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EA reports income drop for fourth fiscal quarter but jump for the year

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Electronic Arts reported its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results today, showing a 19 percent drop in net income for the fourth fiscal quarter, but a 28.9 percent jump in net income for its 2013 fiscal year.

The earnings report covers EA's fourth quarter — the three-month period that ended March 31 — as well as its entire 2013 fiscal year, which ran from April 1, 2012, through March 31, 2013.

EA's net revenue was down in both the fourth quarter (by 11.6 percent, from $1.37 billion to $1.21 billion) and the full year (by 8.4 percent, from $4.14 billion to $3.80 billion). But net income for the full year was up 28.9 percent, from $76 million for 2012 to $98 million for 2013.

The increase appears to have resulted in large part from a rise in digital revenue, and from the continued success of EA's FIFA Soccer and Battlefield franchises. Net digital revenue for the fourth quarter came in at $453 million, an 8.1 percent jump from the $419 million the company brought in a year ago. That included a 22.7 percent year-over-year increase in revenue from mobile and handheld titles, from $88 million to $108 million — according to EA, it was the world's top publisher on iOS for the fiscal year.

Battlefield Premium, the $50 season pass for Battlefield 3's five expansions, brought in $120 million of revenue on a non-GAAP basis through the end of the fiscal year. And FIFA 13 was a major hit for EA. The company has sold more than 14.5 million copies since the game's launch in late September 2012, an increase of about 30 percent over the sales numbers for FIFA 12 during the same period.

Digital revenue from FIFA 13, which includes revenue from the phenomenally successful FIFA Ultimate Team mode, was north of $200 million on a non-GAAP basis, an increase of about 94 percent over FIFA 12 in the same period. Total digital revenue for the entire FIFA franchise — which also covers FIFA Online (an MMO in Asian markets) and FIFA World Class Soccer (a social game on GREE in Japan) — came in at nearly $350 million on a non-GAAP basis.

EA's fourth fiscal quarter also saw major restructuring within the company that resulted in hundreds of layoffs, according to Polygon's sources, as well as in the shutdown of two studios — PopCap Vancouver and Quicklime Games (formerly EA Black Box) — and the EA Partners publishing program.

EA is expected to go into further detail during an investor call this afternoon.

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