Electronic Arts, publisher of popular series like FIFA, Dead Space, and Apex Legends, restated its commitment to developing and publishing single-player games, despite previous comments and financial reports that show a greater profit from live-service games.
Live-service games refer to games that have an online component of some kind, receiving regular updates through patches and content drops. Examples of live-service games would be Apex Legends and FIFA, which both feature online game modes and microtransactions.
EA has, in the past, shown disdain for single-player games. In 2017, EA shuttered Visceral Games, the studio behind the popular horror shooter Dead Space, as well as canceling a single-player Star Wars title. The reasoning? EA believed that single-player games were not as popular as live-service games. As reported originally by gaming site Dualshockers, they stated of linear games: “people don’t like [them] as much today as they did five years ago or ten years ago.”
On a recent call with shareholders and investors, CEO Andrew Wilson had this to say about single-player games: “When we think about our portfolio and we think about building it out, we really think about it on two key vectors. One, how can we tell incredible stories and two, how can we build tremendous online communities and then how do we bring those two together.”
In a follow-up financial report, EA reported that over 70% of the company’s profits come from live service games. Their net income for the past quarter of this fiscal year is approximately $450 million AUD, a growth of nearly 50% over last year’s earnings.
EA’s heavy hitters in this space are FIFA, including FIFA Ultimate Team with an engagement growth of 40%, and FIFA Mobile. “Our FIFA franchise and the successful launch of F1 drove our net bookings outperformance, delivering another quarter ahead of expectations,” CFO Chris Suh stated.
EA has plenty of reasons to celebrate, however — in addition to signing a $45m deal with LaLiga, Spain’s premier Football League, the company is also preparing for a collaboration with Marvel in their upcoming FIFA 23.
Original reporting by The Metro.
Written by Junior Miyai on behalf of GLHF.