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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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RE: EA is Huge...
By FITCamaro on 5/14/2008 10:19:55 AM , Rating: 5
EA will continue buying companies until they own everyone. Even companies like Epic might some day disappear. Take 2 has a good thing going the way they are. But unfortunately stock holders care more about how much they can get for their stock than making good games.


RE: EA is Huge...
By bighairycamel on 5/14/2008 11:23:04 AM , Rating: 5
Nah that's not true. Activision/Bizzard is way too big for EA to purchase... let's just hope it stays that way.


RE: EA is Huge...
By HVAC on 5/14/2008 11:38:34 AM , Rating: 2
Now every software company is EA!

(my apologies to Demolition Man)


RE: EA is Huge...
By killerroach on 5/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: EA is Huge...
By KernD on 5/14/2008 12:14:13 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
heavy-handed control of internal studios


Do you work for Activision? I do, and thats just not true, Activision's business model with it's studios is not like that. Our studio boss leads the studio, not some guy back at the HQ.


RE: EA is Huge...
By OblivionMage on 5/14/2008 3:53:37 PM , Rating: 2
Blizzard, activision, and a couple other are owned by Vivendi, who is 102981204983248372 times bigger then EA.


RE: EA is Huge...
By kyleb2112 on 5/16/2008 1:59:15 AM , Rating: 2
Vivendi is exactly 102981204983248373 times bigger. Sheesh, get your numbers right.


RE: EA is Huge...
By Quiescent on 5/14/2008 11:48:55 AM , Rating: 5
And as they buy those companies out, gaming as we knew (because it's already started), will be so crappy, that gaming will become just a fad that we knew of. (Remember what they said in the 1980s?) Companies like Sid Meier's and Volition Inc. (Known as Parallax Software) are great and have made games that go beyond gameplay, that go behind graphics. Take a look at DESCENT III, at the time it was released, you could hardly play the game at medium settings. It took them this long to get games to have intensive graphics like DESCENT III did (and does). However, instead of a great balance that DESCENT III was made with, you mostly have games that have great graphics and sucky gameplay. Ontop of this poor balance, you also have people running out of ideas for games and just doing the same games over and over again, or copying someone else's idea, but adding more crap.

The gaming world is becoming a sad one.


RE: EA is Huge...
By Quiescent on 5/14/2008 11:53:07 AM , Rating: 2
beyond* graphics.

And in additon, I almost forgot to say it:

But EA, you've made the gaming industry suffer. I hope you suffer a harsh blow in your profits over crappy games. Look what you did to Command & Conquer. I may not know what happened between you and Frank Klepacki, but it was better for him to leave your sorry ***! His music shouldn't be touched by such crap!


RE: EA is Huge...
By Pirks on 5/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: EA is Huge...
By cmdrdredd on 5/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: EA is Huge...
By Pirks on 5/14/2008 4:28:42 PM , Rating: 1
Crysis published by EA is utter #hit? Are out of your #ucking mind?

Was American McGee's Alice utter #hit?

Was Medal of Honor Allied Assault utter #hit?

Seek some professional help. You definitely need to see a doctor if you call all of these games above "utter #hit"


RE: EA is Huge...
By RMSe17 on 5/14/2008 5:35:58 PM , Rating: 2
If Crysis wasn't so much in the headlight, I am sure EA would have taken much more control over it and screwed it up like they do with pretty much everything other than sport games. They couldn't screw over Crysis because CryTek could switch to any other publisher. Everyone wanted to publish that game...


RE: EA is Huge...
By Pirks on 5/14/2008 6:08:49 PM , Rating: 1
Compared to how Microsloth screwed Halo big time by allowing it to be published only on Xbox (fcked up late PC port of Halo 2 only makes things worse and Halo 1 is a joke) or how Starbreeze/2K screwed The Darkness by dropping PC port - EA is a cool publisher.

EA will publish Dead Space on PC! Woohoo! EA rocks!

2K sucks! Starbreeze sucks! And don't even start about moronic ballmerish Microsloth who's consciously killing Windows as a gaming platform by publishing their fcking games on Xbox only. Bald mutherfcker!

I'm telling ya - even though EA is far from the best gaming publisher in the world (Valve and ID are at the top right now, game quality-wise) they are much better than A LOT of other braindead publishers, I mean where the fck is GTA IV for PC? Activision is fckd beyond all recognition!

So stop bashing EA and bash reall mutherfcks like 2K, Activision and MS, these idiots are bringing PC gaming down as much as they can, and EA DOES _NOT_ DO THAT! Their decision to publish Dead Space on PC supports my point. I'm not even mentioning Crysis again - yeah, everyone COULD publish it, but Crytek went FOR EA! They HAVE NOT CHOSEN mutherfckas like idiotic MS or Activision, they went for the !_best_! PC game publisher - turns out it is !_EA_!, so eat this, stupid EA bashing lamers and just shut fck up, please, will ya?

