Electronic Arts recently posted its quarterly financial statements, and within the company confirmed a variety of plans they have for the future. There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s get going right away. Looking into the report, we see massive growth in terms of revenue, especially when it comes to digital purchases and other related areas, “Digital net bookings* for the trailing twelve months was a record $3.883 billion, up 8%
year-over-year and represents 78% of total net bookings”
These bookings represent the bulk of the company efforts to monetize their products in myriad ways, and yes, that includes the much-maligned loot boxes, live services and other AAA nonsense. With live services in particular though, the company will likely be pushing it even harder in 2020. In essence, live services represents the game trend of continual development and patches, with persistent content updates and in-game events offering new avenues for both in-game content and monetization. So expect more skin systems, loot boxes and other crap in EA games.
Blake Jorgensenn, COO and CFO for the company, revealed that Electronic Arts as a company will be leaning harder on their idea of live services. Saying in statements, “Looking ahead, we are doubling down on live services combined with our core franchises. We’re investing in games that people play for longer and engage with much more deeply. This focus will continue to drive growth and profitability for the company through the remainder of this year and beyond.”
Apex Legends in particular seems to be the major model the company will look to replicate in the future. That specific battle royale title exploded in popularity from a fairly simple launch and premise. But it’s not just shooters that are getting the attention, as sports-based properties look to be another huge area for growth for EA. The Ultimate Team modes for FIFA 20 and Madden NFL 20 specifically grew around 20% each in terms of player numbers over the last year.
Despite these good tidings for their bottom line, EA has not been without a huge share of controversy. The company has been a constant example for criticism regarding loot boxes and other predatory monetization methods, which it routinely defends in the dumbest ways. And even worse than that chicanery surrounding gambling, is the lax security they recently demonstrated by leaking the personal details of some 1,600 customers. Even Origin hasn’t been without issue, where a major security vulnerability could have allowed hackers to compromise huge numbers of accounts. So on the whole, a lot of people are about to groan even louder when they hear Electronic Arts get name dropped.
Gamers also got some good news though, as EA did reveal that PC gamers won’t have to commit to Origin when it comes to flagship franchises from the publisher in 2020 and beyond. Electronic Arts will be bringing their games back from Origin onto Steam over the course of 2020. So if you’re a fan of their flagship properties like The Sims, you can finally get rid of Origin.