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Microtransactions, eh? Can't live with 'em, can't actually take them out of games entirely. Because if you did, the publishers behind them would be losing serious bank, as the latest financial figures from Electronic Arts make crystal clear.
EA has made itself a very healthy $993 million in what it calls 'Live Services', over the last financial quarter, reports Gamespot. 'Live Services', to you and me, means in-game purchases, and the last three months have been very good to EA, thanks to titles like Apex Legends and Battlefield V, and game series with Ultimate Team modes, like FIFA and Madden.
These 'Live Service' dollars were the biggest part of a quarterly pot that ran to $1.593 billion of revenue, representing some $361m of profit. These numbers were revealed on an earnings call and, yes, that's a whole lot of cheddar.
Adding to this total, too, was the performance of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the Respawn-developed single-player adventure of November 2019 that left our reviewer (hi) rather underwhelmed, but came second in the GAMINGbible reader's poll for the year, just behind Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Just goes to show you: one person's rancid gornt sandwich is another's intergalactic banquet.
Fallen Order has - across Xbox One, PC and PlayStation 4 - so far exceeded sales expectations for EA. The company was anticipating numbers of between six and eight million, but has revised that up to ten million by the end of March 2020. That should definitely stop them going Base Delta Zero.
Sticking with Star Wars, 2017's Battlefront II also received a substantial shot in the arm courtesy of new content and the general hype around both Fallen Order and the latest movie, The Rise of Skywalker (watched it, respectable 6/10, don't know what all the hate is about). That, and because of some rather-excellent mods, like the one that puts the Mandalorian in the game. And this one that, um, adds the Pope. Sure.
During the earnings call, EA confirmed that a new Battlefield series game is in the works for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 (which we previously reported on here), and that Apex Legends will launch on a new, fourth platform in 2020 - that'll be mobile, then. The company also has its Command & Conquer remasters coming in 2020, too. A busy year ahead, then - no doubt with a lot more bank to come.
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