EA's recent move to offer some of its games on Steam has proven to be an immensely useful one for the company, with many of the best-selling games on Steam in July being EA titles, leading to some significant financial gains.
Out of the top 20 best-selling games on Steam in July, EA were involved in eight of them including Dragon Age Inquisition, Need for Speed Heat, Command and Conquer Remastered Collection and Battlefield V. That's a huge shift for the firm and it comes at the same time as EA reported strong Q1 FY21 financial results.
In its quarterly report, EA announced that it has seen a 74 percent surge in PC revenue during the first quarter of this financial year. As CEO Andrew Wilson described it, "it was an unprecedented first quarter of growth in our business" with the company keen to build on that strength. EA partially attributed that success to its "Stay Home, Play Together initiatives" but, of course, had to credit its games too for encouraging players to go the EA route.
The quarter involved the launch of both Command and Conquer Remastered and Burnout Paradise Remastered which were fan favourite remasters, along with 30 new content updates, two major game expansions and more than 50 mobile updates. In all, EA also launched nearly 30 games on Steam so the aforementioned eight out of 20 achievement seems reasonable in that context. Apex Legends also saw growth with engagement reaching its highest levels since Season 1 and FIFA player acquisition up more than 100% year-over-year. The Sims 4 has continued to see great success too with more than 30 million players across all platforms and daily, weekly, and monthly active player totals reaching record highs for a first quarter.
Overall, it's been an immensely strong time for EA but it's not hard to figure out what may have helped here - more people have been indoors and in need of new games. While EA continues to offer numerous crowd-pleasing titles (not without their faults though), a captive audience is always going to be a useful thing for a games company. It seems like something that's unlikely to change in the short term either.
September 18 2020 | 18:30