UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
| ||☑||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021
| ||☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the transition period from to
Commission File No. 000-17948
ELECTRONIC ARTS INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
|(State or other jurisdiction of|
incorporation or organization)
| ||(I.R.S. Employer|
|209 Redwood Shores Parkway|| ||94065|
|Redwood City||California|| ||(Zip Code)|
|(Address of principal executive offices)|| |
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code:
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of Each Class|| ||Trading Symbol||Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered|
|Common Stock, $0.01 par value|| ||EA||NASDAQ Global Select Market|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes þ No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes þ No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes þ No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large Accelerated Filer|
|Smaller reporting company|
|Emerging growth company|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No þ
The aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock, $0.01 par value, held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of October 2, 2020, the last business day of our second fiscal quarter, was $37,181 million.
As of May 24, 2021, there were 286,191,176 shares of the registrant’s common stock, $0.01 par value, outstanding.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for its 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the “2021 Proxy”) are incorporated by reference into Part III hereof. The 2021 Proxy is expected to be filed not later than 120 days after the registrant’s fiscal year end. Except with respect to information specifically incorporated by reference into this Form 10-K, the 2021 Proxy is not deemed to be filed as part hereof.
ELECTRONIC ARTS INC.
2021 FORM 10-K ANNUAL REPORT
Table of Contents
CAUTIONARY NOTE ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements. We use words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate”, “plan”, “predict”, “seek”, “goal”, “will”, “may”, “likely”, “should”, “could” (and the negative of any of these terms), “future” and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. In addition, any statements that refer to projections of our future financial performance, trends in our business, projections of markets relevant to our business, uncertain events and assumptions and other characterizations of future events or circumstances are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements consist of, among other things, statements related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to our business, operations and financial results, industry prospects, our future financial performance, and our business plans and objectives, and may include certain assumptions that underlie the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and reflect management’s current expectations. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause or contribute to such differences include those discussed in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report under the heading “Risk Factors” beginning on Page 9. We assume no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement for any reason, except as required by law.
Item 1: Business
Electronic Arts is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. We develop, market, publish and deliver games, content and services that can be played and watched on game consoles, PCs, mobile phones and tablets.
Our Strategic Pillars
Our strategic pillars focus on delivering amazing games and content, offering services that extend and enhance the experience, and connecting more players across more platforms, and more ways to play. We believe that the breadth and depth of our portfolio, live services offerings, and our use of multiple business models and distribution channels provide us with strategic advantages. These advantages include the opportunity to engage an increasing number of players across more distribution channels and geographies, and dependable sources of revenue from our annualized sports franchises (e.g., FIFA, Madden NFL), our console, PC and mobile catalog titles (i.e., titles that did not launch in the current fiscal year), and our live services. In fiscal year 2021, execution against our strategic pillars and increased engagement with our products and services led to growth in our business, aided by consumers spending more time at home because of social restrictions and local government mandates related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, longer-term trends that benefit our business accelerated. Live services and other net revenue for fiscal year 2021 increased more than 10 percent year-over-year. We have also experienced a significant increase in the percentage of our games purchased digitally. The full extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to our business, operations and financial results will depend on numerous evolving factors that cannot be accurately predicted at this time, including those factors included in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report under the heading “Risk Factors” beginning on Page 9.
Amazing Games and Content; Services that Extend and Enhance the Experience
Our foundation is a portfolio of intellectual property from which we create innovative games and content that enables us to build on-going and meaningful relationships with communities of players, creators and viewers. Our portfolio includes brands that we either wholly own (such as Battlefield, The Sims, Apex Legends, Need for Speed and Plants vs. Zombies) or license from others (such as FIFA, Madden NFL and Star Wars).
