EA Q4 Financial Results (Edited for UT relevant info)

1
Marleigh
2270 posts Fans' Favourite
Full Transcript at
https://seekingalpha.com/article/4071402-electronic-arts-ea-q4-2017-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single

FIFA 17 expanded the reach of the world's biggest sports gaming franchise, with more than 21 million players jumping in to the game through the end of FY 2017. Our creative teams, with the benefit of data and analytics from our network, delivered The Journey – our new story mode in FIFA 17 that has engaged more than 12 million players to date. With story mode having brought in many new players, we also saw more of our players go deeper. Our FIFA Ultimate Team player base grew 13% year-over-year through the end of Q4. Ultimate Team is also the gateway to our esports competitions for both Madden NFL and FIFA. Within the broader Ultimate Team communities, more than 10 million players participated in competitive matches in the first year of our tournaments, and our global spectator audience continues to grow.

In FY 2018, we'll deliver more thrilling experiences that broaden the reach of our major franchises and drive deeper engagement through more ways to play. Our EA SPORTS portfolio continues to have the biggest player community in sports games, and this year we'll add new experiences to grow that audience. Madden NFL 18 is set to be the most innovative Madden title in more than a decade, using the full Frostbite stack to deliver new modes that bring the sport to life in unprecedented ways. FIFA 18 will expand on The Journey and Ultimate Team, and we'll connect to more soccer fans with FIFA as our first title on Nintendo Switch. With new NHL, NBA LIVE and UFC console games, as well as more live events and content for our growing EA SPORTS player base on mobile, our multi-platform EA SPORTS portfolio is set to reach more fans around the world in FY 2018.

Competitive gaming and esports will be a key growth factor for us throughout FY 2018 as we expand the ways that fans can play and watch. Year two of our FIFA and Madden NFL championships will kick off this fall, featuring millions of competitive games through Ultimate Team, deeper partnerships with leagues and teams that add new dimensions to the tournaments, and new venues for our major global championships. Later this year, we'll launch our first Battlefield 1 competition, unlocking the competitive spirit that runs deep in our Battlefield community. We're also continuing to expand our broadcast reach and content portfolio for our growing spectator audience. There is global excitement for our competitions, and this year we'll broadcast our tournaments and add additional programming through more major network partnerships including ESPN, BT Sport, Univision and more.

Total net sales for the year were $4.9 billion, a record. Digital net sales accounted for 61% of this, up 6 percentage points year on year. Extra content was a record $1.3 billion, with Ultimate Team contributing $832 million.The key element remains Ultimate Team, which grew 23% year-on-year, or 29% at constant currency.

Yeah. We're very excited about our esports strategy and what we're doing, and what we saw this year in both FIFA and Madden were significantly higher engagement and monetization inside of Ultimate Team for those competing in esports tournaments.

And again, this isn't just about the big championship tournaments. We run a whole series of events at a grassroots level all the way up to the elite level of tournaments. And so we think about this in a similar way that we think about all sports, which is we want to make stars of all of our players, the novice player as well as the professional player.

And while there will almost certainly be solid revenue generation from broadcast rights, from sponsorship, from advertising, from players and teams and the monetization of those things, the lion share of the revenue will always be the digital transactions that exist in the ecosystem. We see that in leading esports tournaments and leading esports games already.

And what we have seen in FIFA Ultimate Team and Madden Ultimate Team over the past 12 months confirms what our original strategy was, which was we will drive those other things. We will benefit from those other things. The lion share of return will come from the ongoing engagement and live service component that is things like Ultimate Team. And you should expect as we launch other esports games that they will also revolve around a very robust and rich digital ecosystem similar to Ultimate Team.

And in terms of guidance relative to Ultimate Team, the thing to remember that was – two major drivers in FIFA this year were, first, the addition of a story mode in the game. The Journey brought new people into the game and brought those people from the game into Ultimate Team. So it grew the overall base of people playing in Ultimate Team.

The second is the addition of the competitive gaming mode inside of FIFA which, as Andrew mentioned, drove massive engagement around tournaments and around practicing for tournaments.

