Posting record 2020 revenues, EA recommits to the Star Wars franchise that made it $3B

    
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It’s been an EA day today as reactions to the company’s Q3 FY21 financial report continue to collect around the industry, largely because the company had a banner year with record revenues left and right. It pulled in $2.4B for the quarter and $5.96B in net bookings for the year, an increase of 15% and 7% respectively.

During the earnings call, CEO Andrew Wilson told listeners that the Star Wars franchise in particular has been extremely lucrative for the company, pulling in $3BN over the course of its almost-10-year exclusivity deal with Disney. A cool billion of that sum came from Galaxy of Heroes. Wilson reassured investors that its commitment to Star Wars (and those billions) won’t be wavering in spite of Disney altering the deal and working with Ubisoft on a Star Wars title.

“I don’t think you should imagine that the fact that some other people will build some Star Wars games is going to change our commitment to that IP or our ability to build the appropriate number of games. We’ve had a long partnership with Disney… You should expect us to continue to invest in our Star Wars relationship. It’s been very profitable, to this point, over $3 billion in net bookings and we’re excited by what we’ll be able to do in the future. But you shouldn’t read this as necessarily us building less titles.”

Wilson also reinforced his support for BioWare in particular, as the fate of Anthem in the wake of so many team departures has seemed up in the air.

Relatedly, Apex Legends announced today that it’ll launch on Nintendo Switch on March 9th.

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Bruno Brito

Honestly, all i want is for SWTOR to have more class diversity between factions ( BHs on Republic, for instance ) and with that,, said classes not being complete mirrors anymore. I also want a more sandboxy experience for the game.

What i mean is: I want SWG with SWTOR engine, graphics and lack of clunkiness and responsiveness. At that point, i’m already full blown delusional.

Sigh.

cambruin
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cambruin

Well, there we have it, once again; mobile > pc in revenue.

What does that say about gaming in general I wonder? And how much more of the business practices currently used in mobile gaming will spill onto the PC market?

I am no longer playing any MMO due to the ingame stores and the monetization schemes, but the above seems an awful lot like an ill omen..

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Jack Pipsam

I don’t mind EA still making Star Wars games for as long as they’re not the exclusive rights holders.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Huh. Imagine that. Disney apparently took away their exclusive license to squat on the IP like Jabba the Hutt’s even lazier cousin… and suddenly EA is interested in actually making Star Wars games again. Go figure.

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Hostagecat

So more layoffs in the future… even thought they made record profits.

No more reinvestment in SWTOR, no they are going to throw the money at Anthem cause they own it. Even though they made record profits.

No raises or bonuses for the poor guys who do all the work…cause you know profits, not enough to go around.

But seriously i’m not trying to be depressing, but haven’t we seen them announce a great year like last year and continue to make bonehead choices.

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Crowe

Insert obligatory “pray that Disney does not alter the deal further” meme.
edit: I mean, I haven’t seen it I’m sure someone has made one by now!

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Hostagecat

Yes i’m really surprised nobody has put that Meme in here.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Psst. Psst. I think someone just did. ^

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Java Jawa

So we can expect an amazing SWTOR expansion with new classes, 5 new planets, fun new mechanics, great new adventures . . . .

Right? . . . . Right?

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Richard de Leon III

I’d settle for a dozen or so very detailed waifu/husbando questlines and improved…’interactive’ activities with them *grins evilly*

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Malcolm Swoboda

I’d take one new class (as my other post here says, droid class starting high level), more than two new planets (even if 1 of 3 has to be half done, and get finished in an update), and a pass of several neglected systems, with a revitilized storyline that at least moves on from being so Jedi Knight centric, even if that might mean just being Agent or Soldier or Smuggler etc centric (would prefer a phase of the game to get away from so much Force handwaving).

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Java Jawa

Totally agree with you! 9 years of force centric story, time for a break and get more into the underworld or mandalorians , well anything really!

They’ve almost pigeon holed themselves after all the Valkorian stuff though, pretty sure they are thinking ok, what’s the next big bad that’s dangerous.

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Malcolm Swoboda

I can think of several, or at least components of the Big Bad/Problem.

Droid rebellion!!!!!!!!!1111 Somehow I don’t want this in most gaming scifi but I beg for it in SWTOR, if only to set up the sequelverse for having precedent for a more successful rebellion.

Some sort of unearthed tech being able to access the Force (aka Light Side) but instead of twisting it to the Dark, using it in its ‘full’ form to reshape the galaxy.

Czerka Corp’s return and secret intentions revealed. (I dunno, roll with it)

Darth Jadus!

The future of Zakuul and how it’ll integrate into galactic society and embed itself into SW in a more organic way.

Actually, many of these could roll into one big arc. Agent and Smuggler could certainly get something out of it. Get those megaancient artifacts and figure out their political importance.

