Titanfall is on the final stretch towards its release on March 11thm and Electronic Arts executives are pumped for the opportunity presented by the new IP. During yesterday’s earnings call Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson, Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen and Chief Operative Officer Peter Moore expressed their enthusiasm and explained more about the ins and outs of the exclusive deal with Microsoft.
Wilson was definitely very flattering in his praise of the game and the studio behind it:
We’re all incredibly excited for the arrival of Titanfall on March 11th. Our partners at Respawn Entertainment are now putting the finishing touches on this highly anticipated title for Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. This is a spectacularly innovative game and a true achievement by the team at Respawn.
Later in the call Wilson also mentioned that the company is “incredibly excited” (apparently he loves to say that) to partner with the “experienced world-class teams” at Microsoft and Respawn, adding that they’re receiving great results from the alpha testing. They’re also looking forward to see the reaction of gamers in march.
Jorgensen reiterated the company’s excitement (there was a lot of excitement involved) for the game and mentioned that Respawn has done an “amazing job” with it. He also admitted that being Xbox and PC exclusive makes it smaller as an overall product, but Electronic Arts expects it to bring sizable earnings even in fiscal year 2015. According to Jorgensen, earnings brought by the game at the end of this fiscal year are just the “starting point,” and will continue next year as more and more gamers will buy a Xbox one or will play the game on Xbox 360 and PC.
Jorgensen continued by explaining that the decision to go exclusive was made “a few years ago,” based on forecasts from the time on where Electronic Arts thought PlayStation and Xbox would be today. He also mentioned that they’re still “very comfortable” with that.
The decision of going exclusive has been defined as “economically neutral” as the expenses for the development of the game were diluted during development as Electronic arts does with all its research and development. The product will be “fairly high margin” for the company until it will start sharing royalties with Respawn, which won’t happen until the next fiscal year. That will reduce the profitability over time, but Electronic Arts anticipates initial sales that will make the whole business “fairly profitable.”
Peter Moore also mentioned that Titanfall can easily coexist with Battlefield 4, and while the company hasn’t talked in detail about the digital strategy for the game, both will be “incremental and accretive” to EA’s earnings in fiscal year 2015. Wilson also expects “a lot of online engagement” around the game’s multiplayer and extra content is already being planned, but he mentioned that the nature of the live service will evolve over time as the publisher will gauge the evolution of the player base through the year.