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EA beats revenue expectations with Titanfall, Battlefield, FIFA and digital sales (update)

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Electronic Arts performed slightly better than company officials expected for both the fourth quarter of its 2014 fiscal year and the full year, the publisher announced today.

Net revenue for the quarter ending March 31 came in at more than $1.12 billion, which was down 7.1 percent year over year but nearly 5 percent better than EA's guidance of $1.07 billion. For the full year ending March 31, EA tallied net revenue of $3.58 billion — 5.85 percent below the 2013 fiscal year, but 1.56 percent ahead of the company's expectations.

"While navigating through a year of tremendous change in the industry, which included a challenging console transition, we were able to exceed revenue guidance, lower our operating expenses, double operating cash flows and invest in new products and services for the future," said Blake Jorgensen, EA's chief financial officer, in an investor release today.

Three games led that performance, according to EA. Respawn Entertainment's Titanfall, EA DICE's Battlefield 4 and EA Canada's FIFA 14 are three of the five best-selling titles in the West across all platforms in 2014 so far; the publisher did not provide specific sales numbers. Digital net revenue came in at $491 million for the fourth quarter and $1.83 billion for the full year. Those figures include revenue from Madden Ultimate Team, which jumped 90 percent year over year.

EA is expected to provide further detail on its financial performance during an earnings call later this afternoon.

Update: During the investor call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson mentioned that among the games in development across the publisher's studios are "new titles from BioWare and Criterion." He added, "Through a new publishing agreement, we'll be working with Respawn to bring new Titanfall experiences to players worldwide." EA's previous deal with Respawn kept the original Titanfall exclusive to Xbox platforms and Windows PC.