EA holiday sales slip 25%, Dragon Age ships 3.2 million

Publisher trims losses to $82 million for October-December quarter, but revenue also sinks to $1.24 billion; Left 4 Dead 2 sells 2.9 million, FIFA 10 9.7 million.


In January, Electronic Arts gave investors and analysts an advance warning of its lackluster holiday 2009 performance, saying revenue for the period would come in between $1.227 billion to $1.247 billion. Today, EA announced its October-December financial performance, confirming earnings that were in line with the lower end of its revised guidance.

3.2 million units is nothing to glower about.
3.2 million units is nothing to glower about.

For the period, EA posted net revenues of $1.243 billion, down 25 percent from the $1.654 billion the publisher brought in during the same period in 2008. Though still in the red, EA made great strides toward shoring up its losses during the quarter. EA said that net losses stood at $82 million, a notable recovery from the $641 million it hemorrhaged the year prior.

The company saw strong performances from the new arrivals of BioWare's fantasy role-playing game Dragon Age: Origins and the EA Partners-published, Valve-developed Left 4 Dead 2 during the period. EA confirmed that Dragon Age has shipped 2.8 million units worldwide across the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC through the end of the quarter. [UPDATE] In a subsequent announcement, EA said Dragon Age: Origins shipments have now topped 3.2 million. Left 4 Dead 2 sold 2.9 million units on the Xbox 360 and PC at retail worldwide.

EA also called out the performance of its two football titles during the quarter. The world version of football, FIFA 10, has now sold 9.7 million units worldwide, according to the publisher. Meanwhile, the US version of football seen in Madden NFL 10 has sold 2.3 million units. EA noted that Madden 10 sales have continued to improve and are now tracking down just 6 percent from last year.

The publisher also gave a comprehensive look at its release slate for its 2011 fiscal year, which runs April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011. Of note, EA now expects Real Time Worlds' online shooter APB to ship during its July-September quarter, having previously announced that the game will arrive in March. The quarter will also see the release of EA's reboot to the Medal of Honor franchise, previously scheduled for a fall launch.

EA's October-December 2010 period will see the arrival of Crytek's first-person shooter Crysis 2. Other highlights from the period include a new Need for Speed game, The Sims 3 on consoles, NBA Jam, and two new EA Sports Active fitness titles. EA's fourth quarter also packs a number of top releases, including Dead Space 2, a new installment in the Dragon Age franchise, EA's collaboration with Gears of War creator Epic Games, and another Need for Speed title. The January-March period will also see the launch of "something far-reaching for Mass Effect."

On the back of those releases, EA expects to pull in $710 million to $750 million during its April-June 2010 quarter, with earnings per share to come in between a $0.05 loss to a $0.05 gain. On the fiscal year, EA projected revenue of $3.45 billion to $3.70 billion, with a loss per share of $0.60 to $0.90.

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Avatar image for cosita46

Very Addicting game and Brilliant game. Played it 3 times and all different stories. Amazing :) Thank you Bio Ware

Avatar image for ParisSun

Bioware has really pulled it off with two hit games in Dragon Age and Mass Effect. They should be able to milk those two franchises for years. Also have to give it up to Valve with L4D 2. What a great game and overall series. Would love to see an RPG of L4D though. But with all the succes of the L4D franchise, we may never see the final story of Half-Life.

Avatar image for Hekynn

Dragon Age RULES!

Avatar image for bschroth

I'm not saying EA is too large a company but I don't know for sure, but they do need to trim things down it seems. I've said before that far too much money is spent making games. Too much overhead is no good, and that's what it looks like here. It looks like EA isn't streamlined enough. For almost any company to sell the number they have and not post a profit!! Holy moses! I wish companies would all scale things back, get rid of the crunch most games seem to go through. I'm sure it's costing a ton in OT. This could enable cheaper games in the future if I'm not wrong.

Avatar image for MasterTheHero

If the stock is at an all time low, would be a good idea to buy now. If Old Republic becomes a hit, I guarantee that stock is going to go soaring.

Avatar image for jadefury27

well i just heard that their stock is trading at an all time low, and they also just stated that all games from this quarter on will be multiplayer and have dlc of some type...i don't like their chances of keeping a steady fan base. especially after seeing they left content out of dante's inferno so they could sell it after release. man. remember when "DLC" was known as "unlockables"?

Avatar image for georgeorjose

say what!!! i bought like 3 ea sports games on the holidays.... all u other people are slacking it. afraid to spend 70 bills on a game. well me to i bought the games on sale YYYEEEPPPPEEE

Avatar image for Rottenwood

Dragon Age will be a great long-term franchise for BioWare, so long as they overhaul the engine. BioWare has mastered the two biggies: fantasy, and sci-fi. (Even their martial arts game was pretty solid.) I'd like to see them try something contemporary eventually.

