FIFA 21 Player Count Hits 31m as EA’s Live Services Grow

FIFA 21 Player Count Hits 31m as EA’s Live Services Grow

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The FIFA 21 player count has grown by 6 million players in the last few months as Electronic Arts shows stronger growth in live services over the sale of full games.

FIFA 21 has been pretty popular ever since it launched late last year, but it’s still managing to show a fair amount of growth in recent months. What’s more surprising, though, is that EA as a whole is bringing in much more money from live services than it is from the sale of full games — and that’s despite the success of retail releases such as Mass Effect Legendary Edition.

FIFA 21 player count August 2021 slice

FIFA 21 Player Count and FUT Matches Show Strong Growth

Electronic Arts recently released a financial report detailing how the company has been performing. Most of the information centers on the money it’s been bringing in, but the subject of the FIFA 21 player count was highlighted as one of its key successes.

The FIFA 21 player count now stands at 31 million players across both PC and consoles. That’s up 6 million players when compared against an earnings report released back in May 2021.

That’s not the only area of growth for the game, though: there have been 48% more FIFA 21 FUT matches when compared against the same period last year. Of course, FIFA 21 wasn’t available at that time, but FUT matches were still a thing in the previous title. Based on this data, it looks like more and more players are warming up the gameplay and mechanics of FIFA Ultimate Team.

FIFA 21 player count August 2021 slice 2

EA’s Revenue Continues Shifting from Full Games to Live Services

The growth in FIFA 21 player count and the 48% increase in FUT matches are two indicators that highlight an important point about the last year of EA’s financial performance: live service games have slightly grown over the sales of full games.

Electronic Arts brought in $1.972 billion in full game sales and a little more than $4 billion from live services in Q1 of Fiscal Year 2021. Fiscal Year 2022 showed a somewhat surprising decrease in full game sales, dropping to $1.593 billion. However, live services have grown to $4.543 billion in that same time.

FIFA 21 wasn’t the only winner in this report, either — Apex Legends hit 13 million weekly active players and has set records of its own, managing to have the highest count of peak daily players across all seasons since it was released.

The “live services” mantra has been pushed by many large game developers seeking to bring in revenue outside of game and DLC sales. Based on the numbers we’re seeing, it looks like EA has managed steady growth on that front. This is part of the long-term growth EA has seen over several years in the segment. That said, one-time purchases with little or not live service such as Mass Effect Legendary Edition, Star Wars Squadrons, and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order have shown that they can outperform expectations.

What do you think of the growth of FIFA 21 and Apex Legends? Do you prefer to purchase a full game or are you more into live service online games? Let us know in the comments below!

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