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    SimCity sold 1.6 million copies according to EA

    Electronic Arts Inc. today announced preliminary financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter and fiscal year ended March 31, 2013.

    SimCity sold through over 1.6 million units since launching in March, with approximately 50% of sales in the form of digital downloads.


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    hahahaha that made me laugh thanks for that. I like to know the numbers for how many complaints you got and how many people wanted to take the game back.

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    Shame they couldn't get more people to Pre-order BF4, I'm sure people WANT another FPS game... And SC13 isn't going to get more sales unless they put up more ads, and that probably is going to happen.

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    Interesting that the quarterly earnings per share is down slightly.  For the benefit of those who haven't an accounting background:

     

    GAAP := Generally Accepted Accounting Principles

     

    It is an interesting set of window dressing, but I'll wait for the annual report.

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    I don't know how many copies SimCity 4 sold, but SimCity 3000 sold more than 5 million copies (Source) and i believe it was the best-selling SimCity game.

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    Do they count cancelled orders as well?

    Very likely.  Refunds, etc. are a separate part of the ledger.  That is part of what I meant by window dressing.

     

    Every do any Financial Statement Analysis?  You'd be surprised what a semantic/forensic analysis will do to a company's numbers unless their auditors are really good.

     

    In EAs case, it should be somebody like Price-Waterhouse.  Although an IRS audit would be a good idea, too.

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    Again, following on from ANM:

     

    I ignore non-GAAP stuff because it's too confusing, and usually is a bit of porcine makeup where a company tries to present a better picture. Here's some thoughts:

     

    Revenue is DOWN on last year by about $450million. There is a shift from PRODUCT (games, I assume) to SERVICE (subscriptions, mobile stuff, I am not too sure) the latter is now over 25% of all income.

    SERVICE gives better margins, as in more $ in "profit" from each $ a customer hands over.

    It removed about $100M of marketing from last year - down to just below $800M. This saving flowed through to its profit line, which is improved by about $100M. So the costs of the business, and most of these will be "fixed" (not easily controlled in the short term) have dropped.

    It pays a few other things and some taxes too to leave nearly $100M in profit for the year. This is close to last year because of tax; last year it had a "refund" this year it had to pay some.

    Despite all that its cash at the bank only went up by $1M - so why is that? How could it have $100M in "profit" but only $1M more cash in the bank?

    Well, it did some share (stock) buybacks, bought (and sold) some investments, and made a few capital purchases.

     

    Most interesting, to me, is the shift towards "service".

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    Most interesting, to me, is the shift towards "service".

     

    2-3 years ago, around the time that Origin.com started to come together (Origin launched in mid-2011), they announced an emphasis on larger, yet fewer games (basically sticking to the more profitable games and ditching games/franchises that aren't as profitable) and games as services.  If you read through Linked In, you'll find a lot of EA developers talk about the software as services stuff in their resumes/experience.

     

    SimCity is a part of that "larger, yet fewer games" as well as the software as services aspect.  SimCity is, for all intents and purposes, a service - if they stop the service, we lose access to our DLC and more importantly, to our cities.  It may not be a service where we pay monthly fees, or yearly fees for that matter, but it is a service, since we can't play without the online aspect.

     

    In theory, they could sell us a SimCity 2014 or 2015 and then end-of-life SimCity 2013, and few would complain as long as SC 2014 or 2015 would keep our 2013 cities around (and there is no reason why EA wouldn't do this).

     

    They are not alone - Adobe is moving to software as a service, and ditching sales of their stand-alone software in favor of subscriptions.  Microsoft is flirting with it.

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    They are not alone - Adobe is moving to software as a service, and ditching sales of their stand-alone software in favor of subscriptions.  Microsoft is flirting with it.

     

    You know, I would understand if Adobe, Autodesk and Microsoft use the service model (Especially Autodesk). Their products really aren't within reach of most people anyway. I mean, of course, I'd like to own the product, but if it costs more than a computer, I would pass it. It also doesn't help that a new version would come out in the short term, but we all know it's just a few new features anyway (reminds me of Call of Duty =P). Paying for full price for the same product with a few more added features just seems too much. So yeah, a subscription model would work here if it means saving hundreds or thousands of dollars.

     

    EA games as a service is another thing. It's not useful like productivity software. And the fact that they can shut down a service, why would I want to glue myself to that?

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    1.6 mil sold, but I wonder how many of those people are still playing this game..

     

    I'm interested as I am one of the people whom stopped playing it altogether and uninstalled it..

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    The switch to service orientation reminds me of the unbundling process in the 1980s.  There was a time when you purchased a computer and it was a unitary thing.  You didn't have to worry about components like cables as the cables were bundled with each unit.

     

    Then they decided to unbundle software as well. so what you got was naked hardware and software purchase, even of the operating system because necessary.

     

    We are changing over from a product oriented society to a service oriented one.  So what is happening with software vendors is part of the existing trend.  It is a kind of growing pain at the moment.

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    I play  the SimCity, and they have to do patch  call 3.0 now the game is runny very awful  and they don't care for people like me that  play the  private region  aka  " Sandbox-mode " The Sandbox-mode is not  big at all and I know they can  increase map size  and the worse  thing about it is Bus HQ only give you 24 city bus and all my sim are mad about Buss, Not enough to keep up with demon ... I miss SimCity 4, someday I will make a game like SimCity 4..

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    1.6 mil sold, but I wonder how many of those people are still playing this game..

     

    I'm interested as I am one of the people whom stopped playing it altogether and uninstalled it..

    Since there is no official number we have some samples of others .... (Xfire)

     

    Mar_April

    QUEDASCXFIRE%2520only.jpg

     

    April_May

    QUEDASCXFIRE07-05%2520-%2520only.jpg

     

     

    Namely addition to the reduction of players (642-392) is still the reduction of the average number of hours played 2.4 to 1.9 hrs.
     
    Despite being a small sample is a real picture of what is seen elsewhere... ie the interest this going downhill.

     

     
    At least served to attract a greater interest in SC4

    Q_XFIRE%2520SC4%2520ONLY.jpg

     

    source:http://www.xfire.com/games

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    Pre-orders and day one buys made this quarter look good. I recall about 1.2 million sales in the first week or two. Since then, not so much.

     

    In addition to that the $60 price tag is down to ~$30 at most places so EA is making less with each sale now... and the product still isn't really moving. Note there wasn't a profit listed for SimCity in their financials like some of their other games.

     

    Bottom line, this was a textbook example of what not to do with an existing IP that will be taught in business classes for some time to come. The anecdotal evidence seems to indicate EA will take a bigger hit to their reputation, and profits than they admit (or perhaps realize.)

     

    Most people still want to buy and own their games, actual MMO's aside of course. And even MMOs are losing players as pay-to-play-pay-to-win replaces a work-reward model. The game service/rental business model is a niche market, hopefully EA isn't betting their future on it.

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    1.6 million copies did not go to consumers. Although 50% they say went to digitial download, most of it is still on store shelves and in deep cavernous warehouses. Retailers and distributers are urged to buy a certain amount of games in order for game publishers to reach thier quota. Trivia: When games  go down in price, Major retailers and distributors get refunded the difference so they don't lose money.

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