Electronic Arts is making more money on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One than any other publisher, but that reaches far beyond $60 games on retail shelves.
The publisher reported its fiscal 2015 results today, and it revealed that it set a new record for money it made from digital and mobile sources. Of its $4.3 billion in total revenue, $2.2 billion was digital. Mobile, which is included in digital, added $524 million to that for the year. Both of these are high points for EA and reflects the company’s aggressive approach to operating as a modern publisher.
Fiscal 2015 was the year that EA fully shifted to embrace the way mobile games work. That included supporting its hits like The Simpsons: Tapped Out and releasing new apps like SimCity: BuildIt. But most important, EA’s mobile strategy shifted all of its sports games from premium-pricing models to free-to-play. Madden Mobile, FIFA Ultimate Team, and others now have more players than ever and are regularly among the top-grossing games on iOS and Android.
EA now has 165 million monthly active players for all of its mobile games.
EA is also one of the few publishers heavily pushing digital games on consoles. Last year, the company introduced its EA Access program for Xbox One. This $5-per-month subscription service (or $30 for a year) lets players get discounts on new digital releases and it even lets them start playing them early. On top of that, Access comes with an instant library of older games that consumers have access to for as long as they subscribe to the service. The publisher didn’t share any details about how EA Access is performing.
Finally, EA is still operating its Origin PC distribution service, which had a good year thanks to releases like role-playing fantasy game Dragon Age: Inquisition and cops-and-robbers shooter Battlefield: Hardline.