Prick EA’s corporate veins, and it’d bleed FIFA and Madden. These are two of the most important franchises for the global game publisher, both on console and mobile platforms.
And for its FIFA and Madden games, this could mean more than $1 billion. At least that’s what mobile research firm Sensor Tower has found, estimating that the publisher’s free-to-play NFL and soccer games have helped drive sports revenues of more than $1 billion from the Apple App Store and Google Play. This finding excludes EA’s earlier paid Madden and FIFA offerings and games licenses to mobile publishers outside of the U.S.
The lesson here? It’s good to have the licenses to the biggest sports leagues in the world, and shelling out for these pricey rights is worth it.
Madden and FIFA make up an estimated 85 percent — $850 million — of this $1 billion bonanza, Sensor Tower’s Randy Nelson confirmed to GamesBeat. Forty-nine percent comes from Madden, with an estimated $490 million. FIFA Soccer and FIFA 15 Soccer Ultimate Team bring in an estimated 36 percent of this, more than $360 million.
NBA Live Mobile Basketball added an $140 million, and EA Sports UFC kicked in 2 percent of this revenue.
United States of Sports
The NFL is the dominant sport in the USA, and basketball is No. 2, so it’s no surprise that America accounts for a massive chunk of this revenue. Sensor Tower estimates that U.S. players account for 62 percent, of $620 million, of this lifetime revenue. Next up is Great Britain, where football (as in soccer) reigns. It’s 5.7 percent of that $1 billion. Japan is third at 5.7 percent.
For context, Sensor Tower estimates that the top-grossing mobile game in the world for 2018 is Konami’s Pro Baseball Spirits A, with $150 million, all coming from Japan.