EA Backing Away From Social And Facebook Gaming

by Mike Futter on Jul 23, 2013 at 12:13 PM

EA confirmed what has been suspected given recent cuts to staffing and game offerings. On the company's second quarter earnings call, a shift away from social and Facebook was stated outright.

"We're still active on Facebook and participate there," said president of EA labels Frank Gibeau. "Our focus over the next couple of years is console and mobile, though."

The push for mobile was reiterated multiple times, as it was revealed that Apple was EA's biggest retail partner for the first time. Simpsons Tapped Out, now in its second year, saw 5.9 million users with the last update. 

Sims Free Play on iOS and Android was in the top 10 highest growing titles in the United States and the UK. Real Racing 3 continues to get updates, most recently with Mercedes Benz and Bentley vehicles being added.

As we reported earlier, Plants Vs. Zombies 2 will arrive before the end of this quarter (August 31, 2013). It is currently out in New Zealand and Australia where it has rocketed to the top of the free-to-play charts in both markets.


Our Take
I predicted last quarter that EA was moving away from social gaming, especially as it slashed offerings of recent acquisition Playfish. Three of the company's titles were wound down, making the $300 million acquisition of the company a folly.

Mobile is still hot for EA, but it also has stepped back its shotgun approach in that market. Battlefield 4 and FIFA are two of the tentpole titles on which EA execs are pinning financial guidance. 

It's important to note that as important as Battlefield 3 Premium was to EA's financials over the life of that title, no announcements have been made yet about a season pass or extended monetization strategy. That said, I have no doubt it's going to happen. It's just a matter of what form it will take.