GamesBeat

Sims Social, sports games, and digital sales drive EA’s Q2 earnings

For Electronic Arts, success in its second quarter came from strategies both old and new.

The company reported solid earnings based on strong sales of its major sports games, like FIFA 2012, Madden 2012, and NHL 2012, as well as major progress in its digital earnings thanks to The Sims Social and the finalization of its PopCap acquisition.

Non-GAAP net revenue was $1.03 billion, exceeding guidance estimates of $925 million to $975 million, and up from $884 million last year. Digital sales were also up 30 percent compared to last year, with digital revenue at $907 million on a trailing twelve months non-GAAP basis. The company also saw huge growth in smartphone games, with non-GAAP revenue up 87 percent from last year (thanks to its popular iOS games).

The company announced that The Sims Social, which launched in August, is now the No. 2 game on Facebook, with over 8 million daily active users and 40 million monthly users, according to AppData. With its PopCap acquisition complete, the popular game Plants vs. Zombies is now available on EA’s Pogo online game site.

EA says it sold nearly 8 million copies of FIFA 2012 during the quarter and over 3 million units of Madden NFL 2012. Additionally, over 6 million consumers have downloaded EA’s Origin game and social network software, a competitor to Valve’s Steam platform. The company has signed Warner Bros. Interactive, Capcom, and THQ to the Original platform.

EA has shipped over 10 million units of its Battlefield 3 game to stores, and it says it’s already beginning to receive reorders from retailers.

The company has raised its earnings forecast because of Battlefield 3’s strong sales, as well as Star Wars: The Old Republic, which is expected to be a big seller this holiday season. EA raised its earnings outlook for the third quarter from 85 to 95 cents per share. It now expects to earn between $4.05 billion and $4.2 billion in revenue for the entire fiscal year, while analysts expect just $4.1 billion, according to Reuters.


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