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At EA, packaged games are sliding as digital nudges upward

Profits and revenue were down at Electronic Arts for the fourth fiscal quarter, but the company is still optimistic about its digital future, as new consoles from Sony and Microsoft wait in the wings.
Profits and revenue were down at Electronic Arts for the fourth fiscal quarter, but the company is still optimistic about its digital future, as new consoles from Sony and Microsoft wait in the wings. EA, for yet another quarter, put the digital business in the spotlight, highlighting subscription numbers, revenue from mobile games like The Simpsons and total registered users for EA Origin, the company's wholly-owned digital distribution platform. By showing off strides in digital, the company hopes to convince investors that EA is the most digitally future-proofed company of all the major publishers, whose businesses have been built on physical retail. EA's quarterly packaged good sales were down 21 percent to $730 million, as digital rose 8 percent to $453 million. Despite strengthening digital sales, total revenues for EA during the fourth fiscal quarter ended March 31 were $1.2 billion, down from $1.37 billion for the same quarter a year ago. Quarterly profits were $323 million for the quarter, down from $400 million. The company's overall annual revenues were down to $3.8 billion from $4.14 billion. Annual profits were $98 million, up from $76 million.

EA's digital business by the numbers

  • Fiscal year 2013 Non-GAAP digital net revenues were up 36 percent to $1.7 billion.
  • Battlefield 3 Premium: $120 million in revenue in the March quarter, with 3.5 million subscriptions.
  • SimCity: 1.6 million units sold through to consumers since March launch, with approximately 50 percent of sales from digital.
  • FIFA 13: 14.5 million units in 2013 fiscal year, a 30 percent increase versus FIFA 12. Total digital revenue for FIFA products reached $350 million, with $200 million coming from FIFA 13.
  • The Simpsons: Tapped Out for iOS: Nearly $10 million in net revenue in March, $50 million net revenue to date.
  • Real Racing 3: 30 million downloads, 2.5 million active users.
  • EA games and services for mobile/handheld digital revenue reached $104 million for Q4 2013, a 21 percent year-over-year increase.
  • Registered users for EA Origin total 47 million, with 20 million on mobile.

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