Battlefield 2021 or Battlefield 6 Release Date

It looks like we are going to be able to get our grubby hands on the latest installment in the Battlefield series later this year. Specifically “the holiday period”.

The details can be found in PDF linked here.

If you don’t wanna click on the PDF, there is text of the article.
Prepared remarks
Q2 Fiscal 2021
ELECTRONIC ARTS PREPARED REMARKS FY21Q2
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CHRIS:
Thank you.
Welcome to EA’s second quarter fiscal 2021 earnings call. With me from their homes today are
Andrew Wilson, our CEO, and Blake Jorgensen, our CFO and COO.
Please note that our SEC filings and our earnings release are available at ir.ea.com. In addition,
we have posted earnings slides to accompany our prepared remarks. Lastly, after the call, we
will post our prepared remarks, an audio replay of this call, our financial model, and a transcript.
Note that we’ve completely revamped the earnings slides this quarter. They now contain all of
the metrics and color that we historically have included in Blake’s remarks. These changes free
up time on the call for more analysis from Blake and Andrew, and provide more opportunity for
questions from you. Please let me have your feedback on this change.
With regards to our calendar: our Q3 fiscal 2021 earnings call is scheduled for Tuesday,
February 2. As a reminder, we post our entire year of earnings calls on our IR website.
This presentation and our comments include forward-looking statements regarding future events
and the future financial performance of the Company. Actual events and results may differ
materially from our expectations. We refer you to our most recent Form 10-Q for a discussion of
risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed today. Electronic
Arts makes these statements as of today, November 5, 2020, and disclaims any duty to update
them.
During this call, the financial metrics, with the exception of free cash flow, will be presented on a
GAAP basis. All comparisons made in the course of this call are against the same period in the
prior year unless otherwise stated.
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Now, I’ll turn the call over to Andrew.
ANDREW:
Thanks, Chris. I hope this finds everyone well and staying healthy amidst the ongoing
pandemic.
After the biggest first quarter in the history of Electronic Arts, our second quarter of FY21
showed continued strength with net revenue and earnings above our guidance. We are driving
growth through the breadth, depth and quality of our new games, our industry-leading live
services, and expansion to more platforms and more ways to play.
Let me first say how thankful I am to our teams for their incredible work and everything they are
delivering for our players. The well-being of our people remains our top priority. Even amidst
these unprecedented circumstances, we are executing and building great strength across our
business. Here are a few key examples:
● We’ve delivered eight new games so far this year, and our network has grown to more
than 330 million unique accounts as tens of millions of new players have joined to enjoy
more of our amazing games and content.
● EA SPORTS continues to be the leader in sports interactive entertainment. Madden NFL
20 was the most successful game in franchise history last year, and now Madden NFL
21 already has nearly 30% more players year-over-year from launch.
● Our FIFA franchise is engaging more than 100 million players globally. Even prior to
launching FIFA 21, our FIFA franchise was having the biggest calendar year ever, with
our business across all platforms up 26% year-over-year in net bookings. FIFA 20 has
reached nearly 35 million players on console and PC, FIFA Mobile continues to perform
well, and FIFA Online in Asia broke engagement records across China and Korea in Q2.
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We just launched FIFA Mobile Japan in October as we continue to see significant
international expansion opportunities for our FIFA franchise.
● We continue to have an outstanding relationship with Disney and Lucasfilm. Star Wars:
Squadrons launched to great feedback from critics and the community, and has
performed above our expectations. This is clearly a special game for fans, and
continues the extraordinary success we’ve had bringing great games to life with this IP,
including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, Star Wars:The Old
Republic, and the Star Wars: Battlefront franchise.
● Our live services are among the most successful in the industry, and our live services
net bookings have grown more than 28 percent fiscal year-over-year to date. EA
SPORTS Ultimate Team has more than 30 million players so far this year, up 25% yearover-year. Around the world, our multi-platform Sims community continues to grow, and
our Sims 4 player base on PC and console is now the largest in franchise history. Apex
Legends has established itself as a top global franchise with major year-over-year
growth and continued expansion opportunities. Apex in Asia is having great success
with each season of content, we’ve just launched the game to the massive Steam
community, and cross-play is now live, making it easier for people to play with friends
around the world.
● Our esports programs are scaling to new records in viewership. Our new Madden NFL
episodic content featuring NFL athletes, celebrities and top Madden NFL players is
bringing great entertainment to a much wider audience. And our recent FIFA 21
Challenge, which paired esports stars with celebrity soccer players, was our mostwatched esports event to date with viewership that placed it amongst top esports
broadcasts worldwide.
● Our EA Play service is the most successful multi-platform subscription in the industry.
With the addition of our subscription on PS4 and Steam, we’ve reached more than 6.5
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million paid subscribers. EA Play is now set to go live on Microsoft Game Pass in a few
days, and we believe we have the opportunity to double our subscriber base over the
next 12 months.
