As one of the largest publishers in the gaming industry, the financial health of Electronic Arts is often used as a benchmark to gauge how the industry as whole is faring. It's a good thing then that EA was able to report impressive year-on-year growth in sales and profit for the fourth quarter results of its 2010 fiscal year.
EA's Q4 profit rose to $151 million USD on quarterly revenue of $1 billion USD, which too increased compared to Q4 of fiscal year 2010. EA attributes this improvement to million unit sales for software titles like Dragon Age 2 and Crysis 2, all within the span of Q4.
Unfortunately, the same could not be said for EA's profit and sales figures for fiscal year 2011 as a whole. Annual revenue oh so slightly dipped year-on-year to $3.59 billion USD from the $3.65 billion USD in sales garnered during fiscal year 2010. EA was also hit with another year in profit loss, reporting a total loss in net income of $276 million USD. This is still a signifigant improvement from the $677 million USD loss EA reported for fiscal year 2010, however.
Analysts like Cowen and Co.'s Doug Creutz believe the new 2012 fiscal year will be crucial for EA, because the mega-publisher is still under pressure to "deliver meaningful growth in earnings" following years of lackluster financial results. To this end, EA will be rolling out its big guns during the new fiscal year, including titles such as Battlefield 3 (already riding high on the hype train), Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Mass Effect 3 which coincidentally was pushed back to an early 2012 release date.
Some fun facts about EA's achievements during fiscal year 2011, from EA itself:
- EA was the #1 publisher in the Western World in Q4 on high definition consoles and #1 on the PC. EA was the #1 publisher in Europe and increased segment share by three points to 20%.
- EA delivered 15 titles rated 80 or above by Metacritic in fiscal 2011. Mass Effect 2 won more than 150 quality awards including Game of the Year at both the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
- EA held 15 of the top 25 paid games on the iPhone Easter Weekend. Revenue from iOS devices and from our Playfish social gaming site both increased by more than 100% in the fourth quarter as compared to the same period fiscal 2010.
- EA shipped seven titles in the fourth quarter that have already sold in over 1 million units each, life to date. Crysis 2, Dragon Age 2, and Dead Space 2 each sold in more than two million units.
- Life to date, including digital, FIFA 11 sold in 12 million units; Battlefield: Bad Company 2 sold in over seven million units; and Medal of Honor, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, and Madden NFL 11 each sold in over five million units.
- Cumulative sales of Dead Space 2 are currently 40% higher than sales of the original Dead Space game over a comparable period.
- The EA SPORTS FIFA franchise generated over $100 million in non-GAAP digital revenue in fiscal 2011.
Speaking to investors and the press at his company's earnings calls this afternoon, EA CEO John Riccitiello outlines the game plan for fiscal year 2012. EA will be going on the offense after playing defense for the last little bit. The company will shift gears to treat gaming as a complete, integrated service to encompasses both packaged and digital offerings. Its most popular IP across its stable of Labels (including Dragon Age, Battlefield, Madden, FIFA, Need for Speed, The Sims and even Tetris) will be leveraged as the weapons, as always.