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Electronic Arts Expands Gaming Portfolio with FIFA 20 Release

Zacks Equity Research

Electronic Arts EA recently released FIFA 20 on PlayStation 4 (PS4), Xbox One, and PC. The latest update of the popular football franchise comes with more than 30 official leagues, 700 teams, 17,000 authentic players and 90 licensed stadiums from across the globe.

The newly introduced Volta Football Mode brings FIFA 20 to streets and futsal courts where players create new characters based on individual style. The feature offers a game mode that is inspired by small-sided form of football played on streets.

Additionally, players use new tools including simplified flicks and skill moves, new flair animations, or using the wall as a teammate and new Season Objectives feature that enables players to unlock new club customization content during the course of the game.

Moreover, players also compete in new social experiences such as FUT Friendlies through FIFA Ultimate Team.

Notably, the new season of FIFA Mobile is available on iOS and Android. Players can challenge, compete and earn rewards in real-time soccer matches in over 650 new events against real-world clubs.

FIFA - One of EA's Popular Franchises

FIFA is an important growth driver for EA, given the franchise's impressive sales track record and user base.

Per a VentureBeat report, FIFA 19 and FIFA 18 had 45 million unique console and PC players in fiscal 2019. Moreover, FIFA 18 sold more than 24 million copies in a span of 11 months.

Additionally, in first quarter fiscal 2020, FIFA Ultimate Team had more than three million players logging in daily during the Team of the Season in-game event.

Notably, newly launched FIFA 20 has already gained popularity on EA Access and Origin Access since last week with 57 million total matches played, 3.2 million squads created by players, and over 52 million goals scored in the game.

Moreover, FIFA 20's solid content lineup that includes the UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga, Premier League, and LaLiga Santande is expected to boost player engagement levels.

Higher engagement level is expected to drive the company’s digital revenues in the near term. The company expects digital net revenues to be $4.175 billion in fiscal 2020.

Notably, EA has been one of the top-performing gaming stocks on a year-to-date basis. Shares have returned 21.2% year to date, outperforming the industry’s rally of 16.9%.

With upcoming releases such as Plants vs. Zombies and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, EA is expected to further engage users, which will help boost its revenues.

Year to Date Performance

Competition Intensifies

Intensifying competition from the likes of Activision ATVI, Take Two TTWO and Zynga ZNGA pose concerns for EA.

Release of Take Two Interactive’s Borderlands 3 and Activision’s upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game is expected to challenge EA’s dominance in the space.

EA also faces mobile gaming competition from Zynga’s newly launched Merge Magic! And Game of Thrones Slots Casino.

Nevertheless, EA’s award-winning portfolio of games, exciting content and new releases poise it well for near-term growth.

Currently, EA carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here

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