EA says the better-than-expected performance of its various sports franchises, including the recently rebranded EA Sports FC (formerly known as FIFA), is driving net bookings and live service revenue.
As noted in the publisher's fiscal report for the second quarter ended September 30, 2023, net bookings increased by 4 percent year-on-year to $1.82 billion and live service revenue rose by 1 percent year-on-year to $1.13 billion.
Full game net bookings were also up by 9 percent year-on-year to $691 million, driven by the strength of EA Sports releases.
Digging into those results, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said the company's Q2 performance was "above our expectations" and said the launch of EA Sports FC 24 and Madden NFL 24 allowed the company to "expand its position as a leader of the future of sports fandom."
Weighing in on the launch of EA Sports FC, Wilson said reimagining and expanding on one of the most recognizable sports franchises in the world in FIFA represented a "profound achievement." He added that EA Sports FC 24 is "set to deliver growth this year and beyond" despite FIFA 23 (the final instalment in the franchise) previously delivering a record-breaking year.
"Fan reception of FC has been extraordinary, expanding our already thriving global football community. Within the first four weeks after world-wide launch, over 14.5 million fans have played FC 24 on console and premium PC, including double-digit growth in new players," said Wilson.
"FC Mobile has established new franchise records, with over 2 million people installing the game on the first day, over 5 million in the first three days, and over 11 million in the first 10 days. FC Online continues to grow across all engagement metrics, while players have truly embraced FC Pro with a record number of registrations."
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Notably, EA CFO Stuart Canfield said that within EA's football (soccer) buisness net bookings increased by 43 percent year-on-year driven by the continued momentum of FIFA 23 and strong demand for EA Sports FC 24.
"The launch had a tremendous start, highlighted by healthy retention of our core cohort, strong acquisition of new and reactivated players, greater demand for Deluxe editions of FC 24, and the benefit of four extra days of early access. In the first four weeks, FC Ultimate team was up high single digits on a year-on-year basis," he added.
Looking briefly at EA's other major titles, Canfield said that although Apex Legends net bookings were down on a year-on-year basis, the shooter still performed above expectations with Season 18 "driving greater-than-anticipated player acquisition and monetization."
Wilson also noted that Battlefield 2024 players have responded "positively" to the launch of Season 6, illustrating the current strength and "long-term potential" of the franchise. "Through innovation and creativity, our teams continue to support this huge community of fans, while building towards the future of Battlefield," added Wilson.
Looking ahead, EA is forecasting full-year net bookings of between $7.3 billion to $7.7 billion.