The force of Star Wars is strong with EA financial results

29 Jan 2016

It seems EA’s decision to spend, no-doubt, a considerable amount of money on the rights to the Star Wars gaming franchise has paid off, as the gaming powerhouse has posted revenues that beat expectations.

Following the news that the Star Wars film franchise was to return, EA was quick to act to snap up the rights to the franchise’s games back in 2013, with the first/third-person shooter Star Wars: Battlefront its big first release.

And, despite some lukewarm reviews from critics, the game proved to be a commercial hit, which has contributed to EA doing better in Q3 than expected.

According to its report, EA made net non-GAAP earnings of $1.81bn and of $1.83 per share, surpassing the market estimate of $1.78bn and non-GAAP earnings of $1.75 per share.

This also surpasses the company’s revenues from the same time last year, when it made $1.43bn and $1.22 per share.

Dominating consoles

The company has established itself as one of the biggest gaming publishers in the world, having locked in a number of the world’s biggest gaming franchises, alongside Star Wars it has the FIFA football games, Battlefield, Madden and Hockey Ultimate Team, establishing itself as the top publisher on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles.

The company has also made considerable strides in mobile, citing its Madden NFL Mobile game, in which its monthly active players were up nearly 50pc year-over-year in the quarter.

Regaining the trust of PC gamers

However, this focus on consoles and mobile is seen to be a bit of a risk for the company of late, what with the gaming market this year being valued at around $90bn, and increasingly the PC gamer is seen as a forgotten niche looking at a resurgence.

The company recently admitted that issues seen in its games with online play on PC are unacceptable, with one of the company’s senior directors saying it was “now on a journey to regain the trust of the PC gamer”.

As for what the company is expecting for the full financial year, EA says that it expects non-GAAP revenues of approximately $4.52bn with a share price of $3.04.

Players playing Star Wars: Battlefront image via Marco Verch/Flickr

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic