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27 EA games last year went platinum, 15 went double platinum

In one of the biggest years ever in gaming, Electronic Arts posted a $454 million net loss in its fiscal 2008. That may come as a bit of a surprise, given that 27 of EA’s titles this year sold more than 1 million units, and 15 that sold more than 2 million.

In fiscal 2007, EA had 24 titles that surpassed the million mark, but managed a net income of $76 million. That’s not to say that EA just finished a bad year – far from it, as the games maker reported a net revenue of $3.665 billion in fiscal year ended March 31, 2008, up 19 percent as compared with $3.091 billion for the prior year.

In fact, the past fourth quarter was a record setting one, with sales up 84 percent to an impressive $1.13 billion. The record period was driven by PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 cross-platform titles Burnout Paradise, Army of Two and Rock Band. Despite that, net loss for the quarter was $94 million as compared with a net loss of $25 million for the prior year.

The cause for the loss can be partly attributed to the acquisition of game development studios BioWare Corp. and Pandemic Studios in a deal worth $860 million. Though not exactly of the same acquisition type, EA managed to lure former top Microsoft executive Peter Moore away from the Xbox business to helm EA Sports.

It’s clear that EA’s not finished in growing its family just yet. The massive game publisher recently borrowed $1 billion from Morgan Stanley and other lenders to help finance a possible acquisition of Take-Two Interactive.

EA also had other victories during the year, including it claiming itself the number one publisher across all platforms in North America with 19 percent share and in Europe with 20 percent share. The Sims franchise surpassed the 100 million copies sold milestone, with plenty more on the way. EA also secured exclusive rights from Hasbro to create games based upon intellectual properties including Monopoly, Scrabble, Yahtzee, Nerf, Tonka and Littlest Pet Shop.

EA CEO John Riccitiello earlier this year said publically that it’s his aim to improve the management of work environment of the company’s developers and other employees. In the recent financial report, EA revealed that a December 2007 employee satisfaction survey showed significant improvement over the last appraisal in 2004. Results included a double-digit gain in employee engagement.

"A year ago, we committed to an aggressive change agenda at EA. Our employees stepped up to the challenge and we finished fiscal year 2008 with non-GAAP revenue up 30% to $4 billion – a record for any third-party publisher. Our operating margins were flat to our prior year. On balance, we're very pleased with our revenue growth, but not yet happy with our profit margins," said Riccitiello. "In fiscal 2009, we expect to deliver another $1 billion in revenue growth and to double our operating profit on the strength of our slate of titles."

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By Bender 123 on 5/14/2008 10:11:18 AM , Rating: 5
Oh good...Even more reasons for them to cut costs. I am sure this years version of the sports franchises will include an overlay for your TV that you can apply during the title screen . The overlay will cover the previous year with 2008/2009. This will even eliminate the overhead cost of programmers going in and changing this. It will be just like an old odyssey system.

RE: Madden
By therealnickdanger on 5/14/2008 10:19:59 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, previews with the new Madden are shaping up extremely well. Early reports state that this will be the best version yet. One thing is for sure, it will be the best NFL game released this year!

RE: Madden
By FITCamaro on 5/14/2008 10:32:03 AM , Rating: 5
They say that every year. ;)

RE: Madden
By JonnyDough on 5/14/2008 10:55:47 AM , Rating: 5
Your sarcasm warrants you a rating of SIX. Now if only I were bestowed the power to give you the love you deserve. But alas, I am a poster to this rather dull tidbit of a news article, and so I shall end my plight with...a period.

RE: Madden
By maverick85wd on 5/14/2008 7:20:50 PM , Rating: 2
I find it interesting people rated you up to a 5 but didn't rate therealnickdanger up at all

I agree, it is hilarious.

RE: Madden
By Bender 123 on 5/14/2008 9:23:45 PM , Rating: 2
I would rate him up, because I get it, I get jokes. Since I already commented, I will give an imaginary "worth reading" to therealnickdanger.

RE: Madden
By Bender 123 on 5/14/2008 11:45:17 AM , Rating: 2
It sure is! After I received my preview version in 2003, I can honestly say the best (only) NFL game will be Madden. The annual public betas have really gotten people excited about what the final product will look like.

RE: Madden
By archcommus on 5/14/2008 10:22:01 AM , Rating: 4
They might as well just sell downloadable roster updates online for like $40 after the free ones end. Almost the same thing as getting the new game.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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