Electronic Arts (EA - Free Report) is trying to lure away gamers from Fortnite by including a battle royale (BR) game mode in the highly anticipated game, Battlefield V that is set to release on Oct 19.
In a similar move, last month EA’s biggest rival Activision Blizzard (ATVI - Free Report) announced a BR mode called Blackout in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 that is set to release on Oct 12.
Notably, Fortnite is a free game that has been played by more than 45 million people worldwide. In September 2017, Epic Games introduced a BR mode for Fortnite on computers and gaming consoles. According to Superdata, Fortnite generated $296 million in sales in April, up from $223 million in March.
We believe given the tremendous success of BR, the addition of the mode in Battlefield will help the company boost competitiveness.
Shares of EA have returned 31.2% on a year-to-date basis compared withthe industry’s rally of 17.8%.
Battlefield — Key Growth Driver
Battlefield is one of the biggest growth drivers for EA. In the last reported quarter, EA’s digital revenues, which accounted for 70% of total revenues, increased 18% to $1.102 billion. The increase was driven by Battlefield 1 along with Ultimate Team and Madden NFL 18.
On the last conference call, management noted that Battlefield remains a fan favorite even after years of launch with more than 54 million players to date.
EA is also expected to increase engagement by doing away with loot boxes or premium pass in the new Battlefield title. We note that last year the introduction of loot boxes wreaked havoc on Star Wars Battlefront 2 by generating significant negative response.
Moreover, the company is also set to hold its first Battlefield competition in fiscal 2019.
Other Upcoming Releases
EA’s popularity is primarily driven by its well-known franchises, which will continue to fuel top- line growth. EA SPORTS titles FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA Live, NHL, and UFC, along with Battlefield, Titanfall and Star Wars are some of its biggest franchises.
EA’s NBA LIVE 19 will be launched worldwide on Sony’s (SNE - Free Report) PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s (MSFT - Free Report) Xbox One on Sep 7.
Madden NFL 19 is also set to release on PC along with the console versions on Aug 10. The last Madden game to be launched on PC was Madden NFL 08 (2017). The company is thus making the PC version of the series after more than a decade.
The company recently announced that UEFA Champions League is coming to EA SPORTS FIFA 19. Moreover, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup will also be integrated. FIFA 19 will be available globally on consoles and PCs from Sep 28.
EA’s much awaited game Anthem will be released on PC, PS 4 and Xbox One on Feb 22, 2019.
EA currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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