Holiday quarter earnings are in for the gaming juggernaut, Electronic Arts (EA). The company was able to rake in $1.593 billion in revenue, and profit of $361 million for the quarter. Both numbers are up from last quarter. The real story, however, is told by their earnings from microtransactions.
EA brought home $2.835 billion from microtransactions alone in the trailing 12 months. The prevalence of in game purchasing is a long time trend in game releases. EA features microtransactions in most of their top titles, including their Sims franchise. The company is often criticized for the sheer number of in game purchases aggressively pushed on players in their releases. However, this hasn’t slowed down sales for their game titles.
Full game downloads account for $780 million in revenue, while mobile sales brought in $513 million for the quarter. EA’s recent release, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, features no microtransactions and is expected to reach a milestone of 10 million sold copies by the end of the current fiscal year. Game sale revenue numbers continue to rise quarter to quarter, though microtransactions maintain the key contributor for EA. The graph below demonstrates the impact of microtransactions on EA’s revenue.
In game purchases are undeniable big business for EA, and earnings from microtransactions are rising even more rapidly than that of game sales. Despite outcry from fans for years, highlighted by loot box debacles and backlash from Battlefront II, the income justifies the means for EA. Without wavering monetary gain, there is no real incentive for the company to do away with microtransactions. It’s doubtful whether investors would take kindly to it even if they did try.
Another title from EA, Apex Legends, is likely to continue the momentum, as their highly anticipated season 4 will be released on the 4th of February.