● In addition to our subscription, we’ve launched more than 125 games and content packs
on Steam this year, with new titles like C&C Remastered and Star Wars: Squadrons
leading the download charts on the platform. Bringing our games to Steam is a new and
additive business for us. With the EA and Steam communities able to play together,
we’re able to harness the full opportunity in the PC space as it continues to show strong
growth.
We continue to lead the industry as the only developer and publisher with the ability to bring this
much quality content to players. We’ve done this through unprecedented circumstances in the
last six months, and now we’re delivering more great experiences in our current quarter.
We started our third quarter by launching two new EA SPORTS games. When it went live
globally on October 9, FIFA 21 already had a record number of players in the game through the
early access benefit of our subscription. Our player metrics in FIFA 21 are strong, and FIFA
Ultimate Team also continues to grow with matches in the mode up 30% year-over-year. NHL
21, which includes the fan-favorite NHL 94 Rewind, has quickly become the most successful
NHL game yet on current-gen consoles.
The Sims 4 and Apex Legends show how we build great live services into strong ongoing
businesses. This quarter we’ll launch our 10th expansion pack for The Sims 4, along with some
important game updates that add even more cultural customization options for players. On the
heels of a highly successful Season 6, we’ve just launched Season 7 in Apex Legends, which is
set to be our biggest season of content this year. We now have more than 20 top live services
across console, PC and mobile, forming a foundation for continued growth.
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We will continue to reach more players across more platforms in Q3. We have more titles
launching on Switch and Google Stadia this quarter. Medal of Honor: Above & Beyond will
launch on Oculus VR in December – our second VR experience this year. And as I mentioned
before, we will take another step in our subscription strategy this week with our expansion to
Microsoft Game Pass, opening significant new opportunities to grow our subscriber base.
This quarter also brings the launch of the next-generation consoles from our partners at
Microsoft and Sony. EA SPORTS is always at the center of innovation for us, and it will lead the
way on the next-gen consoles. FIFA 21 for PS5 and Xbox Series X will leverage the major
upgrade in technology to bring players unprecedented immersion, innovative gameplay, and
minimal load times that put them into the action in under two seconds. Madden NFL 21 for the
next-gen consoles will blur the lines with sport even further through a new system that is
responsive to the way NFL players perform in the real world. We’re excited to have an
opportunity to bring even more players into our FIFA and Madden franchises this year, and
we’re providing a smooth transition for players on current-gen consoles to move over with a
next-gen upgrade.
Looking ahead, I want to offer a few thoughts on our growth drivers for FY22 and beyond.
Each previous console generation has grown the global market, and we expect this transition
will do the same. We plan to launch at least six new games on the next-gen consoles in FY22.
These will include a new Need for Speed game that is bringing some astounding visual leaps,
developed by the Criterion team, who have launched some of the most highly-rated games in
franchise history. DICE is creating our next Battlefield game with never-before-seen scale. The
technical advancements of the new consoles are allowing the team to deliver on a true next-gen
vision for the franchise. We have hands-on play testing underway internally, and the team’s
been getting very positive feedback on the game as we’ve begun to engage our community.
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The next Battlefield is set to launch in holiday 2021, and we are excited to share a lot more
about the game in the spring.
Our live services are positioned to be a long-term growth driver. Having built Apex Legends into
an amazing live service with a deeply engaged community, the talented Respawn team in Los
Angeles has expanded Apex development to include a full team in our Vancouver location, so
that we can continue delivering more great content. Japan is now our second-largest market for
Apex Legends, and we have strong plans to continue growth in that region. In addition, Apex
Mobile development will be complete in the new year and ready for launch in FY22. We also
expect another very strong year for The Sims 4, a testament to the strength of that community
as it enters the seventh year of live service.
EA SPORTS will be executing on a significant expansion that will span new games, more
geographies and more ways to engage. FIFA is growing – in addition to FIFA 21 on next-gen
this year and Stadia in the new year, the success of our FIFA Online 4 free-to-play game in Asia
now leads us to expand that game to new markets, including the Middle East and Eastern
Europe. Soccer continues to grow in popularity around the world, and we now have six new
soccer mobile games in development for new genres and new markets. Our roster of top
soccer league licenses is also unmatched. Our recently-extended agreements with the
Bundesliga and La Liga, in addition to more than 30 other league partners including the UEFA
Champions League, CONMEBOL, and the Premier League, enable us to continue delivering
this franchise to more players around the world with the authenticity they expect. We also just
announced new multi-year agreements with our partners at the NHL, NHLPA and UFC that will
see us creating more innovative hockey and fighting experiences. We also have plans to add to
our core EA SPORTS portfolio with multiple new franchises in the years ahead. And in addition
to our college esports expansion that we’ve just announced with IMG Learfield, in the weeks
ahead we will share more about another major new development in our esports program,
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capitalizing on our growing fan base and demand from esports teams, sponsors and
