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Portal 2 leads EA to $999 million quarter

Valve's puzzler ships 2 million to retailers as Crysis 2, FIFA 11 show staying power; digital revenue makes up more than 20 percent of publisher's income.


Portal 2 opened up to rave reviews, and it turns out the game's sales weren't too shabby, either. Electronic Arts today announced its financial results for the three months ended June 30, beating its first fiscal quarter guidance with a boost from Valve's first-person puzzler.

Portal 2's multiplayer mode stars bicker about the importance of shipped vs. sold.
Portal 2's multiplayer mode stars bicker about the importance of shipped vs. sold.

EA said it had shipped 2 million copies of Portal 2 to retailers during the quarter to lead a new release slate that also featured Alice: Madness Returns, Darkspore, and Shadows of the Damned. Combined with Valve's Gabe Newell telling the Games for Change conference last month that Portal 2 had sold 3 million copies, that suggests the developer has sold at least 1 million copies through its own Steam service.

The publisher's bottom line also received an assist from its catalog titles, as Crysis 2 hit the 3-million-shipped milestone during the quarter, and FIFA 11 has reached 15 million copies sold (including mobile versions of the game and downloaded copies). In other milestones, Dragon Age II and Dead Space 2 both made it to 2 million copies sold to retailers, while Battlefield: Bad Company 2 reached 9 million shipped lifetime-to-date.

Digital revenue was also up strongly for the quarter, with EA reporting $209 million in sales for the quarter. The publisher's previous 12 months of digital sales have reaped $854 million in sales, up 35 percent from the year prior to that. The console digital market growth has been particularly pronounced, surging 91 percent year-over-year. Much of that growth can be accounted for by FIFA 11 and Bad Company 2. EA reported that through June, FIFA 11 has brought in $64 million in digital revenue, compared to FIFA 10's $33 million total. Likewise, Bad Company 2 has brought in $53 million digitally, while Battlefield 1943 peaked at $18 million, and the original Bad Company just reached $2 million.

For the first fiscal quarter, EA reported sales of $999 million, up from $815 million for the same period the year before. The publisher also reported net income of $221 million for the quarter, up from $96 million for last year's first fiscal quarter.

Looking forward, EA also updated investors on preorder campaigns for two of its biggest games: Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic. The publisher said Battlefield 3 preorders are tracking 10 times higher than those of Bad Company 2 at the same point in development. As for The Old Republic, EA said the BioWare massively multiplayer online game broke the publisher's record for preorders.

EA also gave its full-year guidance, which calls for revenue between $3.82 billion and $4.03 billion, with the per-share figure ranging from a loss of $0.10 to a gain of $0.21.

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