With perennially successful and revenue-generating franchises such as FIFA and Madden NFL under its belt, the EA Sports publishing label is by far EA’s biggest source of revenue. As things stand right now, EA Sports reaches an audience of about 230 million players worldwide, but the company has ambitions for significant growth in the coming few years.
Speaking in an interview with Axios, EA Sports general manager Daryl Holt said that in the next five years, EA Sports is looking to expand its audience to 500 million players, more than double the current figure, and that it plans to do that by expanding into “new business models, new geographies.” The company is looking to deliver “a sustained offering of sports gaming content to players around the clock,” according to Axios’ report.
“We’re creating very much a social aspect and social networks within our games,” says Holt.
As for NBA, EA brought the NBA Live line of games to a halt in 2019, stating back then that it was working on a rework of the franchise, and Holt says that work is continuing. “We’ve got some next-generation HD basketball projects that we have been talking about and designing and working on,” he said.
Meanwhile, with Konami recently having rebranded its long-running Pro Evolution Soccer series as eFootball, an ongoing free-to-play live service platform, could EA adopt that approach with its own annual franchises anytime soon? Holt says that though the annual release cycles for these games isn’t going to be dropped anytime soon, EA is still going to keep an eye on that business model to see if it can be adopted in the future.
“I think it is an evolution that is happening around the gaming industry in different ways,” he said. “How we unlock the big beat of sports into that type of a service, I think we’ll see over the course of the future.”
While FIFA, Madden NFL, NHL, and UFC games continue to be successful for EA Sports, the company is looking to expand and improve in other areas as well. With the recent acquisition of Codemasters, F1 has, of course, been brought under the EA Sports label, while EA’s recent acquisition of mobile games developer Playdemic also signifies the company’s intent to drive growth in the mobile space.