Despite the recent moderation in wild speculation around metaverses, the concept remains very much alive, and several companies are actively exploring ways to integrate their properties into a vast, interconnected space. Electronic Arts (EA) has joined the conversation, with CEO Andrew Wilson hinting at the possibility of an EA Sports metaverse during a recent earnings call.
Responding to a question about the potential integration of EA's various sport communities into a unified metaverse, Wilson provided a detailed response that sounded remarkably like a concrete plan for the near future. He acknowledged the significant size of the EA player community, boasting over 700 million players, with approximately half engaging with the sports catalog. According to Wilson, EA Sports is among the most recognizable sports brands, especially popular among the upcoming generations Z and Alpha.
Wilson highlighted the immersive nature of EA games, emphasizing that players spend an average of about 90 minutes per session inside the games. Afterward, they transition to other platforms to discuss, create content, and watch experiences. Recognizing a significant opportunity, Wilson stated that EA aims to leverage the power of the community both inside and outside its games, making it the third pillar of EA's core strategy, led by the EA Sports brand.
While Wilson refrained from making any official announcements during the call, he conveyed that EA sees "an incredible opportunity" in the interconnected relationships between the popularity of EA Sports, player behaviors, and external interactions. His concluding remark, "So best I can say is: watch this space," left room for anticipation and hinted at potential metaverse developments.
Unlike some grandiose metaverse proposals from other companies, Wilson's approach appears more tactical and focused. This strategy aligns with EA's continued success in the sports sector, evident in its recent financial report. The company reported net bookings of $2.37 billion and net revenue of $1.945 billion for the quarter ending December 31, 2023, with EA Sports FC exceeding expectations and showing 7% year-over-year growth. Madden also contributed significantly with 5% year-over-year net bookings growth.
With EA's live services comprising 73% of its business, the focus on finding ways to capitalize on this power, especially within the realm of a potential metaverse, reflects the company's strategic vision. As EA continues to diversify and explore new opportunities, the prospect of an EA Sports metaverse adds an intriguing layer to the evolving landscape of interactive entertainment.