EA reported $6.19 billion in revenue for fiscal year 2021 (ending April 2021), which marks an increase of 15% year over year and is $600 million above EA’s own expected projections. However, the biggest piece of this data might be where that revenue came from. Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel Ahmad reports that 74% of EA’s net bookings for FY2021 came from live services and other sources, including things like DLC and microtransactions across its games. Only 26% of EA’s total revenue for the past year came from premium game sales, either from digital storefronts or physical boxed products.
Ahmad further notes that live service and other revenue is up 28% year over year, while premium game sales revenue fell by 10% in the same period.
Also worth noting that 74% of EA’s net bookings came from live services and other revenue, up 28% YoY. This includes DLC, Ultimate Team, Apex Legends, mobile etc…
Its premium game sales are now only 26% of total net bookings and declined 10% YoY.
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) May 11, 2021
Some of EA’s biggest franchises are its yearly sports titles that rely heavily on in-game microtransactions, like FIFA’s Ultimate Team cards. It also has the free-to-play Apex Legends and The Sims 4, both of which feature extensive post-launch purchase options for players. The live service revenue also includes EA’s mobile ventures.
This is just part of a larger industry trend that we’re seeing towards increasing digital adoption and revenue earned via post-launch support. EA reported that 62% of games sold on PlayStation and Xbox in the last year were digital, up from the prior year’s 49%. Ahmad notes that this follows a similar trajectory seen by the first-party platforms. In the last 12 months, 65% of all games sold on PlayStation were digital, up from 53% in the same period prior.
EA’s upcoming slate of games includes Knockout City and Mass Effect Legendary Edition this month, with assorted yearly sports titles and Battlefield to come later in the year. The company has confirmed EA Play Live for July, and it’s expected the company will probably have more to show than just Battlefield and sports games. The Battlefield 6 reveal is also confirmed for next month.