Electronic Arts has released Q2 FY20 financials, stating that The Sims 4 monthly average players are up more than 40% year-over-year. Additionally, EA has also confirmed that The Sims has now surpassed over $5 billion in lifetime sales.
Live services extend and enhance the experiences of those games. Apex Legends, FIFA, The Sims 4, Galaxy of Heroes and more of our top franchises have thriving global communities spanning hundreds of millions of players. We’ve been pioneers in this space, building on years of expertise and success to deliver continuously evolving experiences fueled by new content, in-game events and fan-requested updates.
The Sims 4 also continues to be an incredible long-term live service with a growing audience. Monthly average players are up more than 40% year-over-year in The Sims 4, and engagement across the franchise has led The Sims to surpass $5 billion in lifetime sales. The Sims continues to be one of the great franchise in gaming, and we have plans to bring new experiences to its amazing players for a long time to come.
The holidays will also be a busy season for players in our large services. Our Battlefield V players will able to jump into the expansive new Pacific theater, a major addition to the game that includes new factions, maps, weapons and vehicles, starting 2 days from now. And at Apex Legends, our EA SPORTS franchises, The Sims 4, Anthem and Star Wars: Battlefront II, our communities will all have new content and new experiences to dive into during the holiday quarter.
Our live services will grow — will continue to grow and enhance the experience in our major franchises. We’re expanding our Apex Legends team to deliver our content plans for FY ’21, and we’ll reach new audiences through mobile and across Asia. We have ongoing growth expectations for The Sims 4, with new expansion and all new ways to engage and grow the community.
The strong results this quarter illustrate the power of our focus on live services and in our core franchises. Games are evolving and the way people play them is changing. We had great launches for both FIFA and Madden, and the core story is dominated by live services that engage players over extended periods of time. Live service strength in Ultimate Team, The Sims 4, Apex Legends and FIFA Online drove performance significantly above last year. I’ll report our results on a GAAP basis, then use our operational measure of net bookings to discuss the dynamics of our business.
Looking at each of the components of this year’s digital — for this quarter’s digital net bookings in turn. Live service net bookings were up 50% year-on-year to $493 million, another new Q2 record. The increase was driven by Apex Legends; Ultimate Team in Madden, FIFA and NHL; the Sims 4; and FIFA Online, partially offset by the tail of Battlefield 1 DLC.
With regards to business drivers, we’ve raised our net bookings outlook for the year to $5.125 billion. Live services remain strong, and we continue to expect Apex Legends and The Sims to both deliver net bookings in the $300 million to $400 million range. We’re not passing through the full beat, primarily as the FX headwinds has increased significantly and we pushed NBA Live 20 and Respawn’s VR Medal of Honor title out of the year. Together, these headwinds amount for — to approximately $100 million against our original expectations for net bookings.
I’d like to expand on the view Andrew gave you into our fiscal 2021 slate. We’re doubling down on live services combined with our core franchises. We’re investing in Apex Legends as our shooter in fiscal 2021. We expect to drive growth in all of our major live services
next year, including Ultimate Team, Apex Legends, FIFA Online and The Sims. And we continue to grow our subscription business. We believe Apex growth will be driven in part by the continued expansion of content and by the launch of the service on new platforms, geographies and on mobile
Michael Joseph Olson – Piper Jaffray Companies
You guys talked a lot about what’s coming in fiscal ’21. I thought it might just be helpful to summarize fiscal ’21 and how you kind of comp incremental titles launching in fiscal ’20. So just kind of rattling through it: Growth for Apex Legends; FIFA Online in Asia will grow; Ultimate Team for both Madden and FIFA grow; Sims, I’m not sure if you are implying growth there or not; a new sports title, Command & Conquer, NBA Live, Gears of War VR, 2 new partner titles and maybe a couple of other titles that you can’t announce right now. Does that sounds correct? Or was there anything I missed or got incorrect?
Blake J. Jorgensen – Electronic Arts Inc. – COO & CFO
Yes. No, we were implying growth for the Sims as well. We’ve continued to grow that title every year for the — since it was shipped, what, 7 years ago and we feel that, that continues on. We’ve got a really robust plan for continued growth. And there may be some other remasters that we do along the Command & Conquer line that we just haven’t announced yet. But that — we believe all that yields a pretty exciting fiscal ’21. And
effectively, what we’re doing is giving you some guidance on fiscal ’22 knowing that a Battlefield is coming then.