The name of the game in Q1 of fiscal year 2021 was “live services” once again for Electronics Arts, but net bookings of full games also saw a significant jump for the publisher in the three months ended June 30, 2020 likely in none small part due to COVID-19-related closures.
With two launches played in the last quarter compared to none in Q1 a year ago – Command & Conquer Remastered and Burnout Paradise Remastered, EA saw both full games and live services jump significantly, possibly helping even from the launch of nearly 30 of the publishers’ titles on Steam throughout the quarter.
EA also announced that The Sims 4 has reached over 30 million players in total on all platforms since its inception.
Net income from full games in Q1was $ 359 million, up 37% from a year earlier, while net income from live services was $ 1.1 billion, up 16% – reaching $ 1.46 billion in net income for the quarter, by 21% year-over-year.
EA’s net income reached $ 356 million, dramatically from $ 1.42 billion in the same quarter last year.
However, that much lower net income is related to some tax events once that occurred in Q1 last year. One involved a U.S. court decision regarding stock-based compensation costs that required EA to file an accrual tax.
Next was due to the transfer of several IP rights to a Swiss branch at the same time a Swiss referendum changed income tax rates – allowing the company to realize a revenue tax benefit of about $ 1.7 billion just for that year.
EA net bookings in the last quarter totaled $ 1.39 billion, up from $ 782 million a year during the year, largely due to a 98% year-on-year increase in net console bookings, which alone brought in $ 824 million total .
Destroyed another way, net game bookings rose 202% YOY to $ 287 million, and net live service bookings rose 61% to $ 1.1 billion.
Looking ahead to the next quarter, EA has reduced its outlook as a result of lower expectations for direct services to the Madden NFL 21, as well as the later than usual release date of FIFA 21 of 9 October, postponing it in Q3.
For Q2, EA expects net income to be $ 1.13 billion, net income of $ 61 million, and net bookings of $ 875 million – $ 525 million from the initial forecast.
However, EA has increased its forecast for net bookings in Q3 by $ 450 million, and in Q4 by $ 85 million.
For the full year, EA has raised its net income forecast slightly from $ 5.5 billion to $ 5.63 billion, as well as its net booking forecast from $ 5.5 billion to $ 5.95 billion.
However, it has slightly reduced its net income forecast from $ 978 million to $ 869 million.