EA beats earnings expectations but outlook falls short

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – United States (US) video game maker Electronic Arts (EA) on Thursday beat earnings expectations despite falling revenue, but outlook for the current quarter caused shares to sink.

Revenue of USD1.15 billion in the recently ended quarter was driven by play of titles including its Madden and FIFA franchises based on real-world professional sports, according to the California-based company.

The revenue was down 14 per cent from the same period a year earlier, but Wall Street analysts had anticipated much less.

“We delivered a quarter well above our guidance,” Chief Operating Officer Blake Jorgensen said in an earnings release.

But EA projected revenue of USD1.7 billion in the current quarter, below the USD2.3 billion forecast by Wall Street.

EA shares sank more than seven per cent in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures.

Jorgensen also announced that EA’s battle royale-style online game Apex Legends is on track to become a billion-dollar franchise.

The number of people playing Madden NFL 21 grew nearly 30 per cent compared to this time last year, and ranks of subscribers to an online EA Play service have grown to 6.5 million, according to the company.

Video game play has boomed as people hunkered down at home because of the coronavirus pandemic seek out entertainment.