Notes on Madden, FIFA, NHL and more from EA’s financial reporting for last quarter

Posted November 1st, 2017 at 3:30 pm

Electronic Arts reported on financials yesterday for Q2 2018, the period that stretched from July through September of 2017. EA Sports games naturally played a big role in the company’s success with the stock currently just under its all-time high. Some interesting news came out of the results related to Madden NFL 18, NHL 18, FIFA Mobile, EA Sports UFC 3, and the EA Access subscription service. 

More than 50% of Madden NFL 18 players engaged in the “Longshot” story mode.

That’s an encouraging number for Madden given how much this year’s released relied upon the mode and the considerable resources that had been invested into it over years of development. The 50% is comparable to the numbers for FIFA 17’s introduction of The Journey. FIFA 17 was played by over 21 million people, with at least 12 million having tried the story mode. It’s telling however that EA did not stress anything to do with actual sales numbers of Madden NFL 18, so it remains unclear how Longshot may have driven them or failed in its effort to do just that.

25% more players engaged in Madden Ultimate Team through Q2 year-over-year.

Ultimate Team and modes like it continue to grow and show no signs of slowing down even while various concerns about their current state and viability going forward come to the forefront as was discussed on last week’s podcast.

With NHL 18, the new NHL THREES mode helped us reach an entirely new audience, with 60% more first-time EA players joining through Q2 over the previous game.

The sales chart for September made it appear that NHL 18 may not have done especially well and that could still be true. However the attempt to market the game with casual-centric features does appear to have succeeded in attracting some new players. The 60% number is a bit misleading – the previous number could have been quite small and a 60% increase to that would not change its insignificance – but the NHL franchise is one that desperately needs to reach a bigger audience to survive in the years ahead.

FIFA Mobile topped 113 million players life to date.

The new season of FIFA Mobile launched today and it’s clear just how much the game (along with Madden Mobile and NBA Live Mobile) have driven the success in generating digital revenue for the company. 113 million players over two years is remarkable.

EA Sports UFC 2 is still scheduled to release in the final quarter of fiscal year 2018.

In upcoming game news there was no change to the release window for EA Sports UFC 3. That means it will be out within the January to March window, and mid-March is a safe bet considering the last edition released then. The first trailer for the game will be out on Friday with the confirmation of primary features (which we have somewhat of an idea of already) taking place through the video or following soon after.

Executives suggest EA Access will be coming to platforms other than Xbox One and PC.

There also may be a good development on the horizon for PlayStation 4 owners as it appears plans are in the works to bring arguably the best value in all of video gaming to the system in the near future. While PS4 was not specifically mentioned, it’s the only other platform that would make sense for the popular subscription service.