The gaming service nobody asked for and the one that Valve Co-founder Gabe Newell believes isn’t doing anything new or “super well” yet is making money for Electronic Arts. During an investor’s call yesterday and as reported in EA’s SEC filings, some interesting numbers were shared regarding Origin and its flagship game, Battlefield 3.
Among the information shared, several new games were confirmed, including a new Dead Space coming within the fiscal year, another Need For Speed coming this fall, a new version of Bejeweled and several more Play4Free games which have been earning the company an average of $2 million per week.
In regards to Battlefield 3, which was the first major game to launch with Origin, both it and the required service offered impressive numbers for the publisher as well. Take a look at the key statements we pulled from EA’s Q4 FY12 and FY12 financial results:
- Battlefield 3 had a record year, establishing itself as one of EA’s premier game services and in the process successfully took share in the growing First-Person-Shooter market.
- Battlefield 3 players are still deeply engaged — 6.3 million MAUs in March. New content downloads available in May and June.
- EA’s Origin platform for games and services has registered 11 million players and generated approximately $150 million* in just ten months. EA’s Nucleus database has registered 220 million consumers.
“MAU” stands for Monthly Active Users, but we don’t know if that counts users who login just once. Still, 6.3 million separate users within the month of March is impressive and it shows that Battlefield 3 is a legitimate competitor to Activision’s Call of Duty franchise and that with future installments (Battlefield 4 or Bad Company 3), they can expect a larger player base. There’s also of course, DLC on the way for Battlefield 3, the first of three packs which releases in June.
As for Origin’s 11 million players, this is a number that skeptics and non-fans of the service will be quick to call out. The only reason Origin has players is because EA forcefully required players to use it in order to play Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, Star Wars: The Old Republic, etc., even if players purchased the games at retail.
That, combined with the lack of innovation versus what the popular Steam service on PC already offers, makes it a frequent hot topic of controversy among some of the PC gaming crowd. It’s also rumored that Nintendo’s Wii successor, currently dubbed the Wii U, will utilize Origin as its primary digital distribution service – and that will be huge for EA if true, considering that ALL Nintendo first-party games will be available at retail and through digital download. Origin is young but it will continue to grow both from a service standpoint and from its customer base.
If you are an Origin user, EA wants your feedback.
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.