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ANTHEM's future (2019-2020) according to EA's FY19Q4 newest financial report

EA’s fourth quarter fiscal 2019 earnings call took place yesterday, May 7th 2019. On the call/meeting, Chris Evenden (Vice President, Investor Relations) discussed with Andrew Wilson (EA's CEO) and Blake Jorgensen (EA's COO&CFO) about statements regarding future events and the future financial performance of the company (EA).

During the call, they talk a lot about FIFA, APEX & Battlefront II, as well as other games EA publishes.

One of those games is, of course, Anthem.

A brief summary of what they talked about regarding anthem can be summarized to a few key points.

The company thinks that Anthem did not meet their expectations, BUT, they are not pulling the plug on it just yet.

There's long term commitment from EA's side to support Bioware & Anthem's live service.

Anthem is not going anywhere.

It just had a rough start.

EA is not hiding that fact either, as you can read below.

The launch of Anthem in Q4 did not meet our expectations.

However, we believe in the team at BioWare, and we also believe in what they set out to achieve with this game building a new IP and melding genres to reach a new audience.

Players have spent more than 150 million hours in Anthem since launch, and we’ve heard from them that the beauty and expanse of the world is stunning, and that traversing the environment in the Javelin suits makes for amazing gameplay.

However, we’ve also heard feedback from our community about issues that began to manifest as the game reached scale, and that they want more depth and variety in the mission modes of the game.

The team is now very focused on continued improvements to the game, and will then bring more content updates and in-game events that will enhance and expand the Anthem experience.


Continuing on, they touched on the upcoming EA Play event in June, EA's in house video game event prior to E3 2019.

EA plans to release info on upcoming content for their games there, potentially for Anthem too, again emphasizing that they are committed to the new IP's future in the long term, with no signs of abandonment.

We’re currently in the middle of our third chapter of live service updates to Battlefield V, with more chapters set to begin in the summer and fall, each bringing more of what fans are looking for with new maps and missions.

We’ll showcase some of the great new experiences coming to Battlefield Vat EA PLAY.

We are similarly committed to the live service for Anthem, and delivering for our community in this new IP over the long-term.
We continue to invest heavily in Anthem, with developers working on game quality, content, systems and game mechanics. It's great original IP and we've doubled down on the product. - Blake Jorgensen

So as we can see, they are clearly confident in Bioware's ability to deliver the updates necessary for Anthem to bring players back & keep them playing for years to come.

We have robust live service plans for Anthem and Battlefield V, and we’ll also continue delivering new content for Star Wars Battlefront II, where our commitment to the game has enabled us to build a very strong community over time.

The last twelve months have been a time of change for the video game industry.

Nevertheless, we ended our fiscal year with strong growth, driven by our live services business which continued to provide a very large, stable and profitable source of net bookings.

We significantly outperformed our expectations in Q4. This was, of course, largely driven by Apex Legends, but sports were also stronger than we had anticipated.

Anthem under-performed our expectations.

Interestingly, Anthem underperformed despite the fact that it sold very well digitally, plus it was still outperformed by Respawn's APEX Legends, which caught everyone by surprise when it seemingly came out of nowhere a couple months ago.

Full game PC and console downloads generated net bookings of $213 million, 10% higher than last year. Growth was driven by the launch of Anthem and by the ongoing shift to digital.

, 49% of our units sold through were digital rather than physical, measured on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 over the last twelve months.

The Q4 mix benefited from
the launch of Anthem, which, judging from sales so far, is the most digital game we have ever launched.

We are delivering on our commitment to players with deep live services content for Ultimate Team, Apex Legends, Anthem and Battlefield.

Reflecting the
industry as a whole, our games encompass premium, free-to-play, subscription and hybrid business models. The breadth of our content served us well in fiscal 2019 and positions us well for the future.


Then they went on to discuss a bit more about the future of EA and their publishing as a whole, pointing out that they feel comfortable with their projections for the foreseeable future of their games.

The future of this industry has never been more exciting and full of opportunity.

We’re deeply focused on strong execution against our FY20 plans, and delivering great entertainment for the ever-expanding audience of players around the world.
Looking to FY20, we see an exciting year ahead. Across HD platforms, mobile and PC, the global gaming audience is growing.

Great games and services will continue to be at the center, and we are focused on bringing new experiences to more players on more platforms in more geographies throughout the year ahead.

The variety of new games and experiences that we’re planning for players this year demonstrates the breadth and depth of our portfolio.
Fans of Battlefield V, The Sims 4, and Anthem will have more great content and new ways to play in the year ahead. We’re working on new projects in mobile to join our portfolio of large-scale live services, and taking the time in player testing to hone breakthrough experiences.

Throughout EA Studios, our creative leaders and talented development teams are deeply focused on delivering quality and innovation to our players in each of these experiences in FY20, and much more in the years to come.

So there we have it.

Despite the -seemingly- endless hate Bioware and Anthem is getting from all directions, being scrutinized for every single minor and major flaw of the game, EA still believes in them.

They just need time to work on things.
Time and peace of mind to be creative.

If we don't allow them that, then that's when Anthem dies.


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