It's easy to see how Electronic Arts could be facing a down quarter or even a down year, financial speaking. After all, Battlefield 2042 isn't doing too well. Not to mention, the wider video game industry, as a whole, is posting net negatives following record highs last year.
However, it appears that EA is bucking trends.
According to the publisher's Q1 FY23 earnings results, EA's net bookings (i.e. sales) exceeded its expectations at $1.3 billion. In total, Q1's net revenue was $1.77 billion. EA points out that this strong performance is due to the strength of the "FIFA franchise and the F1 22 launch."
More interestingly, EA CEO, Andrew Wilson, also shared how he thinks that "games are the social networks of the future."
Here's an excerpt of Wilson's statement as he praised the strong performance of EA's IPs in Q1 FY23:
Delivering games that fuel creativity -- where players can join, compete, and interact with each other, through social and immersive experiences -- is an exciting growth lever for Electronic Arts as we continue to expand and diversify our IP portfolio and build global online communities spanning more geographies.
As a whole, video games saw massive growth over the past two years as decades' worth of efforts and technological improvements all came to a head. Faster internet speeds, free-to-play games, cloud computing, and the fact that everyone carries a mini-console, means that more people than ever before have access to quality gaming content.
During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic as people physically distanced themselves from each other, the gaming industry brought everybody together. Video games gave everyone the opportunity to connect, have fun, and engage with each other. This isn't changing anytime soon. The basic human need to connect with others means that gaming will become even more of a social network.
In a way, we can look back on Wilson's words and consider them prophetic.
Speaking of EA, the publisher also shed light on its upcoming slate. The specifics are still in limbo, but EA effectively confirmed that the next Need for Speed will hit store shelves just in time for the holiday season. Also, it's all but guaranteed that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and Skate will come out on or before March.