EA Revenue Slumps Despite Launch of 'Apex Legends' and 'Anthem'

Apex Legends-Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of EA

The new games, both of which launched in February, weren't enough to lift the game company's bottom line in the final quarter of 2018.

Both income and revenue were down year-over-year for Electronic Arts over the first three months of 2019, the company disclosed Tuesday in a financial report.

EA's total net revenue for the period came in at $1.2 billion, down from nearly $1.6 billion over the same stretch of time in 2018. Meanwhile, net income tumbled from $607 million to $209 million.

It's a bit surprising, given the hot start that Apex Legends had at launch. The game grew quickly to 10 million players in its first 10 days of release and now boasts 50 million players.

"Apex Legends is the fastest-growing new game we’ve ever had," EA CEO Andrew Wilson told investors Tuesday during a conference call. "Thirty percent of [the game's] players are new to EA."

Apex Legends is a free-to-download game that generates its revenue through in-game purchases. Wilson said the model would "almost certainly" be implemented in EA's portfolio in the future. 

For the total fiscal year, EA recorded a total income (before provision for income taxes) just north of $1 billion in 2018 against a total net revenue of $4.9 billion.

The final quarter of 2018 saw the video game publisher launch two new titles, Apex Legends and Anthem, both released in February. EA did not provide figures for either game in its initial report. 

The company did, however, tout the success of the Firestorm Battle Royale mode in last year's Battlefield V. The new mode launched in March, and EA boasted it as the "biggest Battlefield live service event ever." Meanwhile, 2014's The Sims 4 continues its success with a 35 percent increase in active players year-over-year over the quarter.

Wilson addressed Anthem's troubled launch. "We've heard feedback from our community about the issues that manifested after launch. The team is very focused on improving content in the game," he said of BioWare, the studio behind Anthem.

Looking ahead, EA is projecting net revenue for the fiscal year 2019 to top $5.3 billion, while the company predicts next quarter to produce $1.1 billion in revenue. The company has the release of the indie game Sea of Solitude and Respawn's Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order coming later this year.