EA’s third quarter report has hit the table and it isn’t great. They are reporting a year-over-year decline in net revenue, which totally $808 million this go around compared to $922 million previously. It isn’t really surprising as EA has been hammered on the PR front despite trying to pain themselves as a changed company. In the report, packaged goods (physical disc games and such) were way down, $370 million compared to $568 million and EA’s Xbox 360 sales went down 35%.
The products they’ve pumped out there, namely their fabled EA Sports line, has seen increased scrutiny and critical rejection due to lack of innovation and some cases what looks like a copy and paste job from the previous year with certain titles and certain platforms. Worse still one of their flagship titles, Battlefield 4, is a buggy mess that wasn’t ready for prime time and Star Wars the Old Republic has seen a sharp drop in subscriptions.
It isn’t all doom and gloom. Digital revenue was up at $410 million compared to $321 million the previous year, and handheld digital sales were up 26%. Some see this as a demonstration that the tide has officially turned and digital marketplaces have now officially become the primary place where people are buying games. EA games represented 35% of all western PS4 games sold, which indicates that things may turn around as the next generation of consoles ramp up. Titanfall looks like it will have a stellar release, but their sales forecast is a bit on the conservative side mostly because it’s only going to be released on the Xbox One and PC platforms.
One thing is certain however, EA needs to work on improving its image with consumers if it wants to see any success going forward.