EA's digital revenue far outweighs disc-based game sales

By on July 25, 2013, 12:45 PM
dlc, gaming, ea, digital, mobile computing, disc-based games

Electronic Arts is known for its popular disc-based titles such as Madden NFL, Battlefield, and Need for Speed. What few realize is how successful the publisher has been in the digital realm, with profits largely propelled by the recent shift towards mobile computing.

According to The Guardian, EA generates more revenue from DLC, mobile and the web, than from sales through conventional disc-based games. The most recent sales figures, taken from the first quarter of 2013, show that digital revenue accounted for $378 million of the total $495 million that the company brought in. Putting this into percentages, 76 percent of EA’s business can be linked to digital content.

Peter Moore, EA’s COO, said in a statement at the company’s post-earnings financial call that “Apple was EA’s biggest retail partner measured by sales.” The breakdown between iOS and Android is currently unknown, but together they are estimated to have made nearly $90 million from tablet and smartphone users.

Overall, it’s not too surprising to see that EA has adopted the mobile model. Smartphones have one major advantage over consoles: console owners are far and in between, but mobile devices are used by practically everyone. In addition to the wider consumer base, these titles are usually offered free-of-charge, enticing users to download apps at will. For example, EA’s Real Racing 3 has amassed over 45 million downloads to date, and boasts approximately 2 million daily active users.

In response to the publisher’s mobile success, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau, added, “Right now, it's growing like gangbusters. And a lot of that is due to its global nature. It's a platform that appeals across multiple regions and multiple territories. But they're very unified platforms to publish into so it's very efficient for us.”

It will be interesting to see how the upcoming line of game consoles impacts disc sales. There is plenty of excitement surrounding the new Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but will it be enough to revitalize a slowly dying breed?




User Comments: 9

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Guest said:

Lower the price of console games and you'll see more revitalizing of disc sales.

1 person liked this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I can't remember the last time I bought a disc version of a game. I don't even peruse the gaming aisles any more when I go to brick and mortar stores like Best Buy or Fry's.

Guest said:

This sounds like an uncomming casualpocalypse.

Guest said:

Guest said:

Lower the price of console games and you'll see more revitalizing of disc sales.

EA execs are planning to raise prices on PS4 and Xbox One games. No more $60 games.

Guest said:

EA is a bunch of ****

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Lower the price of console games and you'll see more revitalizing of disc sales.
Completely agree.

I would much rather have a hard copy, but not if a digital copy cost less. The stats would probably reflect differently is the two were priced the same. It's the same as asking which of the two identical objects you want, the one that cost less or more. Talk about the extinction of brick-and-mortar stores, this very topic is a perfect example.

andrewyoung andrewyoung said:

I can't remember the last time I bought a disc version of a game. I don't even peruse the gaming aisles any more when I go to brick and mortar stores like Best Buy or Fry's.

ha ha I don't either!

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

"EA generates more revenue from DLC, mobile and the web".

Not through me they don't. If it's not on PC & in disk form I ignore it completely.

Guest said:

Guest said:

Lower the price of console games and you'll see more revitalizing of disc sales.

EA execs are planning to raise prices on PS4 and Xbox One games. No more $60 games.

Console games have to pay a license to publish on console. Also, inflation. EA can't lower the price for console games because they cost millions to develop and they have to pay large amounts of money for licensing. On PC they don't pay nearly as much to develop so PC games still cost only $50

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