broadcasters.
Our business has expanded significantly this year, our pipeline of new games and live services
is robust, and we’re positioned well for sustained growth. A huge thank you goes to our
amazing teams for their incredible spirit and dedication to our players. I’m proud of how we
continue to execute.
Now I’ll turn the call over to Blake.
BLAKE:
Thanks, Andrew.
As you know from Chris’s introduction, we are trying something different with our earnings call
this quarter, and you should listen to my prepared remarks in conjunction with the expanded
presentation we posted on our Investor Relations website earlier today. It now contains all of
the metrics and color I would normally read here. This approach gives us more time for analysis
and more time for your questions.
So, with that said, I’d like to briefly highlight a few points.
We came in well above our guidance this quarter. The beat was driven by our live services, led
by Madden Ultimate Team and FIFA Ultimate Team. First-week sell-through for Madden was
up nearly 20% year-on-year, and this after Madden NFL 20 turned in the best year ever for
Madden on console. This is also the first time we linked Madden Mobile to console Madden,
and we saw hundreds of thousands of mobile players registered in the first tranche of Madden
NFL 21 buyers.
Credit is also due to the Respawn teams and the quality of the content they’re adding to Apex
Legends. Apex Legends net bookings came in 24% ahead of last year, and is off to a strong
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start in Q3. We started the year expecting $300 million to $400 million in net bookings; it is now
on track to deliver more than $500 million. That is, Apex will have gone from zero to about a
billion dollars in lifetime net bookings in just two years. With this velocity, and the addition of
mobile, we believe Apex has the potential to grow to a billion dollars in net bookings every year.
This is what we do. We’ve done it with FIFA, we’ve done it with Madden, we’ve done it with The
Sims, we’re doing it with Apex, and we’ll do it again.
Mobile grew year on year, again, and we’re excited about our new title slate for this platform,
particularly Apex Legends and the soccer games Andrew discussed.
It’s been a strong three months for launching new EA games. We launched Madden NFL 21,
Star Wars Squadrons and UFC 4 in the quarter, along with Rocket Arena from Final Strike
Games. Squadrons is the latest example of the power of our licensing model, in which we
leverage the synergy between well-loved IP and the skills of our development teams to bring
extraordinary new experiences to fans and gamers.
The FIFA franchise continues to grow. FIFA 20 attracted 12% more players than FIFA 19, and
engagement remains strong, making FIFA 20 the most successful game in the 27-year history
of the franchise. FIFA 21 launched after quarter end, and is off to a good start, with live
services net bookings for the first three weeks up relative to the comparable period last year.
FIFA Ultimate Team continues to be the most popular mode in the game, and also the most
engaging for players.
After eight weeks of Madden NFL 21 sales, digital accounted for 66% of units sold through to
players. After the first three weeks of FIFA 21, the number was 50%. These are both up
14 points year on year, and we believe this step up is likely a permanent structural change,
driven by the COVID shelter-in-place orders.
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That adds up to six new games launched since the beginning of Q2, including blockbuster
franchises like FIFA and Madden, and fan-favorites like Star Wars Squadrons. This is more
than our peers manage in a year, and further testimony to our teams’ ability to execute under
difficult circumstances.
We reached more players with EA Play this quarter, with the launch of the subscription service
on Steam. In addition, Microsoft has noted the value EA Play will bring to their Game Pass
Ultimate, and we expect making it available on that platform will lead to another step up in EA
Play subscribers.
Operating expenses came in materially below our expectations, driven primarily by variable
compensation and phasing of marketing investments.
We hit a new record in trailing twelve-month cash flow of $2.04 billion. The strength and
dependability of our cash flow has led us to start a new repurchase program this quarter, and
also to initiate a dividend for the first time. The share repurchase authorization is for a
$2.6 billion program over two years. Our Board has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.17
per share of our common stock, which represents an annualized yield of about 0.5%, calculated
as of close of market on November 4. As a result, we expect to return a total of $3 billion to
investors over the next 24 months.
We’re now looking ahead to the launches of the new PlayStation and Xbox. Console transitions
have historically driven broad industry growth, and are opportunities to grow our franchises. In
particular, owners of Madden NFL 21 and FIFA 21 for the current generation of consoles can
upgrade for free to the next-generation version anytime before the launch of the “22” versions of
the game next year. In addition, we expect to leverage the ongoing strength of FIFA 20
engagement into building an even larger audience for FIFA 21.
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Our expectation for full-year GAAP revenue remains $5.625 billion, cost of revenue to be
$1.485 billion, and earnings per share of $3.15. We are reaffirming our operating cash flow
guidance of $1.850 billion. We continue to anticipate capital expenditures of around
$125 million, which would deliver free cash flow of about $1.725 billion. See our earnings slides
for further cash flow information. Remember that our guidance EPS calculation does not factor
in any share repurchase.
We expect net bookings for the year to be $5.950 billion, unchanged from our prior guidance.
This is driven by ongoing strength in our live services, offset by the move of Apex Legends on
