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More Bad News for EA

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Idahoan, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. Idahoan

    Idahoan Lore Master
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    Electronic Arts shares dive on weak outlook
    Electronic Arts loses less money but its outlook is below forecasts, sending stock down


    By Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer , On Monday February 8, 2010, 5:24 pm

    NEW YORK (AP) -- A disappointing outlook from Electronic Arts Inc. sent shares of the video game publisher sharply lower Monday, a sign that significant cost-cuts and layoffs have not ended the company's slump.

    The company, whose games include the popular "Madden" series and "Mass Effect 2," said Monday it narrowed its net loss in the last quarter even as game sales declined. It blamed the revenue falloff on having fewer titles than it did in the 2008 holiday period. EA also cited weak sales in Europe, which accounts for about a third of its revenue.

    The results for the October-December period were not a surprise, because EA had warned in January it would miss forecasts, leading analysts to lower their estimates.

    The company lost $82 million, 20 cents per share. In the same period a year earlier it lost $641 million, $2 per share.

    Revenue fell 25 percent to $1.24 billion.

    Accounting for deferred revenue in games with online components, EA earned 33 cents per share, down from 56 cents per share a year earlier. Analysts were expecting 31 cents, according to Thomson Reuters.

    But the company gave a forecast below Wall Street's expectations for the current quarter, even though it is launching several big-name titles during the period. And Chief Financial Officer Eric Brown said in an interview that "Mass Effect 2," the science-fiction epic that launched in late January, has sold 2 million copies so far. EA ran its first-ever Super Bowl ad Sunday to promote the upcoming "Dante's Inferno."

    For the fiscal fourth quarter ending March 31, EA is forecasting a profit of 2 cents to 6 cents per share on an adjusted basis, on revenue of $800 million to $850 million. This is below average analyst estimates of a profit of 13 cents per share on sales of $851 million.

    Shares of EA, which is based in Redwood City, Calif., fell $1.65, 9.4 percent, to $15.84 in extended trading after the earnings report.

    EA said in November it was cutting its work force by 17 percent, or 1,500 people, as it tries to align its business with transformations in the industry. Game development costs are skyrocketing, forcing publishers to sell blockbuster amounts of games to justify the expenses. In turn, EA is creating fewer games -- cutting out projects it is less certain can become big hits.

    Third-quarter operating costs declined 33 percent to $696 million.

    Besides lackluster sales and a decline in consumer spending, EA is also dealing with the changing ways people consume -- and pay for -- games.

    Instead of spending $60 on a shiny new disc, many people are playing free or cheap games online, on their mobile devices and on Facebook. They are spending a few dollars here and there to buy virtual add-ons for the games, or they are signing up for subscription-based online games.

    EA has been aggressive about such new revenue streams, and last year bought Playfish Inc., a maker of online social games, for $275 million. While digital content still is a small part of EA's business, the company's ability to master online gaming could determine the shape the company is in when game discs go the way of CDs.
     
  2. kelmo

    kelmo Old and in the way
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    Sounds like good news if they see the light and develope on line gaming more.
     
  3. Llwyd

    Llwyd Guest

    Might not be so bad for UO in the long-term. Hard to say at this point.
     
  4. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    Yea, maybe they'll send a "Just Kidding" notice and rehire the Devs they got rid of. :mad:
     
  5. DevilsOwn

    DevilsOwn Stratics Legend
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    none of this makes sense to me.... it's a good thing I was born, and stayed, poor

    after 12 years they're still not sure they've done that?
     
  6. Beastmaster

    Beastmaster Guest

    Nope. They thought one time they had mastered it, but apparently an untrained GM wiped it from the soulstone.
     
  7. Llwyd

    Llwyd Guest

    Hope is a good thing. *shrugs*
     
  8. Idahoan

    Idahoan Lore Master
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    Hopefully things will turn around. But in the world of finance, this usually is the lead in to more cuts in budgets to keep investors happy.

    Time will tell.
     
  9. Vyal

    Vyal Guest

    Mass Effect 2 is going to be nothing compared to Lost Planet 2,
    And madden is soon to be de crown'd by http://www.backbreakergame.com/
    Back Breaker using the Euphoria physics engine for everything http://www.naturalmotion.com/euphoria.htm.

    Sadly EA hasn't put anything new out, errrr anything ground breaking in years.
    Even Capcom has been making great games.

    [YOUTUBE]<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/F95Z2wkiUNs&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/F95Z2wkiUNs&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]

    [YOUTUBE]<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/IQEJIEtU3tQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/IQEJIEtU3tQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]
     
  10. Dolphoenix

    Dolphoenix Guest

    revenue of nearly a billion dollars. yep they're in trouble.
     
