EA today released both a press release and a web conference call highlighting the previous financial year and upcoming earnings strategies. Within the call, EA revealed a lot of information, much of which clarified EA’s profits and strategies.
[UPDATE: It appears as if Kotaku also noticed this, getting in touch with an EA rep to talk about the game. According to EA, "There will be "handheld/mobile" products tied to Mass Effect 3, as noted in our past few earnings announcements. They are part of the Galaxy at War system. We will have more details to share soon." Appropriately vague! EA has small window to keep rolling out details, so news of this game will likely come to light soon enough. ]
Among these are the fact that 9.3 million users use Origin, and of those 2 million have purchased TOR. TOR maintains a current user base of 1.7 million players. In more TOR news, EA plans on having a “major update, larger than the first” in March. In addition, Battlefield 3 has done quite well for EA as well, garnering 11 million sales, and taking EA from having a quoted 11% of the FPS market over double that at 23%.
Now, most interestingly to me, is the fact that Mass Effect 3 pre-orders are outstripping where Mass Effect 2 pre-orders were in a similar time frame. Not terribly surprising, as ME2 was a sales and critical darling, and ME3 has a lot to live up to.
Here’s where it gets interesting. For ea, mobile games make $100 million a year, and EA has announced 5 Facebook games based on major EA franchises.
An interesting thing to note, that I discovered in the press release for this most recent earnings call, is an entry for Mass Effect 3 in the Handheld/Mobile column. While the console and PC sections for the game have been well publicized, not much is known about this portable title. Pure speculation on my part, but this would likely be developed by Bioware’s social/mobile wing, and exists due to the massive success that EA has had in the mobile market. Whether this is a companion app, a toned down port, or a separate game and game play style ala Mass Effect Galaxy, has yet to be seen. It’s possible that it is one of these Facebook games, or the delayed social game EA mentioned. Time will tell.