Both of those styles of change we're going to try to adapt into Madden in one way or another, and you'll see more of that coming in the coming months. But you can assume we've learned a lot of great lessons from FIFA. We'll try to drive Madden Ultimate Team and Madden Competitive Gaming off of similar modes.

But FIFA doesn't sit still. It continues to find new ways to engage people in new modes and new excitement, and as Andrew said, we'll be evolving The Journey in FIFA, which will continue to bring new people into the game, we believe. That's the core.

Now our guidance doesn't anticipate anywhere near the level of growth that we actually achieved this year. We tend to do that each year with FIFA because while it's very predictable based around events, we've continued to surprise ourselves on the upside. So you should trust that it's a rational number in terms of our guidance, but there is growth in there.

TL;DR UT sold more packs than ever by a large margin, Expect The Journey pt 2 in 18 and expect more of a push to competitive UT/FUT champions etc

Comments

  • Jake
    14424 posts Has That Special Something
    And they can't even have a weekend league without at least 5 delayed games
  • Retro_G
    33018 posts National Team Captain
    Interesting read, glad to hear they're committed to Fut Champions going forward. I did enjoy the Journey. :smiley:
  • Rutta
    6136 posts Big Money Move
    Probably good news that they sold more packs as I would have thought all these WL and SBC rewards may have affected them, thus reducing these next game. Although with all these lacks getting opened that probably explains the awful card weight for good players.
  • Retro_G
    33018 posts National Team Captain
    Rutta wrote: »
    Probably good news that they sold more packs as I would have thought all these WL and SBC rewards may have affected them, thus reducing these next game. Although with all these lacks getting opened that probably explains the awful card weight for good players.

    The weekend league keeps people intrested in the game longer. They've a larger player base for opening packs. Fut Champions was a genius idea.
  • Onedoesntsimply
    2301 posts Fans' Favourite
    Well done to the idiots still spending so much real money on Ultimate Team. Why should EA spend money to improve the game and the servers if they can get away with doing nothing and people will still pour money into it. Start voting with your wallets people!
  • CovLee_Candice
    4530 posts National Call-Up
    And still cant fix the damn server
  • BFC CLARETTRICK
    1192 posts Professional
    Well done to the idiots still spending so much real money on Ultimate Team. Why should EA spend money to improve the game and the servers if they can get away with doing nothing and people will still pour money into it. Start voting with your wallets people!

    Well said looks like more of the same for fifa 18 then I'm already calling it gameplay on 18 will be 10x worse than 17 it's all about money from packs nothing else.
  • ASH32
    1791 posts Play-Off Hero
    edited May 2017
    Well done to the idiots still spending so much real money on Ultimate Team. Why should EA spend money to improve the game and the servers if they can get away with doing nothing and people will still pour money into it. Start voting with your wallets people!

    Well said looks like more of the same for fifa 18 then I'm already calling it gameplay on 18 will be 10x worse than 17 it's all about money from packs nothing else.

    Yep, there's no way I'm buying after this year, the gameplay is ruined by all the traffic, with all the sites and the bots spamming all day long, no wonder it does not and will not work properly ever again because EA won't remove the access.

  • Flamstead
    3409 posts National Call-Up
    Rutta wrote: »
    Probably good news that they sold more packs as I would have thought all these WL and SBC rewards may have affected them, thus reducing these next game. Although with all these lacks getting opened that probably explains the awful card weight for good players.

    The WL and SBC's are the reason why they have sold more packs.

    Inflated player prices during SBC's means more coins and more people will buy packs throughout the game rather than at just the beginning and end (TOTS) .

    Packing / buying "better" players most of the time means a more "competitive" WL team to earn those higher rewards (and yes I know BPL sweat teams are rife but not many that finish top 100 Elite 1/2 use a full BPL sweat team...Just smalling, Kante and Walker on most occasions).

