Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) Q2 2021 Earnings Highlights
Andrew Wilson, CEO
“…After the biggest first quarter in the history of Electronic Arts, our second quarter of FY 2021 showed continued strength with net revenue and earnings above our guidance. We are driving growth through the breadth, depth and quality of our new games, our industry-leading live services and expansion to more platforms and more ways to play.
Let me first say, how thankful I am to our teams for their incredible work and everything they are delivering for our players. The well-being of our people remains our top priority. Even amidst these unprecedented circumstances, we are executing and building great strength across our business.
Here are a few key examples. We delivered eight new games so far this year, and our network has grown to more than 330 million unique accounts as tens of millions of new players have joined to enjoy more of our amazing games and content. EA SPORTS continues to be a leader in sports interactive entertainment. Madden NFL 20 was the most successful game in franchise history last year and now Madden NFL 21 already has nearly 30% more players year-over-year from launch.
Our FIFA franchise is engaging more than 100 million players globally. Even prior to launching FIFA 21 our FIFA franchise is having the biggest calendar year ever with our business across all platforms up 26% year-over-year in net bookings. FIFA 20 has reached nearly 35 million players on console and PC. FIFA Mobile continues to perform well and FIFA Online Asia broke engagement records across China and Korea in Q2.
We just launched FIFA Mobile in Japan in October, as we continue to see significant international expansion opportunities for our FIFA franchise. We continue to have an outstanding relationship with Disney and Lucasfilms. Star Wars: Squadrons launched a great feedback from critics and the community and has performed above our expectations. This is clearly a special game for fans and continues the extraordinary success we’ve had bringing great games to life with this IP, including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, Star Wars: The Old Republic and the Star Wars Battlefront franchise.
Our live services are among the most successful in the industry and our live services net bookings have grown more than 28% fiscal year-over-year to date. EA SPORTS ultimate team has more than 30 million players so far this year, up 25% year-over-year. Around the world our multi-platform Sims community continues to grow and our Sims four player base on PC and console is now the largest in franchise history.
Apex Legends has established itself as a top global franchise with major year-over-year growth and continued expansion opportunities. Apex in Asia is having great success with each season of content. We’ve just launched a game to massive Steam community and cross play is now live making it easier for people to play with friends around the world.
Our esports programs are scaling the new records in viewership also. Our new Madden NFL episodic content featuring NFL athletes, celebrities and top Madden NFL players is bringing great entertainment to a much wider audience. And our recent FIFA 21 challenge, which paired esports stars with celebrity soccer players was our most watch esports event to date with viewership that place it amongst top esports broadcast worldwide.
Our EA PLAY service is the most successful multi-platform subscription in the industry. With the addition of our subscription on PS4 and Steam, we’ve reached more than 6.5 million paid subscribers. EA PLAY is now set to go live on Microsoft Game Pass in a few days, and we believe we have the opportunity to double our subscriber base over the next 12 months.
In addition to our subscription, we launched more than 125 games and content packs on Steam this year with new tiles like C&C Remastered and Star Wars: Squadrons leading the download chat on the platform. Bringing our games to Steam is a new and additive business for us. With the EA and Steam communities able to play together, we’re able to harness the full opportunity in the PC space as it continues to show strong growth. We continue to lead the industry as the only developer and publisher with the ability to bring this much quality content to players. We’ve done this through unprecedented circumstances in the last six months and now we’re delivering more great experiences in our current quarter.
We started our third quarter by launching two new EA SPORTS games. When it went live globally on October 9 FIFA 21 already had a record number of players in the game through the early access benefit of our subscription. Our player metrics in FIFA 21 are strong and FIFA Ultimate Team also continues to grow with matches in the mode up 30% year-over-year. NHL 21, which includes the fan favorite NHL 94 Rewind has quickly become the most successful NHL game yet on current gen consoles.
The Sims four and Apex Legends show how we build great live services into strong ongoing businesses. This quarter we’ll launch our tenth expansion pack for the Sims 4 along with an important game update to add even more cultural customization options for our players. On the heels of our highly successful Season 6 we’ve just launched Season 7 in Apex Legends which is said to be our biggest season of content this year. We now have more than 20 top live services across console, PC and mobile forming a foundation for continued growth.
We will continue to reach more players across more platforms in Q3. We have more titles launching on Switch and Google Stadia this quarter. Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond will launch on Oculus VR in December our second VR experience this year. And as I mentioned before, we will take another step in our subscription strategy this week with our expansion to Microsoft Game Pass opening significant new opportunities to grow our subscriber base. This quarter also brings the launch of next-generation consoles from our partners at Microsoft and Sony. EA SPORTS is always at the center of innovation for us and it will lead the way on next-gen consoles…”