Electronic Arts, the gaming company that created the world’s most popular esports games, including FIFA, NHL and Madden NFL, beat revenue expectations for fiscal second-quarter earnings on Wednesday.
Revenue rose to $1.83 billion from $1.15 from the same period a year ago. Analysts estimated EA’s second-quarter revenue to grow to $1.75 billion. The company posted $1.34 billion in revenues for the first quarter of 2021, after closing 2020 with a reported $5.6 billion in revenue. EA’s previous annual report showed that it made $1.6 billion from game sales last fiscal year alone.
“This was the strongest second quarter in the history of Electronic Arts,” Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts, said during a conference call about the announcement.
Despite the game sales success, EA Sports said in a statement it was exploring renaming and possibly dropping the FIFA licensing ties to its best-selling soccer game. Multiple analysts asked Wilson about the company’s contingency plans should the FIFA agreement, which runs through 2022, change or expire.
“We have great relationships with all of our partners all 300 of them, including FIFA, as we think about the future of football,” Wilson said. “We’re going to work with our global collection of partners that we feel best enable us to do that.”
According to people familiar with the matter, FIFA wants to double what it currently receives from EA Sports for the franchise, raising the yearly payout from $150 million to $250 million. The current deal between soccer’s top governing body and the California-based company ends after next year’s World Cup in Qatar. EA has registered $20 billion in FIFA game sales since the product was released 28 years ago.
The California-based company is the second-largest gaming company in the Americas and Europe by revenue and market capitalization, trailing Activision Blizzard.
Company shares rose 3.23 % in after hours trading to $144.