EA released two high-profile games in the first quarter of 2019, Apex Legends and Anthem, and launched Battlefield V’s battle royale mode. However, the major publisher is having a rough start so far, as profits are down from 2018. EA’s net revenue for the beginning of 2019 was $1.2 billion, which is down from the $1.6 billion it made in 2018. In addition, net income was at $209 million, down from $607 million the year prior. EA held off on disclosing any sales figures for its titles.
Despite Apex Legends having a stealth release, with no prior promotion or hype, it went on to be wildly successful for the publisher. It got 50 million players in its first month alone, with 30 percent of players never playing an EA title before. However, there have also been questions of its staying power, as it appears to be losing some of its steam. Some have attributed this to less frequent updates than some of its battle royale contemporaries, but Respawn Entertainment is sticking to its plan. EA has already confirmed we’ll get our first look at its second season at EA play in June 2019, so there’s a chance it can regain some of its momentum.
Anthem, on the other hand, has been troubled from the start. While its sales have been pretty strong, it has received criticism from fans and critics alike for its numerous bugs and issues found throughout the game. BioWare has committed itself to improving the Anthem experience, so much so that the planned roadmap of new features has been delayed as a result. Anthem recently went through some major staff changes, as some key members left to focus on what many assume to be Dragon Age 4. However, BioWare has reaffirmed its support of Anthem moving forward.
One success EA touted was the launch of Battlefield V’s much-hyped battle royale mode, “Firestorm.” Launching in March, EA claims it was “biggest Battlefield live service event ever.” The publisher has correlated the lack of the mode at launch with the title’s underperformance, though EA seems to be happy with the results now that it’s here.
The publisher has certainly had a rough patch lately, with a less-than-stellar performance in 2018 after games like Battlefield V missed the mark. In addition, 2019 saw some major layoffs as a result of consolidation efforts. With games like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Madden 20 on the way, the rest of the year will be of vital importance for EA.
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]