Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Updated* Notes: EA Financial Call - Q4 Results

SWTOR leads the financial call this time around!

Apparently, SWTOR delivered 'solid results' in EA's financial Q4 2013 (Jan - Mar 2013).  They sound pretty pleased.  $224 million for the F2P sector, including SWTOR, FIFA Ultimate Team, and Bejeweled Blitz.  No specifics, but I can guess that SWTOR took the lion's share of that revenue.

EA states that they learned their lesson regarding server demand with the new SimCity title.  "It won't happen again."  Famous last words.

SWTOR is leading the charge in the F2P market.

The Sims 4 ... featuring a new, completely original offline solo play option!  So innovative!  /eyeroll

Battlefield 4 looks to be a real tentpole for EA's financial success this year.  Definitely understandable as they booked revenue for the BF3 DLC/Expansion packs this year ($121 million) and buoyed the company for the quarter.

DICE, Bioware, Visceral and  other studios will be putting out new Star Wars games for the new consoles with the brand spankin' new (and dead sexy) engine, Frostbite 3.  EA owns rights to produce Star Wars games across all platforms.

SWTOR F2P gaining traction.  1.7 new million accounts since F2P transition.  Subs up to 500K and steady.  Average monthly revenue has doubled since F2P inception.  New content cycles: 6-8 weeks.  Rothick performing and reviewing well.  Very pleased with transition so far.

Star Wars IP complements, not supplants, wholly EA-owned IP.  Look for new releases (non-Star Wars) alongside new SW games.


Listening to Activision's quarterly call as well, and just heard that WoW has dropped from 10 million at the last call to 8.3 million in the most recent quarter.  That's a 14% drop.  That's pretty substantial.  Most of the loss happened in the East ( ... yeah, right ... ), but Kotick admitted that the West saw substantial drops too.  They cited heavy competition from other MMOs, particularly F2P MMOs (hmmm).  They also fully expect to see lower subscribers counts this year than last throughout the rest of the financial year.

I think we'll begin to see WoW get more and more into the F2P business, perhaps unlocking the 1-85 content for free.  I would heartily suggest it; just look at the wonders it did for DCUO, SWTOR, LOTRO, etc etc.

Here's a graph of WoW's subscriber numbers.  It shows an incredibly healthy curve, particularly given how old the game is.  SWTOR should aspire to this type of customer retention.


  1. Thanks for doing these posts, I hate trying to trawl through those financial reports to find the quotes that actually interest me...

    I'm glad that things are going well overall, but I have to admit I was kind of shocked that subs actually did drop below half a million previously. I thought they were higher than that.

    1. Agreed. The last official word we had about subscriber numbers was the Q2 call, where they proclaimed that the number was 'well north' of 500K. The F2P transition probably had an unintended effect of deflating subs as more regular customers decided to test the F2P option, or came back to the game and just stuck with their preferred access instead.

  2. Glad to hear that SWTOR is doing well considering its the only MMO I play anymore. Although I did almost rage quit the game 2 weeks ago. I have to say that Bio's customer service concerning SWTOR is absolutely horrible. The only responses that you receive are automated telling you that your problem was forwarded and please don't bother contacting us again about the matter. 2 weeks and still they have not taken care of my situation. Anyway thanks for the updates and keep up the good work :)