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EA, hackers win big off FIFA Ultimate Team


EA's increased revenues from FIFA 12's FIFA Ultimate Team DLC, coupled with our continuing coverage of consumer complaints over the "FIFA hack," stood out as awkward juxtaposition during EA's third quarter financial call yesterday.

"The innovation that makes this franchise so unique is FIFA Ultimate Team," President of EA Labels Frank Gibeau said yesterday on a call with investors. "In just three months, FIFA Ultimate Team generated $39 million in microtransactions. That's 69 percent more than it generated in the same period last year."

Gibeau went on to say that because Ultimate Team is a microtransaction-based system, the company is able to generate a sizable number of big-spender consumer behaviors and it becomes a business that scales much more aggressively than other traditional DLC models.

Chief Financial Officer Eric Brown added, "To put some rough numbers on this, if we compare the total digital revenue from FIFA 11 Ultimate Team to what we expect from FIFA 12 Ultimate Team in this fiscal year, we're looking to see a 25 percent increase franchise to franchise. The overall package goods units sold is not increasing by 25 percent year over year, so we are expanding by a decent margin the microtransaction revenue per user of FIFA."

We continue to receive complaints nearly every day of non-FIFA players having their accounts hacked to purchase Ultimate Team DLC. EA previously responded to this by saying that "a small number" of gamers continue to report being impacted by fraudulent activity related to FIFA Ultimate Team on Xbox Live.

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