Electronic Arts held its second quarter earnings call for fiscal year 2022 earlier today. The publisher proclaimed the reporting period its strongest second quarter in company history. One of the major components of the company’s current success is strong performance of its live-service games. Leading the pack are Apex Legends and FIFA Ultimate Team, with additional support from the success of EA Mobile titles Golf Clash and Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes, among others.
Live-service games are products that are always online with frequent updates and in-game purchases. Beginning with MMOs such as World of Warcraft, and expanding into a large portion of todays popular titles, these services require infrastructure that traditional-style games do not. This extra investment is a risk, but for a number of large gaming companies, the reward is worth it.
“Apex Legends net bookings were up over 150% year on year,” EA chief operating officer Blake Jorgensen said. “Apex has delivered over $1.6 billion in net bookings life to date, and we’re well ahead of our expectations for the year.”
Is live-service gaming’s only future?
With the amount of income from live-service games being so high, in some cases outselling traditional games 2 to 1, many have worried that these companies may move away from traditional gaming experiences. And that makes sense because corporations chase the money, but that does not spell doom for offline games. EA has two upcoming premium single-player game experiences in its Dead Space remake and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2, and that should assuage some fears.
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EA plans to continue the trend with Battlefield 2042, the newest entry in its library of live-service games. “The games and live services teams are driving continued growth in our franchises, and we have Battlefield launching in just over a week,” noted Jorgensen. “Our broad portfolio of games and live services position us well for a strong holiday season, with growth drivers in place for this year, next year, and beyond.”
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