EA: FIFA 17 Was the #1 Console Title of 2016, Titanfall 2 Missed Expectations
Call of Duty may have been the biggest console franchise of 2016, but FIFA 17 was the best-selling console title in the world in 2016, according to Electronic Arts.
In their Q3 FY17 (ended December 31, 2016) financial results, EA announced FIFA 17’s success, adding that more than 10 million users have played The Journey, the game’s new single-player mode. Compared to FIFA 16, sell-through was up 8% during Q2 and Q3, and it’s on track to be the best-selling game in the franchise.
Battlefield 1, meanwhile, saw the biggest launch of any Battlefield title ever, and its launch player base was 50% larger than Battlefield 4’s in its launch quarter. Battlefield 1 is also on track to the best-selling game in the franchise.
CFO Blake Jorgensen talked about their record quarter:
With the top console games and most-downloaded mobile portfolio in the industry for Q3, Electronic Arts is growing, engaging and exciting a global community of players. We will continue to push the boundaries of play, with stunning new titles like Mass Effect Andromeda, global competitive gaming tournaments and more amazing experiences coming in the year ahead.
For the first time ever, we generated over $1 billion in operating cash flow in a quarter. This is a true testament to the innovation we built into Battlefield 1 and FIFA 17 and the continued strength of our digital live services.
Overall, EA saw net revenue of $1.15 billion during Q3, and 60% ($685 million) was digital. For the entire fiscal year, EA expects net revenue to be around $4.8 billion.
Titanfall 2 was missing from the initial results announcement, but during the earnings call, EA said it “delivered the next important step in this new franchise we are building with our partners at Respawn,” player satisfaction scores are extremely high, they plan on supporting the game “for a long time to come,” and they’re “excited about our long-term plans for the Titanfall franchise.”
Although EA remains “deeply committed” to Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 players, Jorgensen revealed that “we sold less Titanfall 2 than we expected and we sold more Battlefield 1 than we expected.” Additionally, Battlefield 1 is a higher-margin product for them.
Despite Titanfall 2 missing expectations, CEO Andrew Wilson said EA isn’t “seeing it as underperformance at this juncture. What we have demonstrated as an organization is that with great games, we can sell them for many months and often many years.” He then offered up Battlefield 4 as an example of a game that continued to sell well years after launch, and in the lead up to Battlefield 1, nearly 10 million people were playing it.
Elsewhere in the call, Wilson said, “We’re very excited about Titanfall 2. We think that game’s going to sell for a really long time.” He added that EA remains committed to the relationship they have with Respawn, and they remain committed to Titanfall.