Star Wars Battlefront Ships 14 Million Copies, as EA Profits Climb

Here are all the key takeaways from EA's latest earnings report.

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Electronic Arts today reported earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended March 31--and results were strong. The company posted a profit for the quarter and full year, while Star Wars Battlefront was a particularly bright spot, shipping 14 million copies, up from the 13 million in January.

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In other news about Battlefront, EA said more than 15 percent of the game's players were "new to the EA ecosystem," though we don't know how this compares to other EA games.

EA pays Disney a licensing fee for Battlefront and all of its other Star Wars games, so the margin profile on these is likely not as good as fully owned franchises like Mass Effect or Battlefield. Still, 14 million copies shipped is a big number; in fact, it is even above EA's own projections for the game.

Looking ahead, EA has suggested that multiple Battlefront sequels may be on the way.

"FY16 was a phenomenal year for Electronic Arts as we connected hundreds of millions of players to great new games, and helped them connect with each other through rich and dynamic live services," EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in a statement. "The year ahead is packed with excitement. Fans are thrilled with the intense action and epic scale of Battlefield 1, our EA Sports titles will take major leaps in innovation, and we'll bring new experiences from our most popular brands to more players on more devices."

Here are some other standout game-related details from EA's earnings briefing:

  • EA claims it was the number one publisher for PS4 and Xbox One games in the west, according to "available sources" and internal estimates.
  • EA says it was the number one most-downloaded mobile game publisher for all of calendar year 2015, citing data from App Annie
  • More than 54 million people played EA Sports games on console during the fiscal year, up 65 percent compared to the year prior.
  • As for Battlefield, the franchise--across all releases--saw 9.4 million unique players in the fiscal fourth quarter.
  • The Sims 4 player base "grew by nearly two-thirds throughout the fiscal year," though no specific numbers were divulged. Additionally, The Sims FreePlay for mobile hit 200 million installs.
  • Madden NFL Mobile monthly active players rose 30 percent in the fiscal fourth quarter.

As for business performance, here are the highlights:

  • For the full fiscal year, revenue was $4.566 billion. Of that, 55 percent, or $2.531 billion, came from digital sources. This compares to $4.319 billion in total revenue for the previous fiscal year.
  • Profit was $1.01 billion for the full year, compared to $806 million for the previous fiscal year
  • For the fiscal fourth quarter, revenue was $924 million, compared to $896 for the same three-month period last year.
  • Profit for the fiscal fourth quarter was $161 million, which compares to $125 million a year ago.

EA will hold an earnings call today at 2 PM PST / 5 PM EST during which it will discuss these results and answer analysts' questions. It's also possible some news will be shared. Check back soon for more.

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