  11. Nok

    Nok Lore Master
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  12. Serine

    Serine Guest

    I think they should stay away from Online Games. Its very clear they cant handle it . Let people who can handle it do that stuff. Insted of EA buying up online games and completly ruin em ...
     
  13. Ahuaeyjnkxs

    Ahuaeyjnkxs stranger diamond

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    Is there people in the world really crazy enough to own EA shares ?!

    It's like buying a lada...
     
  14. Lord Gareth

    Lord Gareth UO Content Editor | UO Chesapeake & Rares News
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    Eh.... *Shrugs* I'll just keep doing what I've been doing. Not one to have speculation and worry over things I have no control over. (Unless I win the lottery and beg EA to sell me Ultima Online) LoL
     
  15. Lefty

    Lefty Lore Keeper
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    "Instead of spending $60 on a shiny new disc, many people are playing free or cheap games online, on their mobile devices and on Facebook. They are spending a few dollars here and there to buy virtual add-ons for the games, or they are signing up for subscription-based online games.

    EA has been aggressive about such new revenue streams, and last year bought Playfish Inc., a maker of online social games, for $275 million. While digital content still is a small part of EA's business, the company's ability to master online gaming could determine the shape the company is in when game discs go the way of CDs."

    *Shakes head" This is the same old song EA has been doing as far as I can remember. Just like Microsoft and Adobe did in the early days, buying up companies and products, however the latter two stopped and focused on developing , improving and supporting their end products. Ea doesn't do that. They rarely develop their own products, they axe a good portion of projects. They buy out a company hoping the product will give them a good RoR over time, they axe and liquidate the developers etc.

    However in today's economy the term of being to big to fail is now a proven Myth. EA has to realize they are not the biggest kid on the block and keeping on this path is sure to lead to total failure. They will learn even laying off a ton of employees will not save them and the end result will be them selling off assets sooner than later. I give them about 18-24 months.
     
  16. Idahoan

    Idahoan Lore Master
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    Yahoo Finance Daily Report - February 9, 2010

    Downgrades

    Electronic Arts (ERTS): Not a pretty picture for Electronic Arts, now Hold from Buy at Needham after earnings. Given the growth implicit in its current estimates, the broker no longer see enough upside in the shares over the next year to warrant recommending purchase.

    GameStop (GME): The stock gets a Neutral-from-Outperform cut at Credit Suisse, which lowers its price objective to $25 from $28. Negatives include continued aggressive pricing from Walmart (WMT), Amazon (AMZN), and others allied to signs that digital downloading is gaining more traction.
     
  17. Cetric

    Cetric Grand Inquisitor
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    The gameplay of that backbreaker game looks awesome, but until they get nfl/ncaa licensing, and take away the way the kicker looked like a linebacker...the players have abs, all the same size, etc, it won't dethrone madden.

    but the engine/game play, how it makes you find holes when running, etc. looks sick.
     
  18. Evlar

    Evlar Guest

    I've not played Lost Planet, though the link you posted of it does look impressive.

    Mass Effect 2 is actually what's occupying my time at the moment and for me, it's one of the best all-round games I've played in a long time. I am a bit of a sci-fi buff though, so like the settings and the story aspect of the game. ;)

    Personally, as far as games publishers go, I feel the biggest winners over the next few years will be the publishers who actually listen more to their customers. This is something EA seems to have lost touch with more and more.

    All the companies that have impregnated their games with DRM software have suffered. Look at the backlash from customers. For virtually every game for sale on Amazon, there's people posting asking not just "what's this game like?", but "does this have DRM... if so, I'm not buying it!". Many people feel that this has penalised the genuine customers far more so than the pirates... a quick look on any torrent site for the latest games will tell you how "well" DRM has managed to derail piracy...

    The actual worst response from any publisher when people have trouble with DRM is "well, we didn't create that software... someone else did... it isn't our fault..."

    There are a number of companies who have realised that piracy will (like it or not) always be around and they'll always figure a way around any copy protection... why make things more difficult for the genuine customers. Personally, I always prefer to have an original product, on a shiny disc, in a box, but there's products I've simply been turned off buying, because of the fury surrounding problems with the copy protection software.

    Another aspect is the inherent problem, mostly with the bigger publishers, of releasing games far before they're actually a finished product, resulting in countless patches and fixes. What if someone buys one of these "unfinished" games, has poor or no internet access, therefore their purchase remains "broken"? What rights do they have? All stitched up in the "Accept" blurb we scan over and tick the check-box when we install a game.

    People are more astute these days about what they buy. More people are reading reviews about products such as games and are more savvy with their hard earned cash. Voting with the wallet is a powerful thing, this is why some companies are "struggling". They listen and respond more, then they get the custom. They don't, then they don't at their peril.

