Games giant EA has released their Q4 financial data, showing record net bookings, but only a fraction of their revenue coming from mobile.
Net bookings for Q4, ending March 31, were valued at $1.946bn, an increase of 11% year-on-year. Net revenue meanwhile stood at $1.874bn, with a 12% increase on PC & other platforms.
However, it’s worth noting that only a 1% increase on mobile. This shows mobile lagging behind other segments of EA’s gaming business, and is in sharp contrast to other companies such as Activision-Blizzard and Take-Two that saw mobile becoming the dominant segment of their revenue for the first time last year.
It’s also a sharp contrast to their previous strong performance in 2022. Financial results in August indicated a 48% boom in mobile revenue, however this seems to have plateaued for this quarter. The lower figures could be attributed to the sunsetting of high-profile titles, and the ongoing hangover of the post-Covid mobile slump that has affected the industry.
CEO of Electronic Arts Andrew Wilson commented on the results, “EA delivered a strong Q4 with record net bookings, up 11 percent year-over-year, demonstrating the strength of our business. Our teams continue to create high quality entertainment, fueled by amazing games and deeply engaging live services.
“We're excited to continue our momentum, including the highly anticipated launch of EA SPORTS FC later this year,” he added.
EA focuses away from mobile
The focus on EA’s live service and sports titles is not surprising. With the loss of the FIFA licence, their primary focus is likely to be to recapture the same audience with their first non-branded football title, after FIFA Mobile’s strong performance. Beyond their lucrative sports titles Apex Legends mainline console and PC entry also saw a 20% peak in users compared to the previous season in their most recent in-game event, so EA’s live service titles can’t necessarily be said to underperform.
This year also marked the unexpected sunsetting of Apex Legends Mobile and the cancellation of development on Battlefield Mobile. Given the incremental growth in EA’s mobile section and indeed the argument that the title was lagging behind competitors like Call of Duty: Mobile some may argue this shows their decision was justified. However, it could just as easily indicate a major missed opportunity, one that's not helped by axing these titles.
It’s still a far cry from performance in the past year and even before that when EA boasted of an 82% increase in mobile revenue, but with the sunsetting of a major title and the cancelled development of a hotly anticipated one it’s unclear what else EA has to bring to the fore that will recapture growth in mobile.