Earlier this year, Electronic Arts said it wanted to reclaim its position as a top mobile game developer. It looks like it is on its way to doing just that.
EA, which published "Madden NFL Mobile" and "FIFA 15 Ultimate Team Mobile," is at 40 million mobile users per month; up 250 percent from last year, the company reported with its third-quarter earnings Tuesday night.
EA has also seen growth from Popcap Games, the casual mobile game maker it acquired in 2012, creator of titles like “Peggle,” “Bejeweled” and “Plants vs. Zombies."
Though EA is still trailing behind mobile gaming giants like King, its growth is putting it among the bigger players in mobile. "Candy Crush" creator King reported 352 million users playing at least one game per month as of May 2014. At its peak and amid its "Angry Birds" frenzy, Rovio reported 263 million monthly users in Dec. 2012, though that number has significantly declined during the past 24 months.
With EA's rapid increase in mobile users, this could easily place the company as a top earner in the realm of mobile within a year or two -- especially if it continues to produce such popular content.
The company’s net non-GAAP revenue for 2014 reached $1.22 billion from $1.04 billion last year; $767 million of that total went to products like console games and $453 million went to services like EA Access. Non-GAAP results exclude factors such as taxes, expenses, depreciation and amortization.
The Redwood City, California-based developer produced a number of console hits this year, including shooter “Titanfall,” “Madden NFL 15” and soccer simulation game “FIFA 15.”
EA reported an earnings per share of 73 cents, 20 cents more than earlier estimates of 53 cents. Wall Street originally estimated the company would bring in $1.16 billion, but non-GAAP revenues at the close of the quarter were $1.22 billion, exceeding expectations.
“Putting players first is our top priority at EA and that begins with delivering incredible experiences for gamers every day,” Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson said during an earnings call on Tuesday. “Our players on console and PC logged more than 1.9 billion hours of gameplay through the quarter.”
The result of the recent earnings call was certainly a win for the company and a positive sign that the video game industry isn’t going anywhere.
Wilson said: “During the second quarter, EA launched a slate of new games and services across console, PC, and mobile … ’Madden NFL 15’ kicked off in August and quickly registered as one of the most successful ‘Madden’ titles in recent years among players and critics. Players have logged more than 89 million games of Madden, up 48 percent year over year.”
Looking forward, the studio has a number of highly anticipated games launching during the next year, including fantasy role-playing game “Dragon Age: Inquisition” on Nov. 18. The company has also delayed the release date of shooter “Battlefield Hardline,” a cops versus robbers game and follow-up to 2013 game “Battlefield 4.” The original launch date was Oct. 21, but the developer postponed the release until March 17. This is most likely due to the backlash EA received after releasing “Battlefield 4” before it was ready last October, angering fans with glitch gameplay and errors that continued for months.
Still, the future looks bright for EA, and it predicts its GAAP net revenue ending March 31, 2015, will be $4.175 billion, with non-GAAP earnings to be at $2.05 per share.
“Across the biggest platforms and most popular genres, EA is delivering long-lasting fun and enduring value for our players,” Wilson said.