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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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The Analogy
By JonnyDough on 5/14/2008 10:51:46 AM , Rating: 5
EA:Game Development
WalMart:Local Stores

Flooding the world with junk, driving out the small time game developer and grocery store owner, and feeding us that happy, save-you-money bullcrap marketing so that we forget about child labor and boring games. The last thing we need is another regurgitated title. Spit the good game game companies back out that you've swallowed please EA? I for one would not miss you if you were gone.

RE: The Analogy
By JonnyDough on 5/14/2008 10:53:20 AM , Rating: 1
Game game? Mumbles obscenities under his breath about an edit button...

RE: The Analogy
By Polynikes on 5/14/2008 11:29:38 AM , Rating: 2
The only problem is... EA doesn't save consumers money.

Maybe if they hired some smaller dev teams (but didn't buy them, we don't need that) to make games, they wouldn't have to speed $100 million per game and we'd actually get something that wasn't a watered-down, re-hashed sequel. And they'd make more money, so everyone would win.

RE: The Analogy
By JonnyDough on 5/14/2008 11:55:25 AM , Rating: 2
"The only problem is... EA doesn't save consumers money."

In the long run, neither does WalMart. Monopolization has only served to hurt the American public.

I can't even think of a single big company that has actually benefited the public aside from a little philanthropy (which is usually offset somewhat by evil greedy deeds anyway) and invention.

My further speculation is that opening a company to public investment just means the rich get richer. The movie Zeitgeist discusses an important point about how the privatization of banks has led to living in debt and how as a society we are indebted to the wealthy who control our lives by using "just law." Freedoms flew out the door when the federal reserve was implemented. Many famous people of old warned us against the privatization of banking. Woodrow Wilson, Charles Lindberg, Truman...

J.D. Rockafeller pulled out of the stock market right before it collapsed. Go figure. The government backed their money with gold, by stealing it from the public...

If you haven't yet, watch the movie.

Some think it's crap, others love it. Watch it for yourself.

RE: The Analogy
By Hiawa23 on 5/14/2008 3:38:10 PM , Rating: 3
"The only problem is... EA doesn't save consumers money."

In the long run, neither does WalMart. Monopolization has only served to hurt the American public.

not sure why the Walmart hate, but compared to the other stores, Sam's & Walmart save me quite a bit, compared to Publix, Winn dixie & other grocery stores here in Florida, so I am fine with Walmart & Sam's. Continue the hate though, & i don't have to buy anything Walmarts is selling me on as I comparison shop which is why I shop at Walmart & Sams exclusively.

RE: The Analogy
By RMSe17 on 5/14/2008 5:39:14 PM , Rating: 3
The problem is that in small towns, people who used to own their own stores and get sufficient income, now all work for the superwalmart, making minimum wage. gg.

RE: The Analogy
By Schrag4 on 5/14/2008 6:04:22 PM , Rating: 2
You know, the buggy whip factories all shut down after people started buying automobiles. It's really sad, so I think we should all ditch our cars and go back to horse-and-buggy.

In all seriousness, though, WalMart DOES save a lot of people a lot of money. If it didn't, the small-town store owners would still be in business, wouldn't they? After all, nobody forces the people in the area where a new WalMart opens to shop there.

RE: The Analogy
By mcturkey on 5/14/2008 9:53:29 PM , Rating: 2
Walmart puts tremendous pressure on manufacturers to reduce prices and plays them off each other, thus forcing them eventually to either cut wages here in the US or ship the jobs overseas. That's why Walmart is bad in the long run for the US economy, even more so than because of the destruction of local jobs.

RE: The Analogy
By JonnyDough on 5/15/2008 1:04:54 AM , Rating: 2
Walmart deals in bulk, and has a huge mega stores with lots of capital investment. Could the little guy compete? No, but just because they can't compete by being a bulk seller in 50 states doesn't mean they didn't offer something of value.

We need to get it into our heads that just because the little guy is out competed in pricing does not mean that another company is "better." Most small businesses today get by because they can offer superior service and customization.

It's the consumer who fails to realize that they are bagging their own groceries at the checkout, having to wait in line at the service counter, and making minimum wage when working for a mega corporation that are to blame for the loss of their own small businesses in the end. It's as if we believe we are too stupid to compete with Walmart, so we may as well just shop there. The rise of mega large corporations was planned by the privatized bankers anyway. We're all suckers and we don't even know it. Did you know that there isn't a law that demands you pay taxes? It's a little unwritten law made up by the private banking system. You can go to prison if you don't pay them, but there isn't a law that requires you to. I'm sorry, how is that freedom again? Democracy is not real.

Watch Zeitgeist. And don't give me that stuff about "it not being researched or backed up." The sources are given, you have to find them on the site.

RE: The Analogy
By Screwballl on 5/15/2008 9:56:16 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree on one point:

Flooding the world with junk, driving out the small time game developer and grocery store owners...

They gobble up precious real estate in their respective business goals and what we get in return is low quality rehashed crap over and over with a pretty new label.

I myself and others have already sought to boycott EA. Many of us have already refused to completely buy anything with EA's name on it. The less we buy, the less money they will have to use to make games and the less crap we see from them on the shelves. Granted even with this line of reasoning and knowing EA, even if they only released 5 games in the past year, all 5 would all still be complete crap.

They are bullying out competition in the form of either buying the company out or signing exclusive deals so no other company can use that specific sport's icons or names.

Boycott EA completely!

RE: The Analogy
By JonnyDough on 5/15/2008 12:02:38 PM , Rating: 2
I say support good games, but be selective on your purchases. Rent first, or download the demo. Long gone are my days of going out and buying a hyped up $50 or $60 game only to be left disappointed. Is it worth $500 to play 10 bad games for one week each? I don't think it is. Heck, for that much I can pay my car insurance for a year. Why yes, I do drive a POS and I do have a spotless driving record at least since I grew up and quit driving like I was Dale Earnhardt.

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs

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