    As a business model, this is genius.
  • Fab
    19483 posts World Class
    Jake wrote: »
    And they can't even have a weekend league without at least 5 delayed games

    No reason to reduce the profit margin
  • Fab
    19483 posts World Class
    All hail corporate overlord EA and their genius SBC's
  • BFC CLARETTRICK
    1192 posts Professional
    ASH32 wrote: »
    Well done to the idiots still spending so much real money on Ultimate Team. Why should EA spend money to improve the game and the servers if they can get away with doing nothing and people will still pour money into it. Start voting with your wallets people!

    Well said looks like more of the same for fifa 18 then I'm already calling it gameplay on 18 will be 10x worse than 17 it's all about money from packs nothing else.

    Yep, there's no way I'm buying after this year, the gameplay is ruined by all the traffic, with all the sites and the bots spamming all day long, no wonder it does not and will not work properly ever again because EA won't remove the access.

    Yeah I'm giving it a miss aswell I seen this coming to be fair ea are actually milking it now and it seems like most people only care about opening packs like wtf has happened to gaming? It's horrible now

    Can we just get consistent and stable games for once? Fifa 18 can go shove it I love football and I do love gaming but not anymore just cba with it.
  • KeepItUp
    1295 posts Professional
    Tl;dr but gj
  • AnDrEwThEdOn
    17270 posts World Class
    Madness.
  • Bob Loblaw
    11247 posts Has That Special Something
    Can't fix the gameplay or servers but we can still make lots of money !
  • ImAtrocious
    1798 posts Play-Off Hero
    Anyone else not touch the journey at all? It's troubling that in all the talk of growth and expansion, not a single thing is mentioned about simultaneously building their infrastructure. Maybe it is in the plans and that wasn't the appropriate place for them to discuss it, but if continuing to build the player base is a goal, they need to expand their ability to serve those players, rapidly.
  • KingBarca
    395 posts Sunday League Hero
    a) Good job making money
    b) bad job not investing in better servers
    c) point b happens when you don't have a competitor on the market

    Fifa17 is at over 21 Million players
    Their only "competitor" is screwing around at a million sales

    I kinda expect more things you can invest Fifa Points into before many yearlong flaws are getting fixed
    But what else will people play?PES?Good joke
    EA knows they can get away with these things

    Imagine what EA could make with a Fifa Point feature like this
    Lets say you can invest 50 Fifa Points for the upcoming game so you get favored by the Ref and all these things.
    You know - Simply "bribe" the game like Teams totally openly do with the Referee in Real Life...Offside goals and all that stuff even though everyone can see the player is 10 feet in offside.
    And if you invest 100 fifa points you can only get matched against people that didn't bribe the game

    Billion $ on the table
  • hasan09876
    15330 posts World Class
    KingBarca wrote: »
    a) Good job making money
    b) bad job not investing in better servers
    c) point b happens when you don't have a competitor on the market

    Fifa17 is at over 21 Million players
    Their only "competitor" is screwing around at a million sales

    I kinda expect more things you can invest Fifa Points into before many yearlong flaws are getting fixed
    But what else will people play?PES?Good joke
    EA knows they can get away with these things

    Imagine what EA could make with a Fifa Point feature like this
    Lets say you can invest 50 Fifa Points for the upcoming game so you get favored by the Ref and all these things.
    You know - Simply "bribe" the game like Teams totally openly do with the Referee in Real Life...Offside goals and all that stuff even though everyone can see the player is 10 feet in offside.
    And if you invest 100 fifa points you can only get matched against people that didn't bribe the game

    Billion $ on the table

    Bribing isnt something done in football
  • Relentless2k
    285 posts Sunday League Hero
    not a good look when your servers are crap and your game is 60% garbage and the main focal point is FUT rather than any other game modes
  • Whitebeard
    3444 posts National Call-Up
    Still can't provide quality servers, what a joke.
  • Menaceuk
    1499 posts Play-Off Hero
    Andthey don't even try to fix the game post release.

    I also see career mode will once get overlooked, while FUT continues to get worse.

    The Journy was crap. poorly acted, poorly written cliche cheesy crap. Could have used those resources and made gave career mode the attention it deserves.

    Do I even need to. mention Pro Clubs and the ❤️❤️❤️❤️ unbalanced mess tat it is.

