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Battlefield 3 ships 10 million

EA says DICE-developed shooter has biggest day-one ship in company history; Q2 revs jump 13% to $715 million.


EA and DICE have been expecting big things from their contemporary war fighter Battlefield 3, and thus far, the game appears to be delivering. As part of its July-September earnings report today, the publisher said that Battlefield 3 has shipped 10 million units, with retailers already requesting reorders for the critically well-regarded shooter. This is the biggest opening-day shipment the publisher has ever done, EA said.

Battlefield 3 is making a killing.
Battlefield 3 is making a killing.

Battlefield 3's strong performance did not factor into today's second-quarter results, which reflected higher revenue but a steep loss at EA. Revenue for the period rose 13.3 percent year-over-year to $715 million. However, reversing two consecutive quarters of profit, EA posted a net loss of $340 million, which expenses being led by research & development and marketing.

Some of the best-performing titles during the period came from the EA Sports label. The biggest player was FIFA 12, which has shipped nearly 8 million units and sold 5 million units. EA said that its FIFA game is having its best year ever, with record sales in North America and Europe. By comparison, FIFA 11 has lifetime-to-date shipped more than 16 million units.

Madden NFL 12 also logged a solid performance, shipping 3 million units during the period. EA also said that Battlefield Bad Company 2 has now shipped nearly 11 million units lifetime to date.

EA also touted these games' digital performance. In a post-earnings conference call, COO Peter Moore said that the publisher is now expecting more than $1 billion in digital sales, an accomplishment that only a handful of companies in the world can claim. These sales have also been fueled by The Sims Social on Facebook, which boasts nearly 40 million monthly active users.

The publisher also addressed its new digital distribution platform, Origin. The platform has been downloaded by more than 6 million consumers. Additionally, EA has now opened up the platform to third parties, with Warner Bros. Interactive, Capcom, and THQ all now offering games through the service.

As part of EA's post-earnings conference call, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau also addressed reported outages and technical snafus that the Origin platform has experienced following Battlefield 3's launch.

"We have had unprecedented peaks, and it has caused parts of our network to experience outages," he said. However, Gibeau also said that EA "has a handle" on the issue and does not expect further service interruptions as the game launches in Europe later this week.

Gibeau also noted that Origin's servers are completely separate from those of Star Wars: The Old Republic's, and the company does not expect to experience the same instability upon that game's launch. He also said that SW:TOR preorders are "very, very strong," noting that advance sales are the highest the Sims publisher has ever had for a PC game.

Due to its second-quarter performance and strong start from Battlefield 3, EA raised its fiscal 2012 revenue guidance. EA now expects to pull in $4.05 billion-$4.2 for its 12-month fiscal year ending March 31. This projection is up significantly from previous expectations of $3.83 billion to $4.03 billion.

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