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EA game sales up 202% in Q1'21, live services hit $1.1 billion

EA's Q1'21 results strongly outperform company expectations with stellar growth in live services (+61%) and game sales (+202%)

@DeekeTweak
Published Thu, Jul 30 2020 3:46 PM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Oct 19 2020 8:20 PM CDT

Like pretty much every games company, EA is benefiting tremendously from COVID-19 lockdowns, and their recent Q1'21 earnings reflect strong spikes in overall earnings.

EA game sales up 202% in Q1'21, live services hit .1 billion 33 | TweakTown.com
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Today EA reported record first-quarter results for Fiscal Year Q1'21 that far exceeded the company's expectations. In the quarter ended March 31, 2020, EA generated $1.459 billion in total revenues, up 21% from last year. Net bookings were up tremendously by 78% YoY to $1.390 billion, outperforming EA's forecast by $390 million, driven by astronomical growth in full game sales and live service monetization. Free cash flow is up 286% to $340 million on these strong results.

Full game sales are up triple digit percentage points to $287 million (+202% YoY), which were driven in part by EA's fusillade of re-releases on Steam and strong console purchases. This reflects increased consumer purchases during COVID-19 quarantines. Q1 is typically EA's slowest period for game sales.

Monetization and live services likewise saw a spike by 61% YoY to $1.103 billion. Live services made up nearly 80% of total net bookings and nearly 75% of total quarter revenues.

EA FYQ1'21 earnings at a glance

  • Net revenues - $1.459 billion, +21% YoY
  • Operating Income - $471 million, +13.5% YoY
  • Net Income - $468 million, down 74% from Q1'20's massive $1.4 billion (thanks to a $985 million tax benefit)
  • Net bookings -$1.309 billion, +74% YoY
  • Live services - $1.103 billion, +61% YoY
  • Full game sales - $287 million, +202% YoY

Game Performance metrics

  • Origin earnings up 75% YoY
  • FIFA/Madden Ultimate Team earnings up double-digits YoY
  • Ultimate team is up 70% for a like-for-like basis
  • FIFA attracted 7 million new players in Q1'21, more people are playing more now than any other time in history
  • Apex Legends' latest update had the most engaging event ever, biggest event since launch
  • Q1 net bookings for Sims was more than double year-over-year
  • Star Wars Galaxies has generated more than $1 billion in lifetime revenue
  • 52% of sales were digital
  • 48% physical
EA game sales up 202% in Q1'21, live services hit $1.1 billion 121 | TweakTown.com

Console earnings rose the most during Q1. In the period, EA's console net bookings earnings skyrocketed by 98% YoY to $824 million.

PC earnings were also up by 74% to $340 million thanks to Steam re-releases. Mobile likewise saw double-digit spikes to $226 million (+34%).

Insofar as performance metrics, EA spent $988 on cost of goods and operating expenses during the period, leaving operating income at $471 million and total net income at $365 million after a $103 provision for income taxes. Total net income for Q1'21 is down 74% due to Q1'20's massive $985 million tax benefit from deferred income taxes, which boosted total net income for the period to $1.421 billion.

FY21 Guidance

Guidance for FYQ2'21 sees a decline in overall revenues. EA expects to make $1.125 billion in net revenue in Q2' down 22% from Q1's strong earnings. Operating expenses are expect to jump by $55 million, and the tax benefits EA enjoyed will wear off in Q2, which will lower net income to $61 million.

For the total Fiscal Year 2021, which includes a number of high-profile AAA games, EA expects to make $869 million in net income on $5.6 billion in revenues. This is an increase of over $400 million, and EA's CFO Blake Jorgensen says the company has only ever raised guidance after Q1 a single time in the company's history.

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Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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