Avatar image for Black_Hand_313

Ever since their customer service treated me like garbage - you have to go through it yourself to see how bad it is - I only buy cheap PC and Bioware-developed games brand-new. Any other EA game I really want, I buy it used. As long as they have that kind of "screw the customers, we've got plenty" attitude, I'd rather give the money to a store that treats its customers decently.

Avatar image for grognard

EA deserves credit for turning things around in terms of quality and investing in new IP's. The problem is that there is always a natural transition period before those new IP's start paying off (usually the 2nd or 3rd iteration), so their numbers are taking a hit now from the initial investment. Sadly, investors are too greedy and short-sighted to understand that profits can't always go up forever and that retooling is necessary every so often - and that one should invest long-term and not quarter-to-quarter. Activision will also suffer from franchise fatigue from series (Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk, etc.) and will have similar setbacks eventually.

Avatar image for zaiwen

they deserve those losses & yall know it

Avatar image for Zerosumgame

I have been reading the EA story book and just about to finish ch 10, soon I am reading chapter 11. I can't wait.

Avatar image for DEATH775

Crysis 2 and Dead Space 2 is a must buy for me.

Avatar image for collingtonuk

Lets hope that they learn from their past mistakes. Stop releasing unfinished games, having the game finished should be more important than hitting some release date. L4D2 was one of the companies successes but they were just publishing that, while VALVE operate a no release 'till its finished policy'. Valve have a great reputation among gamers while EA's name is mud.

Avatar image for Onetwoindo

ea spending money too much cause they always recruit an famous artist just to record a voice,,,,you shouldn't do that often

Avatar image for blackfray

I really Don't get it why EA with such a lot of great games always has a financial problem and it's losing something but Activison-Blizzard with just a few bunch of great games like WOW,COD and it's Heroes is always gaining profits? lol, I think Bioware is the only studio that is making profit for EA.

Avatar image for dewwy

The January-March period will also see the launch of "something far-reaching for Mass Effect." I don't think that could be Mass Effect 3. If it is Bioware pulled off a game cycle development marvel. I'm guessing it'll be a large DLC (aka NOT pinnacle station or bringing down the sky) that will serve as a mini-expansion.

Avatar image for Kleeyook

FIFA 10 sold for 9M!? No wonder A is big! :(

Avatar image for P0T

What do you guys think this means? An expansion for ME2 maybe? I don't think ME3 would be out a year after ME2 UNLESS they worked on ME2 & ME3 side by side. That would be amazing if so, waiting 2 years for ME2 sucked. So I am thinking it may be an expansion pack, spin off or possibly ME3. "The January-March period will also see the launch of "something far-reaching for Mass Effect."

Avatar image for D_West

If you add in all the purchases on steam, the number of people playing these games really goes up. It just goes tom show that most hardcore gamers won't buy anything rated less than an 8/10 from various reviewers.

Avatar image for Richardthe3rd

DA:O was a great release from 2009. It really just was a good release for a lot of reasons; Bioware polished it up, the gameplay and dialogue/ VA was pretty amazing, and the DRM schedule for PC was relaxed to a very tolerable amount. Despite EA's poor structure and overall blundering, Bioware is still their ace in the hole, as ME2 and DA:O have proven.

Avatar image for Bigbudd0045

@alexkn64 WRPGs arent superior to all other genres just because you get off on them. though bioware makes kick ass games.

Avatar image for alexkn64

@VXLbeast It's not a sequel, it's an expansion. You know those, they used to have those all the time before the age of DLC. meaning it's at least 20-30 hours if not more in content. Also, wRPGs are superior to all other genres. Learn your place.

Avatar image for VXLbeast

Hmm, glad I didn't buy this game. Ridiciulous amounts of DLC you know they just pulled from the game, and a sequel planned already to come out within the next year....yah, definitely glad I skipped this one. Of course, its a western RPG, so I wasn't expecting much in the first place.

Avatar image for Patrickstar1986

Can't people just find DAO for twenty bucks by now though? I don't remember not seeing an ass ton of copies on the shelves at my local used gaming store. Maybe people just prefer to punish themselves by paying too much for a game that you will have to pay more for more content. I for one will just buy the game after the second comes out because I would hope they bundle the dlc together for a slick 15 bucks, something I doubt will happen. DAMN YOUS OBLIVION!!! By making Shivering Isles you have doom-ed us all! It was pretty much the equivlant of pandora's box to DLC. I would rather just play ME2, but they didn't bring it to the PS3. Oh well I'll just buy FFXIII instead.

