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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 Pirks on 5/14/2008 10:33:47 PM , Rating: 2
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.
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.
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
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? ;)
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
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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