EA posted its Q2 FY12 earnings report today reflecting a 45% increase in digital revenue — the segment that includes social and mobile games — to $234 million compared to this same quarter last year.
The video game publisher also reports that its Playfish social game studio increased average revenue per user for a sixth consecutive quarter. EA acquired the Restaurant City developer in late 2009 and since sunsetted several of its older titles in favor of developing Facebook games around EA’s core brands such as its EA Sports catalog of games and The Sims Social. As of press time, The Sims Social has 39.3 million monthly active users and 7.8 million daily active users and appears to be on a downward slope in traffic at a critical point in the game’s lifecycle. EA reports that of its users, the average player logs four play sessions a day.
As for PopCap, EA’s newest acquisition in the social and mobile space, Chief Financial Officer Eric Brown says that PopCap’s Q2 non-GAAP revenues are up 22% for the quarter and will hit more than 30% in growth for calendar 2011 — meaning PopCap might have made as much as $130 million in 2011 compared to the $100 million the developer reported for 2010. Keep in mind that we do not know if PopCap’s figures are being reported in GAAP or non-GAAP, which wouldn’t reflect as many expenses. PopCap’s growth on Facebook has been flat across its largest titles, Bejeweled Blitz and Zuma Blitz, while its newest social title, Pig Up!, still hasn’t officially launched. Its leading Plants vs. Zombies franchise recently launched on EA’s Pogo.com games network.
We’re currently monitoring the call for additional details on EA’s social game strategy and will update this story as necessary. Be sure to check out our sister site, Inside Mobile Apps, for a breakdown of EA’s mobile revenues and strategy for Q2 FY12.
UPDATE: Analysts grilled EA on the recent decline of Sims Social traffic. EA cited Facebook’s updated accounting methods for active users in addition to the natural trend of social games toward traffic declines and higher ARPU. The plan, says the developer, is to hopefully drive a second wave of growth by releasing new features — possibly expansions — while also driving ARPU.