Anthem, which launches at the tail-end of EA's fiscal year, could still affect the company's live services earnings...and that means it could launch with microtransactions.
As a service game it's no surprise BioWare's new action-based RPG Anthem will have microtransactions (something I predicted before Anthem was even revealed). The game was tailor-made to be an expansive online-driven PVE co-op experience that continually evolves over time, which is incidentally prime territory for live services. I originally questioned whether Anthem's cosmetic-only monetization would appear at launch, and now comments from EA may add new insight.
In EA's recent Fiscal Year Q2'19 earnings call, company COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen said something that makes me believe Anthem will have microtransactions when it launches in February. EA's current fiscal guidance shows 5% upticks in live services, which is conservative given two major service games, Battlefield V and Anthem, will release during 2H'19. Jorgensen's comments suggest EA has to experiment to find out the best route for monetization: "So assume that we've got very little live services revenue in for either Battlefield or Anthem because they're very new. And until we understand exactly how well does it monetize, we didn't put much of that into our forecast," he said.
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