EA is focusing on Anthem and Apex Legends following disappointing quarter

    
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It goes clicky.

Things haven’t been going as well as planned for Electronic Arts lately, if its latest earnings report is anything to go by. The company has apparently had a “weaker-than-expected third quarter” and has therefore “lowered its revenue outlook for the future,” resulting in a marked decline in shares. The company attributes the subpar performance in part to less-than-stellar sales of Battlefield V, which launched in November — a month later than initially planned — placing it “in the middle of a very discounted holiday season,” according to EA’s CFO Blake Jorgensen.

However, EA says that despite its underperformance in the third quarter, it is now focusing heavily on “maintaining long-term live services for players,” which includes the recently released free-to-play Apex Legends, BioWare’s upcoming title Anthem — which is slated for launch on February 22nd — as well as what CEO Andrew Wilson describes as “a deep line-up of new experiences that [EA will] bring to [its] global communities next fiscal year.” Anthem in particular is expected to sell 6M units within a few weeks of launch.

All-in-all, though, it doesn’t seem that the underwhelming third quarter is going to hurt EA too much, as it’s still predicting a fourth-quarter net revenue of $1.163 billion and a net income of $170 million, which will put the company’s net revenue for the year at around $4.875 billion with a net income of $980 million.

That didn’t comfort investors, however; EA’s stock dipped 18% yesterday.

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Purewitz

They should be focusing on revitalizing Star Wars: The Old Republic as well.

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Solaris

You know what would make a ton of dough?

AN OPEN WORLD STAR WARS GAME.

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Anstalt

Whilst I agree, EA aren’t capable of making such a game so we’ll have to wait until they lose the license for Star Wars.

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Tamanous

Let’s not forget their near complete failure to live up to their Star Wars games contract.

April-Rain
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April-Rain

Anthem will be another disappointing performing game for them as well, I played the beta and walked away and uninstalled with no temptation what so ever to put £60 of my hard earned money into it, on top of that the screen grabs dropped at the same time of the cash shop and £20 for a skin – NO THANK YOU EA

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Greaterdivinity

I love everyone treating BF V as a “failure” because only sold 7.3M copies rather than the 8.3M EA projected. They’ve had a number of misses lately so it’s not surprising that investors aren’t eager to be charitable now, and while I think Anthem will likely underperform compared to their expectations that they’ll still be mostly fine.

I’m just happy to hear we’re getting more Titanfall (even if it’s not TF3) and Plants vs. Zombies…I just hope it’s a return to the first game and not yet another damn shooter.

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Armsbend

EA called it a failure on the CC. How much of that 7.3 was for full price – as would have been indicated in quarterly estimates? How much was as a subsidized sale with a console? How many players did they retain (barely indicated in relation to it’s twitch popularity versus CoD)?

It didn’t do well no matter how you slice it.

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Sorenthaz

Didn’t help that their community interactions were god awful around the poor reception.

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Armsbend

They forget that a large swath of gamers are [no-good very-bad super-awful people :P] LADIES IN WORLD WAR TWO MY DED GRAMPAPPY IS ROLLING IN HIS GRAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Armsbend

You. You totes took away the context of the last line!

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Sorenthaz

Well, I mean, they basically were taking “creative liberties” with WW2’s history that did raise a lot of eyebrows, and was mostly aimed at causing a stir for the sake of being progressively-minded or whatever.

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Danny Smith

So they are basing their hopes on a battle royale 5 years late and a looter shooter 5 years late at the very least.

Boy they really have burnt off all their none fifa IP’s haven’t they?

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3dom

They are planning to sell 6M copies of Anthem, a $60 clone of F2P Warframe with only 1/10 of frames/javelins and weapons available. Amazing marketing team.

Nonetheless, I’m going to wait till the price drop to F2P-ish level – where it belongs with $20 (or $40?) skins, $12 emotes, $4 surface materials in the game.

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Koshelkin

Warframe really plays like horse-radish in comparison to Anthem… I don’t want to rain on your parade but the constant warframe comparison are tiresome and unneeded. You’re comparing the content of a six year old game with a game which is about to be released. If we start measuring games that way we don’t need to release new ones, aight?, because there’s always a MP game out which is older and more fleshed out. Warframe will look and feel old in comparison to Anthem, if you got the rig for it, something which Destiny 2 didn’t really manage 2 years ago.

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3dom

Warframe looking old/primitive cannot justify $60 entry ticket fee for a game with zero to none frames/javelins and weapons + $4-$20-whatever macrotransactions on top. Not to me at least. But apparently EA believe there are 6 millions people who would pay $60 for a F2P-like game with barely any content.

Anyway, the main point is – Anthem is critical for EA and they’ll do whatever it takes to push that 6M sales figure so I expect major sales starting in 3-4 months if not sooner considering lukewarm reception of the “demo”.

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Koshelkin

Anthem is surely not a F2P like game but a game with AAA standards and execution(graphics&gameplay wise). And nobody knows if there’s “barely any content”, aside from EA and, maybe, some people from the press. You’re pretty ready to hate on the game while you didn’t even have the chance, like everybody else, to try it and see for yourself. Do you really think that’s any sort of rational argumentation? We’ll talk again in a couple of months when we both had a chance to form our opinion about the full game.