Switch and the extra time we’re giving to two of our EA Originals titles. Versus our expectations
last quarter, those changes amount to about $120 million of net bookings moved out of fiscal
2021 that will benefit fiscal 2022. The annual guidance factors in an FX headwind of about
$80 million. And, as you build your model, note that we are also forecasting a fall in interest
income of about $80 million compared to last year, due to the sustained low interest rates the
world is experiencing.
For the third quarter, we now expect GAAP net revenue of $1.675 billion, cost of revenue to
be $599 million, and operating expenses of $840 million. This results in earnings per share
of $0.61 for the third quarter.
We anticipate net bookings for the third quarter to be $2.350 billion, which would make it the
largest quarter in EA’s history.
Some context for this guidance. We’re now guiding fiscal 2021 net bookings to be 11% higher
than fiscal 2020. This is incredible growth, some driven by the shelter in place orders, but much
also driven by the work our teams do every day in bringing new live services content to players.
Even with the strong year, we still expect net bookings and earnings to grow next year. The
growth will be driven by a great slate of new titles including Battlefield, our blockbuster sports
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titles, Need for Speed and the titles we moved out of fiscal 2021. We anticipate a strong
performance from our live services, and to continue to bring our franchises to new platforms, for
example, bringing Apex Legends to mobile.
Now I’ll hand back to Andrew.
ANDREW CLOSING:
Thanks, Blake.
Games are becoming the central thread of the digital lifestyle for people around the world. With
more players than ever continuing to connect and engage through our franchises, our business
has grown significantly this year, and we are confident projecting meaningful growth into FY22
and beyond.
We hope everyone stays healthy and enjoys some great games this holiday season. Now
Blake and I are here for your questions.
Forward-Looking Statements
Some statements set forth in this document, including the information relating to EA’s fiscal
2021 and 2022 guidance information and fiscal 2021 and 2022 title slate contain forward-looking
statements that are subject to change. Statements including words such as “anticipate,”
“believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “plan,” “predict,” “seek,” “goal,” “will,” “may,” “likely,”
“should,” “could” (and the negative of any of these terms), “future” and similar expressions also
identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of
ELECTRONIC ARTS PREPARED REMARKS FY21Q2
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future performance and reflect management’s current expectations. Our actual results could
differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements.
Some of the factors which could cause the Company’s results to differ materially from its
expectations include the following: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; sales of the
Company’s products and services; the Company’s ability to develop and support digital products
and services, including managing online security and privacy; outages of our products, services
and technological infrastructure; the Company’s ability to manage expenses; the competition in
the interactive entertainment industry; governmental regulations; the effectiveness of the
Company’s sales and marketing programs; timely development and release of the Company’s
products and services; the Company’s ability to realize the anticipated benefits of acquisitions;
the consumer demand for, and the availability of an adequate supply of console hardware units;
the Company’s ability to predict consumer preferences among competing platforms; the
Company’s ability to develop and implement new technology; foreign currency exchange rate
fluctuations; general economic conditions; changes in our tax rates or tax laws; and other
factors described in Part II, Item 1A of Electronic Arts’ latest Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q
under the heading “Risk Factors”, as well as in other documents we have filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, including Electronic Arts’ latest Annual Report on Form
10-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 20, 2020.
These forward-looking statements are current as of November 5, 2020. Electronic Arts
assumes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement for any reason, except
as required by law. In addition, the preliminary financial results set forth in this release are
estimates based on information currently available to Electronic Arts.
ELECTRONIC ARTS PREPARED REMARKS FY21Q2
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While Electronic Arts believes these estimates are meaningful, they could differ from the actual
amounts that Electronic Arts ultimately reports in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the
fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2020. Electronic Arts assumes no obligation and does not
intend to update these estimates prior to filing its Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended
September 30, 2020.

So, are the holidays defined as US Thanksgiving up to new years eve? I guess this means the earliest we will see it is the last week of November, which has been close to the release dates of other Battlefield titles.

You are in the ball park. They need to get it out in November to maximize sales I think. This also allows xbox and playstation to create, custom #battlefield6 consoles and bundles.

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Going by that logic, then I fully expect to have a “real” Battlefield 6 reveal sometime this winter (ending in March)

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I am calling it now. We will be playing Battlefield 6 by the second week of November this year.

Have we decided if we are gonna be calling it Battlefield 6 or Battlefield 2021 until an official name is out?

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