By the way, I didn't mention Sony in my rant but I coud not give even a smallest damn about their stinking Playstation excreta, I think Nintendo beats them well and Sony simply must die as a game publisher, they are WAY worse than MS (although many people think nothing can be worse game publisher than MS but these people are clearly wrong)

P.S. hey, my rant is highly subjective and is from the point of view of hardcore PC gamer, so please, console fanboys, pass along and don't start another flame war here, my highly subjective view is that consoles are a piece of cheapo junk and the more I play Crysis on my new gaming rig - the more I get convinced in that. Sorry console fanboys, nothing personal. It's just about the game.


RE: EA is Huge...
By FITCamaro on 5/15/2008 9:19:48 AM , Rating: 2
That brings me to my next point kids. Don't smoke crack.


RE: EA is Huge...
By Quiescent on 5/14/2008 9:36:00 PM , Rating: 2
Typical troll. Take some advice: Keep your personal life to yourself. Don't go trolling a respectable news area because you have problems out in the real world. This is not the place for this crap. I have no idea why you haven't been banned yet.

Trashing threads with negative posts and completely ruining the atmosphere of the dailytech posting area to articles like this is certainly trolling. It's certainly killing the mood of Dailytech, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks of you like this.


RE: EA is Huge...
By Pirks on 5/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: EA is Huge...
By GlassHouse69 on 5/14/2008 10:29:22 PM , Rating: 1
crysis fucking sux

so do you

you fucking suck

hah


RE: EA is Huge...
By Pirks on 5/14/2008 10:42:03 PM , Rating: 2
Stop playing Crysis on that IBM PC XT, moron! Buy yourself a REAL gaming hardware.


RE: EA is Huge...
By Quiescent on 5/14/2008 9:32:52 PM , Rating: 1
I don't play games anymore. I stopped after The SIMs and Empire Earth. Sure I have a hand-me-down 7800GT, but I've seen Command and Conquer 3, I've seen Crysis. Sure their gameplay was alright, but maybe it was because EA is learning that they are losing. And Crysis looked pretty boring in that alien part. (My boyfriend has an 880GT, q6600 at 4Ghz, 8GB of RAM, 5TB of space, Audigy 2 ZS btw). My experience is that a lot of these games have barely survived, but then you have others sucking. When I did speak of good graphics, sucky gameplay, I spoke of the industry as a whole. Oblivion is another example, which guess what, IT can play on my 7800GT. DESCENT III is certainly better graphics than Crysis. Crysis is pretty easy going on the graphics. You can't tell me that's the best you can get in graphics.

To be honest, you seem to respond in a lot of these articles here. And it's funny that you think that I am too poor to buy a better computer. Oh I will get a better computer, but not for gaming.


RE: EA is Huge...
By Pirks on 5/14/2008 10:06:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
DESCENT III is certainly better graphics than Crysis
Try to play Crysis not on weak hardware like 8800GT, try 9800GTX at the very least.

It's funny how you compare last century graphics of Descent 3 with Crysis. Wanna maybe compare Crysis with Doom 2 as well? I bet you can find Doom 2 graphics better than the graphics of Crysis, you're that type of prson, ya know ;-)


RE: EA is Huge...
By FITCamaro on 5/15/2008 9:25:13 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah funny though that the 9800GTX isn't much better than an 8800GT. It's the same chip practically as an 8800GTS 512MB and performs practically identical. The 9800GTX is a joke.

I mean why would I pay $280ish for a 9800GTX when I can either get an 8800GTS 512MB for $180-200 and have the same performance. An 8800GT can be had for $150-160 and isn't much slower.

Christ do you work for EA or some hardware magazine?


RE: EA is Huge...
By Pirks on 5/15/2008 3:11:08 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
why would I pay $280ish for a 9800GTX when I can either get an 8800GTS 512MB for $180-200 and have the same performance
I paid $200 for my 9800GTX, dunno why people buy it for $280
quote:
Christ, do you work for EA
Christ works for Pope :P


RE: EA is Huge...
By Quiescent on 5/15/2008 10:27:43 AM , Rating: 2
DESCENT III couldn't even run at medium settings with the graphics cards available in 1998. It probably couldn't even run at max settings until about maybe 2 years ago. With the 8800GT, you could actually go into the config file and change the max settings for it to go as great as the 8800GT can set (E.G. the AA anti-aliasing technique that wasn't available at that time).

Like I said kid, you think DESCENT III was decade ago graphics, but if it was, how come you couldn't even play the game at medium settings with the best graphics card available at that time? Explain to me why it's a decade ago graphics with that?

Kind of funny. Just because a game was made a decade ago, doesn't make the graphics suck. The DESCENT games have always been far ahead in graphics than every game in it's time.

Get your facts straight kid:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Descent_III


RE: EA is Huge...
By Quiescent on 5/15/2008 10:31:05 AM , Rating: 2
Hahaha. Sorry wrong URL, but you can look how much more advanced that game was too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Descent_3#Engine_Feat...

That is what I want you to see.


RE: EA is Huge...
By Pirks on 5/15/2008 2:17:40 PM , Rating: 1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CryEngine_2#Technical...