    EA are too greedy and lazy.
  • xGrumpyWolfx
    3078 posts National Call-Up
    $832m from UT alone and their servers are still ❤️❤️❤️❤️.
  • Mayhski
    130 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Reading all this really makes me think that Evil Corp is going to make things even worse next year..

    A company needs to increase their profit every year, and they seem to have found the way to exploit FUT even more so that is going to be their priority. Not making a game everyone is actually is content with.

    T.b. Blizzard is not in the business of making sports games.





  • Menaceuk
    1499 posts Play-Off Hero
    Mayhski wrote: »
    Reading all this really makes me think that Evil Corp is going to make things even worse next year..

    A company needs to increase their profit every year, and they seem to have found the way to exploit FUT even more so that is going to be their priority. Not making a game everyone is actually is content with.

    T.b. Blizzard is not in the business of making sports games.




    But they dont do much wit FUT either. SBCs and FUT Champions make it even worse. FUT is the worst attempt at a competitive game I have ever played.

    They say the FUT player base grew 13%, but I bet the player base has seen huge drops since because it isn't competive and all its issues are frustrating.
  • Samuel Eto'o
    19344 posts World Class
    Okay so they're doing even better this year yet their servers are still a pile of ❤️❤️❤️❤️ and they clearly have no intentions of improving them. Great ❤️❤️❤️❤️ job EA.
  • bjornheisenberg
    3714 posts National Call-Up
    Esports ......

    [img][/img]OsbZejC.jpg
  • Mayhski
    130 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Menaceuk wrote: »
    But they dont do much wit FUT either. SBCs and FUT Champions make it even worse. FUT is the worst attempt at a competitive game I have ever played.

    They say the FUT player base grew 13%, but I bet the player base has seen huge drops since because it isn't competive and all its issues are frustrating.

    Well i must admit that FUT weekend league is a nice addition and keeps FUT more fun for a longer time.
    If only the game itself was more consistent and less rigged.., The amount of ❤️❤️❤️❤️ moments we go through every weekend is just absurd..

    And making people play 40 matches in 1 weekend is just insane as well. Luckily i play on PC but even 25 is quite allot...




  • Menaceuk
    1499 posts Play-Off Hero
    Mayhski wrote: »
    Menaceuk wrote: »
    But they dont do much wit FUT either. SBCs and FUT Champions make it even worse. FUT is the worst attempt at a competitive game I have ever played.

    They say the FUT player base grew 13%, but I bet the player base has seen huge drops since because it isn't competive and all its issues are frustrating.

    Well i must admit that FUT weekend league is a nice addition and keeps FUT more fun for a longer time.
    If only the game itself was more consistent and less rigged.., The amount of ❤️❤️❤️❤️ moments we go through every weekend is just absurd..

    And making people play 40 matches in 1 weekend is just insane as well. Luckily i play on PC but even 25 is quite allot...




    FUT weekend isn't fun. It is frustrating as hell due to all the ❤️❤️❤️❤️ and lame tactics the community employ. I played it the first 6 weeks and haven't bothered with it till last week. Iplayed 4 games, dominated them all, and lost them all due to annoying ❤️❤️❤️❤️ and scripted unbeatable goalies. Didn't bother with any more matches.

    The mode is pur nonsense.

  • chosenone
    2324 posts Fans' Favourite
    UT sold more packs than ever by a large margin

    Who is buying these? Why?

    This is all EA look at, financial success, sold more packs than ever etc, I can imagine the board sitting together in a meeting discussing this. this is what they look at not customer satisfaction.

    don't get people who buy packs. You get BS and input delay and you buy packs and go crazy over TOTS to buy more packs to get better players to use in the WL to get even more BS and input delay! Endless addictive cycle. Snap out of it!

    I've bought every fifa since 96 and for the past few years been saying "not getting the next one" but don't mean it and still do because I have brothers but this year its the last straw, really feel that I'm not going to buy the next one especially considering COD looks decent. Give it a year off.

    and the growth is a reflection of the rapid birthrate and reducing poverty not the success of the company hehehe
  • theduckisstillperfect21
    6032 posts Big Money Move
    The scenes at all of the people bitching about the game.
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