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Sorenthaz

In what world is Warframe looking old/primitive? Last I checked it still looks very sleek/shiny.

Dantos
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Dantos

Warframe and Anthem, despite both being 3rd person shooters really have different goals for their gameplay.

Warframe is a power fantasy/collector’s game you keep getting new, different weapons and frames to add to your collection to do the same content in different ways. Anthem really has more in common with Borderlands/Destiny/Diablo in terms of gameplay goals, get bigger numbers to do harder content to get bigger numbers, you keep climbing that ladder.

Not to say Anthem is going to have content to satisfy at end game. Most service games take a few months to really get good, look at destiny 2, it took until Forsaken to turn the perception around, and by then loads of people had left, not to return.

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rafael12104

Two thoughts. I’ll try and be brief. heh.

Battlefield V’s failure. I’ve been harping on it for months. The game is a dumpster fire, and ironically it’s not a horrible game.

Two major points of failure here. One, the game doesn’t have enough in it to make it a logical successor in the BF franchise. The other and most important, EA couldn’t get away with being assholes to their player base without consequence. Their belief that people will simply buy games in a popular franchise anyway was destroyed.

There was a great deal of controversy surrounding Battlefield V as some of you know. After early looks of the game and a beta, players complained on many fronts. Mechanically the game was uninspired and the game’s singleplayer campaign did not meet the expectations. What did EA a do? It told players to suck it. To quote EA’s CCO directly.

“well, you have two choices: either accept it or don’t buy the game.”

Heh. Your wish is our consumer demand! Viola! You idiot.

Will Anthem and Apex turn the tide? Meh, they will help EA, sure. But new games will not solve the real issue which is the way EA chooses to do business. Wilson thought he had locked down the gravy train with loot boxes. And like previous CEOs at EA he didn’t mind being the worst rated Corp in the world because it didn’t matter. Guess what? It fucking matters!

So, I’m with Armsbend. No love lost at all. Either EA makes changes for the better OR they crash, there is a run to dump the stock, and it gets sold off in pieces never to rise again. I like the latter.

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Koshelkin

Eh, it won’t possibly happen like that. A) you forget about the sport franchises, Madden and Fifa in particular, which still make tons of cash B) EA is so big it’s not like it could just go with a bang, it would be a long, drawn-out process during which EA would have plenty of time to use their cash reserves(and I’d say they’re rather large) to save their company. It’s not like we’re talking about thousands of jobs here, btw.

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rafael12104

Ah, yeah. I know you are right. I wish it would though.

I’m not irrational when it comes to EA, I just think their business model is toxic and hurting the industry. And it has been for years.

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Sorenthaz

Battlefield 5 was also trying too hard to market itself as being progressive and revisionist with World War 2 iirc. Of course anyone who got upset at that was deemed sexist. But the whole “accept it or don’t buy the game” is just arrogance at its finest, and it’s good that it bit them in the butt for that nonsense.

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rafael12104

That is exactly what I’m talking about. The thing is, the politics aside, you never ever dismiss customers as irrelevant. Heh.

So many things could have been done there to try and tactically change the discussion or situation. A simple acknowledgment and understanding of the issues at hand, a post-launch DLC with a truer to life war story using the same campaign assets etc. etc. etc.

But that wasn’t done. EA’s response was an ultimatum and customers called them on it. Heh.

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David Goodman

Eventually EA will realize it needs to publish / greenlight an actually new game to earn money.

Can’t keep milking the dead horse when the chicken’s gone out to roost.

… I’m not from the country, I just assume that’s the kind of thing that people who are would say.

A Battle Royale F2P game when people are sick of Battle Royale and F2P marketing tactics, and Discount Warframe where you pay $60 AND you get microtransactions (but hey no loot boxes, so.. yay?)

(i’ve watched the pre-release / demo Anthem and it looks nice, but honestly, not as nice as Warframe. Not nice enough for me to want to give EA any money even vicariously. Feel sorry for Bioware.)

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Armsbend

People don’t milk horses when they are alive. Unless you are talking about milking horse semen. Which they do. Vigorously.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

Watched some Apex yesterday. Fortnite/PUBG reskinned. Fortnite already milked that cash cow but Apex will get to clean the saucer a little. MoP covering loot shooters regularly now?

xpsync
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xpsync

Meh, i’m glad they do, this is my only gaming site among several tech sites i frequent. I’ll occasionally pick up some odd gaming news on those sites but this is it for me.

I honestly wish they’d cover a broader spectrum as long as it’s multiplayer. Single Player games meh, i mean if it a game like Soma, then yea that should be mentioned, every gamer should play Soma at least once. The last sp game i actually finished about 4 or 5 years ago, best to go into Soma knowing nothing, play with great set of cans, lights out!

Dantos
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Dantos

I guess why not? There isnt a whole lot going on in the MMORPG space outside of the main standbys, even then only every few months, and indie drama that crops up every now and then.