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Electronic Arts Inc. (EA)

  • Jul. 19, 2013, 2:00 PM
    Electronic Arts (EA +0.6%) plans to keep making college football games ... even if they lack the NCAA's official blessing. Two days after the NCAA announced EA's just-released NCAA Football 2014 will be the last title "to include the NCAA's name and logo," Joystiq reports EA recently struck a 3-year extension with the Collegiate Licensing Company, which handles trademark licensing for individual colleges. The extension is said to be non-exclusive; a settlement proposed by EA last year to a class-action suit over its exclusive sports licensing deals prohibits NCAA exclusivity.
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  • Jul. 17, 2013, 3:54 PM
    The NCAA has decided not to renew its game licensing deal with EA Sports (EA -1.6%); the organization says NCAA Football 2014 (released this month) will be the last game "to include the NCAA’s name and logo." The decision comes amidst an antitrust suit pursued by former players (led by UCLA grad Ed O'Bannon) over the use of their names and likeness in NCAA games. EA shares have dipped on the news.
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  • Jul. 2, 2013, 5:16 PM
    Electronic Arts (EA) extends its partnership with toy/board game giant Hasbro (HAS). EA, which has already created games based on Hasbro franchises such as Monopoly, Scrabble, and The Game of Life, will "develop several of Hasbro's best-selling gaming brands for mobile platforms globally" in a new 4-year deal. Meanwhile, Wedbush says it believes Microsoft Xbox division chief and former EA studios head Don Mattrick, who just agreed to be Zynga's CEO, was "the front-runner for the EA job as well."  The firm thinks EA is now "back to square one in its search," and will likely choose between COO Peter Moore and EVP Frank Gibeau. (Hasbro/Zynga deal)
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  • Jun. 14, 2013, 5:21 PM
    iOS 7 (AAPL) comes with specs enabling game controllers to interact with iDevices, according to a developer doc seen by the WSJ. Though the doc says controllers "must not be required" for a game to work, it's still likely music to the ears of game developers (EA, ATVI, TTWO, GLUU), who have both been trying to profit from tremendous mobile gameplay growth, and struggling to get users to pay up-front (as opposed to downloading free-to-play titles). The report comes a month after Tim Cook said Apple will give developers more options to customize iOS, and days after IDC and App Annie predicted mobile game revenue will top $12B this year. Nvidia (NVDA) is trying to kick-start controller-based Android gaming via its Shield console.
  • Jun. 12, 2013, 1:08 PM
    Electronic Arts (EA -1.8%) reiterates its FY14 (ends March '14) guidance of $4B (matches a $4B consensus) during its analyst day. EA, which is intent on narrowing its focus, also projects its title launch count will drop from 46 in FY12 (24 mobile) to 31 in FY13 (18 mobile) and 25 in FY14 (14 mobile). Opex is expected to decline to 53% of revenue in FY14 from 56% in FY13, and gross margin is seen holding steady at 66%. After soaring 35% in FY13 to $1.66B, "digital" revenue is seen growing slightly to $1.7B in FY14. Also: EA says it now cares more about a game's lifetime ARPU than up-front sales, and hints FIFA 14 will be free-to-play on mobile. (presentation)
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  • Jun. 11, 2013, 10:17 AM
    Take-Two (TTWO +2.7%) rallies after canceling investor meetings scheduled for today; the company says it isn't due to news about products or financial results. Wedbush thinks the game developer (12%-owned by Carl Icahn) could announce a redemption of convertible notes, and thereby remove 12.9M shares from its diluted count. Rival Electronic Arts (EA +1.2%) is also higher on a down day, after unleashing a torrent of game announcements at yesterday's E3 event.
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  • Jun. 10, 2013, 5:44 PM
    Electronic Arts (EA) made the most of its E3 conference press event. Among other things, the gaming giant announced: 1) Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, a 3rd-person shooter title based on its popular line of mobile tower defense games. 2) A sequel to parkour game Mirror's Edge. 3) FIFA 14 will feature better A.I. and more precise movements. 4) Madden NFL 25 will ship for the PS4 and Xbox One. 5) A new title for the Star Wars: Battlefront series is in development.  6) A demo for Battlefield 4 that shows off "the ability to call-in artillery and tactical support using a tablet." (live blog)
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  • Jun. 4, 2013, 4:18 PM
    Zynga's (ZNGA +2%) job cuts don't go far enough, thinks Sterne Agee's Arvind Bhatia. Whereas Zynga generated $893M in 2010 billings with a headcount of 1,483, Bhatia estimates the social gaming leader will have 2,400 employees and a $750M-$800M/year billings run rate once its layoffs are finished. Meanwhile, Pando Daily's Kevin Kelleher argues Zynga is the victim of an "attention-deficit economy" in which consumers "constantly crave the new." Moreover, "casual and mobile games remain a gamble that is better suited to small, nimble startups rather than a publicly traded giant." Will console gaming giants (EA, ATVI, TTWO) have better luck navigating this landscape?