    The current "market" isn't something that's just causing EA problems, it should cause others equal problems if that were solely the case. Many companies have actually seen a rise in profits. That's because in harder times, more people fall back on "home" entertainment of various types.

    Before using the easy excuse of "poor market conditions", perhaps EA should look at what others are doing, then take a look in the mirror...
     
  19. Sargon

    Sargon Seasoned Veteran
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    Maybe EA will eventually be forced to start selling off their assets and UO can be rescued? We can hope, can't we?
     
  20. Ahuaeyjnkxs

    Ahuaeyjnkxs stranger diamond

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    I dunno man... in the meantime I'm playing stuff like Heroes of might and magic and XCOM, these have incredible replay value and the graphics are just fine... I play the old versions...

    3d is meant for immersive virtual reality, 3d on a 2d screen I never liked much... it's wannabe..

    I'm 1996 I tried immersive virtual reality in disneyland or somewhere like that... it was honestly good and fun, and made you do exercise. I played for an hour and never even had the hint of a headache, it was market ready !

    Now we're 10 years later and they have nothing of the sort...

    If you ask me, this is completely absurd.
     
  21. lucitus

    lucitus UOEC Modder
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    The reason why UO lives and development is going on is because it profitable!

    It has a strong community over years and also it aims a group of people which in the middle ages, in work and have financial force.

    And really, we all know it, anything other like UO isnt really there?

    I think UO has enough potential to bring it back into the modern world, with KR a good step was created, but it wasnt finished. Now with the Enhanced client, a new fundament is beeing created, maybe in the future we can see high resoluted graphics and effects there, because it is easy now to intigrate it.

    Overall iam happy with UO and see a bright good future comming, the game is balanced, interesting and very complex! Iam looking forward to the next expansion ;)
     
  22. Ahuaeyjnkxs

    Ahuaeyjnkxs stranger diamond

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  23. RawHeadRex

    RawHeadRex Slightly Crazed
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    does jeff zucker run ea too ? :stir:
     
  24. Evlar

    Evlar Guest

    DosBox and the Xcom games (up to Apocalypse... anything else bearing the name afterwards was pants...) are a permanent fixture on my PC. :thumbup:
     
  25. Ahuaeyjnkxs

    Ahuaeyjnkxs stranger diamond

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    we should back engeneer a remake called XCOM : EA enemy Unknown.

    haha nothing personal folks... it just sounded funny
     
  26. Ahuaeyjnkxs

    Ahuaeyjnkxs stranger diamond

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    I wonder how much they gave him for UO...

    a 30 million trip to space... a 20 million house... he's building a second 30 million house...

    Just how much money Gariott has... it seems he prefers his house than us :confused: he even called it britannia

    [YOUTUBE]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/mM109_EbMcs&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/mM109_EbMcs&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]
     
  27. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    Just to clear up some mistaken ideas, EA bought Origin before UO was started. Making UO was part of the deal. Garriott didn't have the money to make UO without EA's involvement.

    Also, if you ever wondered why UO's shards were designed to hold 10,000 players total, and 3,000 simultaneous players online at one time, it was because EA's "experts" had determined that UO would only sell 10,000 copies max. But this was well above what the design team thought they'd get. EA actually asked them to increase the world size.

    According to Raph Koster (Designer Dragon), UO's original Lead Programmer, at first the UO team was off in a corner of a large building and separate from the rest of the EA programmers, left pretty much to themselves and ignored. People would ask them what they were working on, as if it was some sort of dead dog thing. Once the game started to garner lots of attention, more interest came from both the other EA employees and the EA execs too. And when the EA execs started to realize how big UO was going to be, that's when they started putting their fingers into it. This was both good and bad. They gave the UO developers a lot more assets to use, but also started getting involved. Which may or may not have been a good thing.

    Anyways, lots of people seem to be under the mistaken idea that EA bought UO, when actually they were very much a part of making UO a reality.
     
  28. Ezekiel Zane

    Ezekiel Zane Grand Inquisitor
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    That's pretty much been a constant over the years. Players and/or Stratics posters are always referring to some time when EA bought OSI and UO.
     
  29. Ahuaeyjnkxs

    Ahuaeyjnkxs stranger diamond

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    Thats because they did... regardless of who owned who before what and what not.

    :thumbdown:

    No money ?

    So what was the deal ?
     
  30. T'Challa

    T'Challa Certifiable
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    Trebr nailed it:

    LTR
     
  31. Ahuaeyjnkxs

    Ahuaeyjnkxs stranger diamond

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    Yeah but the nail covers the actual deal... :twak: