EA's FIFA and F1 became bigger than ever in 2022

Live service games have become key to EA's success, and the publisher's sports titles outperformed past expectations.

For Electronic Arts, its successful first quarter of 2022 can largely be attributed to its live service output. During its quarterly earnings call, the publisher revealed its net bookings for the quarter were $7.478 billion, a 22 percent increase year-over-year. Live service titles, such as EA Sports' FIFA 22 and F1 2022, were up by 20 percent for the twelve-month period and came to represent 73 percent of the total net bookings. 

Both FIFA 22 and F1 2022 were directly named by chief financial officer Chris Suh as having contributed to the publisher having another quarter that exceeded expectations. Additionally, FIFA's Ultimate Team engagement had a near-40 percent increase, and FIFA Mobile had its highest net bookings quarter in history. And F1, said Suh, "materially outperformed" the publisher's expectations.

When EA released its full-year results for the fiscal year of 2022 in May, the publisher said the battle royale shooter was continuing to grow, and that statement still rings true. Its net bookings for Q1 were again in the double digits, and in chief financial officer Chris Suh deemed the release of Apex Legends Mobile a success. 

When asked during the conference call about how Apex Mobile is considered a success, chief operations officer Laura Miele provided no metrics, only promising that there are "years of revenue and return generation to be had."

CEO Andrew Wilson said the publisher "delivered strong results in Q1 with our growing player network deeply engaged in new games and live services." For the three-month period ending on June 30, 2022, live service titles earned $1.43 million (a 9percent increase from last year), and $5.2 million (23 percent) for the twelve-month period. 

EA's success wasn't just reliant on live service titles. Purchases of single-player games during the three and twelve-month periods —dubbed "full titles" in its spreadsheets—totaled $341 million (6 percent from 2021) and $2 million (25 percent).  

Wilson stressed during the earnings call that single-player games remain vital to the publisher and a "really important part of the overall portfolio [...] The creation of worlds and the building of characters and the telling of stories is really important in the fulfillment of some of those motivations."

Single-player titles have been in short supply from EA in recent years, but the publisher hopes to turn that around with BioWare's Dragon Age: Dreadwolf and Respawn's Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Both are expected to release in 2023.   

Right now, EA's output for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2023 looks nonexistent, and when asked, Wilson offered no hints as for what games may release during that timeframe. "The advice would be do not assume anything," said Wilson. "We will name the titles and fill in the blanks at the appropriate time."

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