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61 percent of EA's game sales last year were digital

61 percent of EA's game sales last year were digital

May 9, 2017 | By Bryant Francis

Electronic Arts today announced its most recent financial figures and the end-results of the last fiscal year -- and it seems the tide of digital sales is rising ever higher. 

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, EA said it generated $3 billion in digital sales, a 20 percent increase from the previous year's $2.5 billion. That's over 61 percent of its total sales for the year, which were $4.8 billion overall (all numbers here are GAAP).

While digital sales have made up more than half of EA’s sales for a couple years now, the company expects digital sales to continue to rise and supplant the role of physical sales. That may affect the financial results of game retailers like GameStop as they rely on sales of physical discs.

EA's annual net income for 2017 totaled $967 million, down from $1.2 billion last year. Annual revenues rose to $4.8 billion compared to $4.4 billion a year prior.

Fourth-quarter profits were $566 million on $1.5 billion in revenue, versus $899 million in profits and $1.3 billion in revenue for the same quarter last year. 

Digital sales increases seem to have excited investors, as the company's stock value has jumped roughly 8 percent in after-hours trading as of this writing. 

EA chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen said during a quarterly earnings Q&A session that the company “sold more Battlefield than we anticipated and less Titanfall than we anticipated,” the first admission from EA that Respawn’s Titanfall 2 may have underperformed in sales. 

(And of course, if you’re looking to compare these numbers with old EA financial reports, please be aware that the company has been reporting earnings in accordance with GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) of late, whereas before it was using non-GAAP numbers.)

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