EA recorded a loss of $276 million for the year ended March 31. This may sound like a large loss, but it is a considerable reduction from the $677 million lost in the previous year. Total sales stayed fairly static for the two years, with $3.589 billion worth of sales in the financial year just ended, compared to last year's $3.654 billion.
A large part of EA's trimmed losses can be attributed to a successful fourth quarter (January-March) which saw profits of $151 million compared to $30 million in the same period last year. This success can be attributed to the success of Dead Space 2, Dragon Age II and Crysis 2. Dead Space 2, in particular, enjoyed 40% higher sales than its predecessor did during a similar period. All three titles shipped more than 2 million units.
EA launched a total of seven titles during the fourth quarter, all of which shipped more than a million units each. $211 million of the revenue for the quarter was from digital distribution, up from $144 million for the previous year.
Highlights of the year included FIFA 11 shipping more than 12 million units in total, with the franchise generating over $100 million in digital revenue over the year. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 shipped over 7 million and Medal of Honor, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Madden 11 each sold over 5 million each.
EA is counting on the success of Battlefield 3 to energize its sales towards the end of the year -- and it looks like they might pull it off. The company said that Battlefield 3 pre-orders were up 700% on last year's Battlefield: Bad Company 2. But the company isn't going to get complacent -- they know the game has a significant rival in the form of the as-yet unannounced new Call of Duty title.
"We know we have a big competitor," said Frank Gibeau, President of EA Games. "But head-to-head with Call of Duty in Q3, we have the superior game engine, a superior development studio and a flat out superior game. Our goal is to significantly gain share in the huge FPS category and to put the other team on defense."
Fighting words. But will they be able to back it up with sales?
This article originally appeared on GamePro.com as EA Trims Losses