Electronic Arts generated $3.147 billion in sales from digital channels alone over the last 12 months. That is up 23 percent year-over-year, and that figure represents 63 percent of the publisher’s total revenues through that period. While the company is still one of the most important publishers in terms of sales at retail chains like GameStop or Walmart, it is shifting along with its customer base to a digital-first distribution model.
Consoles continue to make up the biggest chunk of the digital sales for EA with $368 million last quarter, all platforms are growing. PC digital sales were up 23 percent from $133 million to $163 million. Mobile was up 6 percent year-over-year to $150 million from $141 million. And console digital jumped 25 percent to $368 million. But relative to the last 12 months, PC gaming is actually picking up momentum in terms of digital revenues.
Once again, all of EA’s digital sales segments are seeing growth. Mobile was up 6 percent to $150 million, but live services reached $420 million in Q1. That’s a 22 percent increase. Live services include EA Access or Origin Access, EA’s Netflix-style game library that charges a monthly fee of $5. This also includes the Ultimate Team trading-card modes in EA Sports releases like FIFA 17 and Madden NFL 17. Those are megasuccesful features that get players to spend a lot of extra cash on digital cards featuring real-world players.
Finally, full game downloads saw a massive jump of 32 percent from $84 million to $111 million in Q1. The company is likely seeing both console and its own EA Origin PC service contribute to those sales. For the trailing 12 months ending with EA’s Q1, full-game downloads are even more impressive. The category reached $751 million, which represents a 50 percent increase over the previous 12-month period where the company generated $502 million from full-game downloads.
This suggests that as more people go to spend money online, EA is offering products — both in the form of live services and full-game downloads — that gamers want. And it’s paying off for the publisher.