EA has reaffirmed its commitment to live service games following the success of games like battle royale FPS Apex Legends.
Today, EA released its financial results for Q2 of Fiscal Year 2020 today, and it seems that the publisher is doing quite well. The company’s net bookings are up 8% year over year and the number of unique players in FIFA and Madden’s Ultimate Team modes, as well as The Sims 4, have seen notable increases in that period. Most notably, Apex Legends has amassed over 70 million players, which is up from a 50 million figure provided in March. As a result, EA plans on “doubling down on live services combined with our core franchises.”
That quote comes from EA COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen, who is showing optimism towards that style of game. “The strong results this quarter illustrate the power of our live services and our core franchises. Strength in Ultimate Team, The Sims 4 and FIFA Online drove live services performance above our expectations. Looking ahead, we are doubling down on live services combined with our core franchises. We’re investing in games that people play for longer and engage with much more deeply. This focus will continue to drive growth and profitability for the company through the remainder of this year and beyond,” he said.
EA doubling down on this kind of game comes at a time where some live service titles seem to be struggling. Ghost Recon Breakpoint recently underperformed, and even the performance of EA’s own Anthem was not discussed in this report. That being said, Apex Legends and EA’s other successful live service franchises seem to only be increasing in their profitability, so the publisher does not plan on moving away from this style of game.
Outside of EA Sports games, the most recent live service game to come out of the publisher is Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville, which came out this month. Interestingly, EA’s big November releases, Need for Speed: Heat and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, don’t seem to be as reliant on live services, even if it seems like those kinds of games will remain a major portion of EA’s game lineup for the foreseeable future.