After announcing its return to the college football gaming gridiron, EA Sports released its third quarter earnings for fiscal 2020, beating analyst forecasts with strong performances from its ultimate team game mode and battle royale game Apex Legends.
“We’re bringing great entertainment to hundreds of millions of people all over the world,” CEO Andrew Wilson said in a statement. “With our expansion plans for EA Sports, strong catalogue of owned IP, leading live services, and ability to span every platform, we are growing to reach an even larger audience.”
The gaming studio saw its total net revenue rise to $1.67 billion from $1.59 billion during its second fiscal quarter. For the 2020 calendar year, despite EA’s net income plummeting from $2.83 billion to $1.18 billion, the company saw its operating cash flow reach a record high of $2.06 billion. The cash flow increase was in large part driven by live events from the studio, which were up from $3.55 billion to $3.95 billion year over year.
One of these live events was the NFL Pro Bowl. Since an in-person NFL Pro Bowl was canceled, EA and the league featured a game on Madden NFL ’21 instead of the original plan to have a game in Las Vegas. The game could be streamed multiple ways, such as on NFL Network as well as the league’s YouTube, Twitter and Facebook platforms.
Before the earnings call, EA announced it will release a new college football game after an eight-year drought. The last college game the studio released was NCAA Football ’14, which came out in 2013. Though college football fans were delighted by the news, EA said the new game will use generic player names and numbers while the same NCAA athlete compensation issues that stalled the franchise are resolved.
Outside of college football, the company is producing a new Star Wars game, a new game in the Battlefield franchise and furthering its growth on mobile devices.
EA estimates its net income for 2021 will be $742 million, operational income will rise to $1.85 billion, and net bookings will eclipse the $6 billion mark at $6.08 billion.