Electronic Arts made public its latest financial report yesterday, and, despite having a lot of new stuff to talk about — Star Wars: Squadrons, Rocket Arena, and the usual slew of yearly sports releases — it was a nearly two-year-old live game that garnered a significant portion of the praise.
In his prepared remarks, CEO Andrew Wilson called Apex Legends “a top global franchise with major year-over-year growth and continued expansion opportunities.” Specifically, the game is set to bring in a billion dollars in its first two years (it launched in February 2019), and COO/CFO Blake Jorgensen thinks the game “has the potential to grow to a billion dollars in net bookings every year.”
EA attributed this growth in part to its solid performance in Asia, where Japan is its second-largest market. The mobile version of Apex Legends will launch sometime in the next fiscal year (April 2021 to March 2022) and will help Jorgensen realize his billion-dollars-a-year dream.
Apex’s impact can also be seen on EA’s slideshow, page 11, titled “Extending Power of Live Services.” Its estimated net bookings in FY2021 look to be slightly higher than Madden Ultimate Team’s and The Sims 4’s, though all are dwarfed by FIFA Ultimate Team’s.
Notably, Star Wars: The Old Republic doesn’t make the chart at all. Comparing the two games’ performance on Steam (Apex Legends launched there just yesterday), that’s not too surprising, even if you take “new game boost” into consideration. SWTOR peaked at 27,416 players, while Apex’s current peak is 99,101, and it could exceed that over the weekend. With that kind of performance, there’s no reason to think it can’t meet Jorgensen’s lofty goals.