EA had a good quarter, and Mass Effect was a key factor


But it wasn’t necessarily a success

Mass Effect: Andromedahas had a tough year. It launched to a tepid reception from both consumers and critics. It had technical and tonal issues. Word got out that there was a very strained development process. It was enough that EA eventually decided to shelve the series for the foreseeable future.

Despite all of this, EA is praising Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s performance with regard to the way it affected the bottom line. In EA’s first quarter 2017 prepared comments to investors, CFO Blake Jorgensen states that net sales were $775 million — up $93 million over the same quarter in 2016 and $25 million above expectations. He explains this by saying “Year-on-year growth was driven by the Mass Effect: Andromedasales captured in the quarter and by FIFA.

Jorgensen also mentions that digital sales set a new first quarter record for EA. Digital sales brought in a revenue stream of $681 million which is up $93 million on Q1 2016. Additionally, full game downloads increased 32 percent with a revenue total of $111 million. Mass Effect: Andromedawas cited as a key source in growing both of these areas.

But, to be perfectly fair, Mass Effect: Andromedawas destined to represent year-over-year growth for EA. That’s because EA’s major first quarter releases in 2016 were UFC 2, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2(although that actually launched at the tail-end of the fourth quarter). Andromedawas going to dwarf those other games based on name alone.

EA doesn’t make any concrete mention of how Mass Effect: Andromedaperformed. There’s nothing about whether it was profitable or how many units it moved or how it did compared to EA’s expectations. There’s only vague comment about how it positively influenced specific segments. That alone is telling. Mass Effect: Andromedawas good enough to contribute to a solid quarter in a meaningful way, but it wasn’t good enough to warrant more Mass Effectin the near future.

Electronic Arts Prepared Comments [Electronic Arts]