EA makes lots of money in first quarter

FIFA, B:BC2 and… Scrabble do the biz.

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Scrabble on the Apple iPad helped EA make tons of money during its first quarter ended 30th June.

FIFA World Cup has so far "sold in" three million units, EA said.

Net revenue ended up ahead of expectations at $539 million. But it was down compared to the same period last year – a result EA blamed on "a reduced title slate".

EA released six major titles between April and June this year, compared to the 10 it released during the quarter 2010.

Revenue from digital was $188 million, though, so EA's happy.

It all contributed towards an unexpected $96 million first-quarter profit.

EA made a loss of $234 million a year earlier.

"We had a solid first quarter, exceeding expectations both top and bottom line," said CEO John Riccitiello.

"Top quality titles like 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, innovative digital offerings for titles like Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Scrabble on the Apple iPad are driving the business.

EA had some nice things to say about itself last night. It said it's the number one publisher on high definition consoles, with 22 per cent segment share calendar year-to-date, as it calls it.

It claimed to be the number one PC publisher, with 33 per cent segment share at retail calendar year-to-date and strong growth in digital downloads of full-game software.

EA sold three of the top 15 selling games in Western markets during the quarter: FIFA World Cup was number four, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was number seven and FIFA 10 was 12.

And EA claimed to be the number one publisher across all platforms on the Apple App Store in the June quarter. EA had nine of the top ten games when the iPhone 4 launched in June.

EA will be less happy with the Wii, however. It saw a 75 per cent year-over-year decline in sales on Nintendo's motion-sensing console. Sales dropped from $161 million to just $40 million. Ouch.

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