hating their utter existence... particularly because Im pissed at ActiBlizz as well at the moment. Freaking retards.

gamecubepad
gamecubepad

Congratulations to DICE for the success of Battlefield: Bad Company. Those are very impressive sales numbers, and good ratings to boot.

nofriekinlemons
nofriekinlemons

well at least i heard something from this game i was getting to think it was going to be canceled

SPARTT
SPARTT

It's too bad about Tiberium being delayed by so much. At least EA had finaly decided to pump in a little bit of quality into their work, though.

Pete5506
Pete5506

BC is fun but online needs to be fixed

solidsnake7882
solidsnake7882

Finally EA pushing for quality. About damn time.

VenomRitual
VenomRitual

@shady. every 2 years maybe but 3 is kind of a long time.