EA cuts revenue outlook after poor ‘Battlefield’ sales, shares slide

February 5, 2019

(Reuters) – Electronic Arts lowered its revenue outlook on Tuesday, hit by lackluster sales of its newly launched “Battlefield V” title which faces stiff competition from “Red Dead Redemption” and upstart online games like “Fortnite.”

Shares of EA slid 9 percent in after-hours trading following the news.

The videogame maker cut its projections for full-year adjusted revenue to about $4.75 billion from $5.20 billion and said it had faced a challenging third quarter.

“The video game industry continues to grow through a year of intense competition and transformational change,” Chief Executive Andrew Wilson said in a statement. “Q3 was a difficult quarter for Electronic Arts and we did not perform to our expectations.”

Redwood City, California-based EA owns iconic franchises such as “Battlefield” and “FIFA,” but the sudden rise of online, often free-to-play games such as “Fortnite” have challenged the dominance of traditional game publishers like EA, Activision Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.

Epic Games launched a popular “battle royale” mode for “Fortnite” in September last year, allowing up to 100 online players to battle each other to the death until only one survives.

During December, EA’s “Battlefield V” finished behind Activision’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” and Take-Two’s “Red Dead Redemption 2” in terms of dollar sales, according to market research firm NPD.

For the third quarter that ended in December, EA reported adjusted revenue of $1.61 billion, well below Wall Street analysts’ average estimate of $1.75 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

(Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)