If only the rest of Electronic Arts’ businesses could be doing so well … During the company’s earnings call Monday, executives said that the company’s digital business was “growing very rapidly and (is) profitable” (Executives had said during a call last quarter that digital was in fact now the most profitable part of EA’s business).
The digital business is now expected to reach at least $750 million in sales next year, up from about $575 million this year. By contrast, executives said that they are not counting on much — if any — growth in the company’s traditional “packaged goods” business, which should account for about $3 billion in sales.
But executives dismissed suggestions that the growth of online and mobile gaming was cutting into sales of traditional video games, saying that there was no data that indicated that gamers were spending less time with their consoles. Some other highlights:
— Digital bragging rights: Executives said that EA — which is the top mobile games publisher worldwide — was now responsible for seven of the top 11 games on the iPhone. Via the company’s acquisition this fall of social gaming company Playfish, EA also had two of the top 10 games on Facebook.
— New digital titles: EA will release a “major” massively multiplayer online game next year. As part of that effort, the company says it will incur “significant development costs.” Executives also pledged that every release the company puts out this year will have an online component of some sort.
— Madden NFL coming to Facebook? EA Sports President Peter Moore said earlier today that the company was planning on bringing its blockbuster Madden NFL to Facebook. During the call, executives wouldn’t be specific about that, with CFO Eric Brown saying, “we don’t have specific titles to call out here.” But he acknowledged that a goal of buying Playfish was to “over time” launch EA titles on other platforms.