Gaming has been one of the segments poised to profit from societal lockdown, and 20% year-on-year growth at Electronic Arts certainly qualifies.
Electronic Arts, the producer of the FIFA and Madden franchises as well as countless other successes, has reported its annual figures with growth few could have imagined at the beginning of 2020. Since lockdowns started across the world in mid-March, the companies share price has jumped 62%.
“This was an extraordinary quarter, and we’re deeply proud of everything our teams at Electronic Arts are doing for our players and communities,” said CEO Andrew Wilson.
“We launched new games, deeply engaged players in our live services, and welcomed tens of millions of new players to our network. It was an unprecedented first quarter of growth in our business, and we will continue building on that strength with more innovative experiences, more ground-breaking content, and more ways to connect with friends and play great games throughout the year.”
With total revenues of $1.459 billion, a year-on-year increase of 20.7%, the financials exceeded analyst expectations by more than $400 million.
Admittedly, the unusual circumstances are likely to make this gain a one-off, but if the team can hold onto a material portion of newly acquired customers, while also continuing to incentivise in-game purchases, there could be more profits on the horizon.
It is very difficult to accurately predict what direction this company will head. Electronic Arts certainly benefitted from more people being at home consistently, user acquisition was up 100% for the FIFA franchise, but as the world returns to normality it might struggle to retain these new users.
Electronic Arts certainly benefitted from the coronavirus pandemic, but it remains to be seen whether these new pastimes remain a permanent interest for users as old distractions start to return.