Then maybe another arc that is more Bounty Hunter and Soldier as the war heats up and leaves open an opportunity for a vaguer (as in barely referencing SWTOR but its a part of the timeline) future game with more modern gaming conflict scenes and less mmo dungeon focus. If room and still developing past ~2025, include an arc that brings back in the Force through a Consular and Inquisitor focus, and if SWTOR is canony enough, include parts of magical lore that current-day SW loremasters will or could use in future stories.

I just want to be done with Knight (Warrior?). And I want something more sneaky and new and cool.

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IronSalamander8 .

I skimmed to look for PvZ notes but didn’t see much about my favorite IP unfortunately. It was mentioned as a main brand but only in a generic kind of way.

They’re retooling PvZ3 as it was not well received and after cancelling BfN (although it’s still playable), with no shooter successor announced, the community is on eggshells right now. We can still play all 3 shooters, which is weird for a company like EA as GW came out in 2014, GW2 in 2016 as a full blown sequel, and BfN while a bit of a different path is still the 3rd shooter came out in 2019, so not sure why this is a thing but pleased we can play them all to this day.

Hoping to hear about a new PvZ shooter sooner rather than later, that’s for sure!

As for their treatment of SW; SWTOR was pretty fun for years but it’s been in essentially maintenance mode for a long time and they need to either give it more love or let it go, I can’t speak on their other new games as I haven’t played them, but I am curious to see how other companies will do with that license.

PlasmaJohn
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PlasmaJohn

Those numbers sound great and I’m sure the white knights will happily fling them around without context. And context is important ‘lest we all forgot about a silly little virus that kept folks inside for most of 2020 and will for a good chunk of 2021.

In light of the GoH revenue I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised they’ve recommitted. I would have swore they wanted nothing more to do with Star Wars. Either way, the best thing that could have happened to them was competition.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

People loved Fallen Order. Wasn’t my cup of tea but that’s personal taste and not a reflection of it’s quality. It’s a quality game. Over the last few years EA has gotten better. Are they a decent company? No. Are they better than 2017? Miles better.

I get odds on lockbox chances in Apex. Battlefront 2 ended its updates as a pretty amazing and robust Battlefront game.

All that being said I am SO glad Ubi is getting an open world Star Wars game. Frostbite just can’t do expansive open world.

KOTOR 1 and 2 are two of my fave games ever and IDK that I am even excited about a 3rd game. Those games were of an era and unless the dev team making it is making it like Divinity 2, I don’t really care to play another conversation wheel, light side/dark side cookie cutter game. I was over those games after Mass Effect 2.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

If it’s another dev team, maybe they’ll be able to get away from the Bioware Cookie Cutter Squad personalities, and the Lawful Doormat / Chaotic Douchebag dialogue choices.

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Lethia Myune

i don’t even care what EA does with the Star Wars franchise anymore until i see them take SWTOR out of “unofficial maintenance mode”. Or make a Jedi Fallen Order 2 that’s more than a glorified platformer…and with only these two i think they would double those revenues. But why bother when they can just be LeSad about having the main toy taken away from them after stomping on it repeatedly. Twats >.<

PlasmaJohn
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PlasmaJohn

There’s been a spate of gold (developer) posts lately that hint at some of the more neglected systems getting some attention and a new CM that hasn’t bolted when the responses aren’t all sunshine and roses.

Of course it’s all just words at this point we’ll see if there’s any real change coming or if Bioware Austin will get gutted again for the next crisis requiring “Magic”.

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kody

SWTOR isn’t going to do anything for their Star Wars revenue. Their focus should be on GoH and new games. As much as I hate to say it because I had high hopes for the game, SWTOR needs to be put in the ground.

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Malcolm Swoboda

I wouldn’t mind if they used the next few years to largely finish up the story (maybe up to a 7.0-8.0 maximum), then the next few years either in maintenance or even smaller story updates with a tiny core team that responds to player requests, then the next few years in maintenance. The 2020s ‘needs’ a new SW MMO and it won’t and shouldn’t be SWTOR, in my opinion – but SWTOR itself can keep getting some things that fill it out. Darth Jadus returning? Sure! If you’re okay with a big but smaller update than an expansion, or a chain of small updates. My dream update is a nearly humanoid droid ‘heroic’ (as in WoW’s design) class that starts at high level, skipping a lot of story, but shares a new expansion onward with the other classes. Put in the occasional line later that recognizes the PC’s lack of previous history, and current droid-like nature, and I’m hyped. The SW flavor of it (and surprise from NPCs when they learn you’re not quite just the alien you appear), would be cool too.

I don’t think it needs to be ‘put in the ground’ today though. I think its reached the conclusion it needed to have, but it has several other conclusions that could be better for its players. If they need to go downward in support in order to provide those conclusions (in story and gameplay), go for it. If they’re instead getting an upward trend in support because EA is giving more of a damn, I’m good with that too. There should just be a big MMO(-ish) SW game this decade instead of simply SWTOR.