It's your turn now. Go there and observe how Crysis 3D engine pisses, spits and rubs it in that ancient Descent's 3D engine


RE: EA is Huge...
By Pirks on 5/15/2008 3:29:05 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
DESCENT III couldn't even run at medium settings with the graphics cards available in 1998
And Crysis can't even run at full graphical settings on your machine TODAY, now what does this tell ya?
quote:
how come you couldn't even play the game at medium settings with the best graphics card available at that time? Explain to me why it's a decade ago graphics with that?
How about you explain me why you can't play Crysis properly with full graphics NOW?
quote:
Just because a game was made a decade ago, doesn't make the graphics suck
Oh, so you think in ten years from now I'm going to CONTINUE praising Crysis as having the best graphics in 2018? If you think so, you too need to see a doctor.


RE: EA is Huge...
By Pirks on 5/14/2008 10:33:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When I did speak of good graphics, sucky gameplay, I spoke of the industry as a whole
Tell that stupid bull#hit to gazillions of players enjoying Gears of War, Halo, Bioshock and many other triple A titles. They'll teach you about graphics and sucky gameplay alright, you'll regret you started it ;-) Also you might want to try out some games without triple A graphics but with great gameplay, maybe you should start with Sins Of A Solar Empire, or Witcher, or even Call of Cthulhu. Maybe this will help you.
quote:
DESCENT III is certainly better graphics than Crysis. Crysis is pretty easy going on the graphics. You can't tell me that's the best you can get in graphics.
And besides running it on a sucky 8800GT you also running it with graphics set to Low or something. Of course you look like an idiot after that. Ever tried to run it on Very High in DX10 on Vista? You have no idea Crysis can scale graphics to the levels unheard of, this is why Descent 3 seems such a great game to you.
quote:
I don't play games anymore
Then you should stop posting here, because you don't belong to gamers. Only a gamer or game developer can say something of interest about games, without hands on experience with _modern_ games and _modern_ gaming hardware (not your pathetic 7800GT) you'll only pollute this thread, believe me. I'm not going to post comments in automotive threads because I have no experience in auto industry nor I am a racer, so you should follow the same rule.

Your laments about OLD games are not interesting to modern gamers. People love their modern games, and who cares if you loved this Descent thing when you were young? I loved a lot of older games like MDK as well, but why would I bash modern game publishers for not doing clones of MDK or other ancient games again and again? You sound like an old fart proclaiming that "in his age and times" grass was greener, girls were hotter and stuff like that. Don't you understand you look stupid by saying things like this?


RE: EA is Huge...
By Quiescent on 5/15/2008 1:41:20 PM , Rating: 1
Oh, 16 stream processors more, 500mhz more Memory clock, and 170mhz more core clock surely justifies the $160 more price, eh?

You must be shitting out money to not care about what kind of money you waste on crap that isn't much better. Some of us rather pay the price for an 8800GT over the whopping $349 9800GTX. Woo!


RE: EA is Huge...
By Pirks on 5/15/2008 3:24:10 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
16 stream processors more, 500mhz more Memory clock, and 170mhz more core clock surely justifies the $160 more price
That's only for stupid people who don't know how to shop online. Are you one of those? ;)
quote:
Some of us rather pay the price for an 8800GT over the whopping $349 9800GTX
Some of you idiots indeed pay for 8800GT because you have no idea you can get 9800GTX for $195 after rebate. Being an idiot is hard, dontcha agree? ;-)


RE: EA is Huge...
By FaceMaster on 5/20/08, Rating: 0
RE: EA is Huge...
By tedrodai on 5/15/2008 10:27:59 AM , Rating: 1
Get over your e-peen, cause you don't have to hate all of EA's games, or be unable to play them, to dislike EA.

I'm not going to argue about whether those games were good or not--a company that big BETTER publish some good games. I've got a pretty decent gaming rig and play Crysis on somewhere between mid and high settings, and I've enjoyed it.

Anyways, the point is not whether they publish good games--anyone with the money can publish those same games--but what they CONTRIBUTE to the games they publish: things like in-game advertising that intrudes on your personal information and horrendous rights-limiting DRM (trying to stop pirates is fine, but not with some of the methods they've employed). Not to mention the multitude of creative companies EA has swallowed and choked to death over the years. EA says they're now listening to customers and turning over a new leaf, but we'll just have to see.


RE: EA is Huge...
By Pirks on 5/15/2008 3:17:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
in-game advertising that intrudes on your personal information and horrendous rights-limiting DRM
Haven't seen any in-game advertising in Crysis, but saw A LOT of stupid in-game advertising in Ubisoft's games like Splinter Cell. So it's actually Ubisoft that SUCKS, not EA :-P

Horrendous DRM? What rights does it limit? To pirate that game? Go to PirateBay forums and cry a river THERE, alright? This forum is not pro-piracy, so please shut up about game copy protection that horrendously limited your right to pirate Crysis or whatever. What a piece of hypocrtical bull#hit.


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