Positive Star Wars Battlefront Reception Means EA Is Raising Sales Targets

Here's everything you need to know from EA's latest earnings report.

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Electronic Arts on Thursday reported earnings for the quarter ended September 30. The company beat expectations, though revenue and profit slid compared to the same quarter last year.

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For the quarter, EA posted revenue of $1.146 billion, down slightly from $1.220 during the same period last year. Profit also dropped slightly, coming in at $212 million for the latest quarter, compared to $232 million.

EA launched some its big sports games during the period, but didn't disclose any hard numbers for them. Instead, the company announced that monthly average players for the games that launched in the quarter--Madden NFL 16, NHL 16, and FIFA 16--increased 30 percent compared to last year.

The Ultimate Team modes for those games continued to do well for EA, as combined net revenue derived from them was up 64 percent year-over-year. On the mobile side, Madden NFL Mobile "game sessions" increased by more than 300 percent compared to last year's game.

In addition, PC MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic subscribers rose 33 percent following BioWare's announcement of the game's latest expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire, at E3 in June. EA did not, however, share a new total subscriber figure. Even if they did, it wouldn't tell the whole story, as the free-to-play's game's subscriptions are only optional.

In the shooter space, Battlefield Hardline and Battlefield 4 together averaged more than 6 million monthly players. EA did not say how this figure breaks down between the two titles.

"Results exceeded our expectations again," EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said in a statement. "Based on the ongoing strength of our business and reception of Star Wars Battlefront, we are raising our full-year outlook for the second time. Our markets are very healthy, the digital transition continues to drive margins, and engagement in our live services and excitement for our upcoming launches is exceptional."

EA's new net revenue target for the full fiscal year is $4.5 billion, up by $50 million from the company's previous forecast. The recently concluded Star Wars Battlefront beta attracted 9.5 million players, an all-time high for an EA beta. The full game launches on November 17 and is expected to ship 13 million copies.

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