Although the final fiscal year tally is three months away, today's quarterly results are big because of the holiday season. For the quarter that ended December 31, EA's net revenue came in at US $1.4 billion, actually a 3% decline on last year. They had a dozen titles sell over a million copies during the quarter, bringing the number of platinum sellers in the year to 27. Need For Speed Underground 2, released just two months ago, has sold more than 8 million copies alone. Final year-end figures in March are expected to come in around $3.3 billion, which would represent a 10% total increase compared to 2003. Complete figures can be found here.
In related news, to counter EA's recent exclusivity deals with the NFL and other sports authorities, Take Two has succeeded in signing a seven year exclusivity agreement with the MLB players union. Although there are some exceptions, this could essentially shut down EA's MVP baseball franchise beginning in 2006. GameSpot is carrying a story where EA's response calls this a "stupid money" expense. The recent flurry of sports exclusivity agreements would seem to be bad for the consumers, though each company's announcements have said exactly the opposite. Sega has sold off its Visual Concepts developer to Take 2 now, as it seems they are exiting the primary sports game business. EA also announced this morning they have completed an acquisition of Digital Illusions of Battlefield fame.