Digital Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) This autumn 2020 Earnings Convention Name Abstract
Andrew Wilson, CEO:
“…Transferring to our outcomes, we completed a robust yr for Digital Arts with fourth quarter and full-year income and earnings above our previously-raised steerage. The innovation that we’re delivering to gamers throughout the breadth of our video games and reside providers continues to drive power in our enterprise.
I’ll contact on a number of examples from the yr.
EA SPORTS is a pillar of our portfolio and continues to convey extra gamers collectively. FIFA is without doubt one of the greatest and most participating leisure franchises on this planet. With roughly 100 million gamers participating globally in our FIFA franchise, greater than 25 million distinctive gamers have joined FIFA 20 thus far, with VOLTA opening up a wholly new dimension to the sport, and FIFA Final Group persevering with to develop as the most well-liked mode. FIFA On-line in Asia additionally continues its momentum, considerably outperforming our expectations. Madden NFL is a cultural icon in soccer, gaming and leisure, and it simply had its greatest yr ever. We took a brand new method to launching and rolling out new modes of play in Madden NFL 20, and the end result was the best engagement ranges in franchise historical past.
Apex Legends was probably the most downloaded free-to-play sport on PS4 in 2019, and continues to develop as an revolutionary, long-term service for gamers. It’s been frequently acknowledged as top-of-the-line multiplayer experiences accessible, and with every new season of content material, Respawn have been delivering extra of what gamers love — from lore, to new Legends, to in-game occasions.
Earlier than COVID-19 stay-at-home orders started, Season four was already outperforming every of the 2 prior seasons, and the Previous Methods occasion in April has grow to be probably the most profitable ever for Apex. Our Apex esports tournaments have generated roughly two occasions the common viewing viewers of different high esports leagues. Respawn have added extra groups in our improvement group to work on nice new content material, and we proceed to have a robust concentrate on the thriving Apex Legends group.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is without doubt one of the breakout titles of the final a number of years. Greater than 10 million distinctive gamers have joined the sport since launch, a uncommon achievement for the primary title in a wholly new franchise. It’s a meticulously well-crafted sport, and it continues to provide followers a deeply-engaging and unique Star Wars expertise.
The Sims four conjures up a wholly totally different gaming viewers, and one which continues to develop. It offers a unique expertise from anything in the marketplace, and FY20 was its greatest yr since launch. In each quarter this yr, month-to-month common gamers in The Sims four had been larger than the earlier yr. Our Sims group is various and extremely inventive, and our success continues to be constructed on delivering all kinds of content material and methods to have interaction for gamers with very totally different pursuits.
With extra folks staying at residence within the fourth quarter, we did see rising utilization and engagement ranges in a lot of our video games. We’re humbled to see folks wanting to attach via our video games throughout this time. Partly, this has been made doable by the superb work of our groups, and our expertise investments throughout the Firm. For greater than 5 years, we’ve been investing in a single expertise infrastructure, structure and digital platform as we speed up right into a digital world. That’s enabled us to supply mobility for our staff on this atmosphere and keep sturdy productiveness. However the true story is the folks of Digital Arts. We now have such tremendously proficient, devoted and decided groups. They’ve come collectively within the strongest and most inspiring means via this pandemic response interval, in service of one another and in service of our gamers. And because of this, we’ve been capable of adapt and scale on this altering atmosphere, the place engagement in our video games has reached new peaks and continues at elevated ranges via the present quarter so far.
We’ve had a deep concentrate on our gamers via this time. Our superb studio groups have delivered nice reside service content material whereas working from residence, together with FIFA Final Group occasions, Madden Final Group content material for the NFL Draft, and new additions to Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes. We additionally launched our Keep House, Play Collectively initiative to do some particular issues for our gamers as shelter-in-place orders started to take impact in March.
Due to the devoted work of our groups and our companions, we’ve delivered dozens of Keep & Play packages so far, from particular group livestreams and giveaways, to athletes and celebrities taking part in our video games with followers. Our esports groups launched a totally cloud-based broadcasting platform that enables us to supply high-quality esports content material with rivals, hosts and manufacturing employees all safely at residence. We’ve since performed main on-line tournaments for Apex Legends, Madden NFL 20, FIFA On-line four and FIFA 20, together with the FIFA Keep & Play Cup, a $1 million charity event for COVID-19 reduction that introduced collectively high European Golf equipment and footballers and aired in additional than 100 nations. We’ve now executed, or plan to execute within the coming months, greater than 100 movie star, athlete, group and charity on-line esports occasions.
This international disaster has additionally been hitting native communities very arduous, and we’ve elevated the funding in our charitable match program to help native organizations all over the world. Our groups have additionally been doing extraordinary issues to assist in their communities from sourcing portions of private protecting tools for healthcare staff to meals drives and rather more, and we’re supporting them in any means we will.
I need to say an enormous thanks once more to the folks of Digital Arts for making all of this doable. Due to their quick and decided work, we’ve responded properly to this international problem, and we’re in place to proceed connecting extra gamers via nice video games and content material, and supporting our communities when and the place they want it most.
Trying to FY21, we’re rising our portfolio of high-quality and revolutionary new video games. We’re planning to launch 14 new titles to gamers this fiscal yr. That features 4 new EA SPORTS titles, FIFA, Madden, NHL and another unannounced sports activities title, all of which ship on the combination of creativity, authenticity and high quality that units EA SPORTS aside. EA SPORTS can even lead for us on the next-generation consoles this yr, and we’re excited to share extra in regards to the breakthroughs in these experiences quickly. Our FY21 plans additionally embody 4 extra video games drawing on the breadth of our IP, from Command & Conquer Remastered to unannounced video games for our console and PC. We’ll have extra video games from indie builders launching this yr via EA Companions, and two new cell titles leveraging high IP that we’ll convey to gamers worldwide.
With our groups’ experience in reside providers, we’re additionally constructing among the greatest ongoing experiences within the trade. We now have much more for the rising Apex Legends group this yr, beginning subsequent week with Season 5. Maxis will proceed delivering Sims four content material that empowers self-expression and fuels the creativity of our various participant viewers. Along with our new EA SPORTS video games, we’ll proceed delivering followers’ each day connection to sports activities via our reside providers, even when the real-world leagues and groups aren’t again in motion but. And we’re additionally working to convey extra content material in FIFA On-line and Apex Legends in Asia that may excite our present gamers and welcome new ones.
This yr, we plan to develop our communities throughout extra platforms and methods to play. Constructing on our announcement with Google Stadia final week, we plan to convey our video games to extra digital distribution channels. We’ll take our subscription service to a fourth platform in Steam. And we’re additionally planning to ship for extra Nintendo followers, with a number of EA video games set to launch on Nintendo Change this yr.
As we start FY21, our outlook for the yr is powerful. We additionally know there’s uncertainty forward because the COVID-19 scenario continues to unfold. Components like macroeconomic challenges, the standing of sports activities seasons, unknown impacts to our enterprise companions, and long-term impacts to our productiveness in a worldwide work-from-home atmosphere are among the many areas we shall be watching carefully and will have an effect on each participant conduct and our capacity to ship on our deliberate timelines.