  • May. 21, 2013, 1:39 PM
    More on the Xbox One: The device has a Blu-ray player, and is said to be "practically silent" when running. A new Kinect sensor is being bundled with the console (JDSU a likely supplier): its camera, color depth, and motion-sensing abilities are improved, and voice is said to be more "conversational." Xbox SmartGlass mobile apps are integrated with the One, interactive TV content is paired with shows, and a "snap mode" shows multiple apps a once. Electronic Arts (EA) is promising to launch titles from 4 sports franchises - FIFA, Madden, NBA Live, and UFC - in the next 12 months, aided by a new gaming engine. (live blog)
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  • May. 17, 2013, 5:42 PM
    After-hours top gainers, as of 5:15 p.m.: GAIA +7.6%. ADK +6.4%. PATH +5.3%. GST +4.2%. DQ +3.3%.
    After-hours top losers: DATA -5.1%. QEP -3.8%. CPRT -3.8%. RPAI -3.6%. EA -2.3%.
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  • May. 17, 2013, 5:04 PM
    GameStop (GME +4.5%) closed with a big gain after NPD reported U.S. physical retail video game sales fell 17% Y/Y in April, better than some feared; they fell 1% in March, and 27% in Feb. Hardware sales fell 42%, as gamers wait for this fall's launches. Total industry physical retail sales fell 25%; as Electronic Arts (EA +0.9%) and Activision's (ATVI +0.5%) latest results show, such sales make up a declining portion of industry revenue. Take-Two's (TTWO +1.9%) Bioshock: Infinite and NBA 2K13 were the month's 3rd and 7th-most popular titles, and Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Skylanders Giants were #4 and #8.
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  • May. 16, 2013, 6:29 PM
    Electronic Arts (EA) roundup: 1) Denise Warren, the NYT's digital chief, is replacing Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei on EA's board. 2) EA is killing off its Online Pass program, which drew the ire of many gamers due to the fees it charged to enable online features when playing a game for the first time on a console. 3) EA has opened an L.A. studio to develop the Star Wars games that will flow from its recent deal with Disney. 4) EA is working on a mobile version of its Frostbite game engine, used in Battlefield, Need for Speed, and Medal of Honor titles (among others).
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  • May. 16, 2013, 5:41 PM
    After-hours top gainers, as of 5:15 p.m.: SINA +4.7%. EA +2.7%. NBG +2.5%. AKAM +2.4%. DYAX +2.4%.
    After-hours top losers: ARUN -13.7%. ADSK -5.2%. BRCD -4.9%. JWN -3.5%. EGLE -2.4%.
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  • May. 9, 2013, 7:10 PM
    Electronic Arts (EA) has indeed cut 10% of its workforce (~900 jobs) since reports of job cuts emerged on April 25. The cuts are likely a big reason why the FY14 EPS guidance provided by EA was (much to the Street's approval) above consensus even as revenue guidance was below. Is EA taking Mitch Lasky's advice? In March, the VC argued EA Games "has been pretty undisciplined about product selection, cost control and marketing spend," and that (along with a stronger focus on mobile, online, and free-to-play gaming) "a lot of hard, cost-cutting work" is needed for EA to return to glory.
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  • May. 8, 2013, 5:42 PM
    Activision (ATVI) -6.3% AH after providing light guidance to go with a Q1 beat. A 1.3M Q/Q drop in World of Warcraft subs to 8.3M is likely troubling investors. Online subscription sales (WoW and Call of Duty Elite) fell 9% Y/Y made up 28% of revenue, down from Q1 2012's 43%. But console game sales +85% and 31% of revenue (23% prior). PC game sales (led by StarCraft II and Diablo III) +384% and 15% of revenue (4% prior), and Other sales (inc. handheld/mobile and Skylanders toys) +39% and still 19% of revenue. Digital channels made up 53% of sales vs. 44% a year ago. Electronic Arts (EA) -1.4% after rising 17.1% thanks to its FQ4 report. (PR)
  • May. 8, 2013, 12:53 PM
    Midday top 10 gainers: TRMD +68%. SYNM +35%. AFFY +35%. ALXA +25%. CSPI +21%. PSE +21%. NBG +20%. WBMD +18%. SCOK +17%. EA +16%.
    Midday top 10 losers: FIO -25%. OCLR -23%. LIOX -18%. VCLK -17%. AXLL -16%. OCLS -15%. BTH -15%. SALM -13%. ACFC -12%. SNTA -12%.
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Company Description
Electronic Arts Inc develops, markets, publishes and distributes video game software and content that can be played by consumers on various platforms.