Avatar image for Shardz7

If EA can't make a profit with those kind of record sales then they need to start trimming the corporate fat up above and cut out those bonuses. The developers don't lead half as extravagant lifestyles as the EA corporates... They should stop whining and fix their structural problems instead of perpetuating their own problems. Hopefully they aren't pressuring the developers harder due to their financial incompetence.

Avatar image for JanusStormsword

I don't get the people who are surprised that DAO has sold well. It's Bioware for crying out loud, new IP or not, their games are going to sell well. It was guaranteed to sell 2 million the second it was announced.

Avatar image for SkylinePigeon

I'm very glad to see Dragon Age has sold so well! It's my favorite game in years and I think it deserves a ton of success. :) It should continue to have some legs with the expansions, too, and you know when the package bundling all the expansion content together comes out, that will do well, too. :)

Avatar image for Sepewrath

@ioannisdenton Trust me you will love ME2, it is epic. Its funny how well L4D did despite all the whining and moaning about it being "too soon" Also the article says DA shipped 3.2 million, not sold 3.2. There is a difference, the shipped number is higher than the number sold.

Avatar image for Waldkrieger

LOL. These people are never happy. Dragon Age sells well and they still complain. Its seriously laughable.

Avatar image for luffy11234

@Tripwolf yeah the other companys are great but infinityward makes games (mw2) that a majority of fps's want. :/ and i like fps but not that much

Avatar image for KristoffBrujah

3.2 million? Holy f-, that's incredible for an original IP RPG. Good job, Bioware!

Avatar image for feudemonj00

Waaaaaah. Cry EA, cry.

Avatar image for fritigoerd

Ea sell so many games.... how can they be on red numbers? They should cut off useless jobs (CEOS... secretaries and mostly of the non related to making games people) lower the amount of tv commercials , or any form of publicity and stop making reruns of the sports games ... they should be at least 3 years appart

Avatar image for alexkn64

@Tripwolf You forgot Stardock. Seriously, every game they make is AAA quality, and they have no DRM in their games - period. I love their distribution model so much, especially at how incredible they are at making strategy makes like Galactic Civilizations, or Sins of a Solar Empire.

Avatar image for JaksCreed

"2.8 million unis is nothing to glower about." Anyone else see a problem in there?

Avatar image for Breyant

Glad to see that Dragon Age is doing well in the eyes of money-hungry EA. I hope that means we will see many more installments!

Avatar image for Tripwolf

Bioware, Valve and Naughty Dog are the best game developers there is. Infinity Ward is the worst.

Avatar image for ioannisdenton

DA is SO underappreciated , if you see the reviews on xbox or ps3 , DA eats dust sometimes, while games like mw2 get a lot of praise. where is this world coming to? we are offered a TRUE rpg and we question it cause of what? graphics? L.O.L i am 100 hours in game and still have nt finish it!!!!! and i don wanna it to end! and DA is WAY WAY WAY superior to ME1 (which i loved so much)(have nt played the 2 ME)

Avatar image for mariostar0001

So they're the ones to blame. Figures.

Avatar image for boysangur

These reports would be easier to read if gamespot brushed up on the terms. Revenue and net revenue are very different things, which one is it?

Avatar image for alvaro_pg

@alexkn64 Indeed, Bioware makes the best games :)

Avatar image for alvaro_pg

Those of you hoping Dead Space 2 to be as good as the first one might be dissapointed.... I just read it will be action focused rather than survival like the first one. It may turn out to be a good game, but the whole concept of horror survival was pure awesomeness in the first one which will be hard to beat by something entirely different

Avatar image for ccgod

bioware is keeping ea afloat

Avatar image for alexkn64

Keep on keepin' on Bioware. Between an incredible sequel, and a new IP coming out within months of eachother, you guys have done an incredible job. Really looking forward to continued DLC from the Cerberus Network, as well as the new full-fledged expansion to Dragon Age: Origins. I love you guys Bioware.

Avatar image for Rickiej

Wow, when reading this article and seeing how many games EA owns, I see that they have alot of triple AAA titles among them. So Activision hasn't won yet. EA vs Activision, clash of the titans...

Avatar image for rock_solid

EA doesn't develop Crysis 2, they just publish it. don't give them credit they don't deserve.

Avatar image for Neosword

New Dragon Age! Can't wait.

Avatar image for metalkid9

I always wondered why they don't post electronic download sale figures :S

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