We develop and publish games and services across diverse genres, such as sports, racing, first-person shooter, action, role-playing and simulation. We have added to the breadth of our portfolio in recent years by, among other things, launching Apex Legends, our first free-to-play console game, expanding the ways in which players can engage with The Sims 4 and adding new modes through which players can engage with our sports franchises. The depth of our portfolio is demonstrated by providing players with opportunities for choice within genres and franchises. For example, our sports portfolio includes the FIFA (soccer), Madden NFL (American football), NHL (ice hockey), Formula 1 (auto racing), and UFC (ultimate fighting) franchises, among others. And within our franchises we have innovated by providing multiple modalities of play designed to satisfy the various motivations of our players. For example, within FIFA 21, in addition to the professional soccer simulation base game, players can also engage with FIFA Ultimate Team, designed for players motivated by competition and self-improvement as well as VOLTA FOOTBALL, designed for players that play for social connection and self-expression. FIFA is our largest and most
popular game and franchise. Revenue from our FIFA franchise, including the annualized console and PC game which is consistently one of the best-selling games in the marketplace as well as from FIFA Ultimate Team, is material to our business and will continue to be so. We seek to add to the breadth and depth of our portfolio by investing in developing and establishing new brands as well as investing in our partnerships with external game developers to create games and content that we bring to market.
In addition, we acquired Glu Mobile, Inc. (“Glu”) on April 29, 2021 and Codemasters Group Holdings plc (“Codemasters”) on February 18, 2021. The $2.3 billion acquisition of Glu is expected to accelerate our mobile growth by creating a combined organization with ongoing live services across multiple games and genres. We also believe that the acquisition will create value by adding Glu’s expertise in casual sports and lifestyle genres to new titles based on our intellectual property. The $1.2 billion Codemasters acquisition grows our presence in racing, creating a global leader in racing entertainment. For more information about the Glu and Codemasters acquisition, see Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Note 7 — Business Combinations.
Through our live services offerings, we offer our players high-quality experiences designed to provide value to players and extend and enhance gameplay. These live services include extra content, subscription offerings and other revenue generated outside of the sale of our base games. Our digital live services and other net revenue represented 71 percent of our total net revenue during fiscal year 2021. We expect that live services net revenue, particularly extra content net revenue, will continue to be material to our business. Our most popular live service is the extra content purchased within the Ultimate Team mode associated with our sports franchises. Ultimate Team allows players to collect current and former professional players in order to build, and compete as, a personalized team. Net revenue from Ultimate Team represented 29 percent of our total net revenue during fiscal year 2021, a substantial portion of which was derived from FIFA Ultimate Team. In addition, in fiscal year 2021, we provided players with additional engagement opportunities through launching four seasons of content for Apex Legends, expanding Apex Legends to the Nintendo Switch platform, releasing five additional content packs for The Sims 4 and continuing a robust schedule of live events for Ultimate Team across our FIFA, Madden NFL and NHL franchises.
Within our games and live services, we offer additional services that are designed to connect players to their friends and to the games they love, such as access to online marketplaces and in-game player rewards and achievements, which such services do not directly monetize. We also promote positive play in our games and services, aiming to offer safe, fun and inclusive environments in which to play by, among other things, providing players with information about their engagement and tools that allow them control of their experiences.
We also are investing in a number of long-term service-based initiatives that we believe will allow us to better serve and deepen our engagement with our players, such as an infrastructure that will enable us to better deliver content that will resonate with players and provide more choice in the way that players connect with their games, with each other, and with new types of content, and our esports initiatives. We believe that the interest and enthusiasm that surrounds esports will drive engagement and monetization in our products and services in addition to providing revenue opportunities through partnerships with sponsors and broadcasters.
Connecting More Players, Across more Platforms, and More Ways to Play
We are focused on reaching more players whenever and wherever they want to play. We believe that we can add value to our network by making it easier for players to connect to a world of play by offering choice of business model, distribution channel and device. Our games and services can be played and watched on consoles, PCs, mobile phones, tablets, and reach our players through both digital distribution channels and retail channels. Players can access our games and services through traditional single-game purchase or through subscription offerings; and certain of our games and services are available through a “free-to-play” model whereby players download the game for free and engage with services provided on an ongoing basis. For example, we develop products and services within the FIFA franchise that allow players to engage with FIFA through multiple business models, distribution channels and devices, including: (1) our annualized console and PC games and associated services, which can be purchased through both digital distribution and retail channels and also is available through subscription services; (2) FIFA Mobile, a mobile free-to-play offering; and (3) FIFA Online, a PC free-to-play game available in certain countries.
Digitally, our console games and live services can be purchased through third-party storefronts, such as the digital stores of our console partners. In fiscal year 2021 we expanded our reach, including by launching FIFA 21 and Madden NFL 21 on the Microsoft Xbox Series X and the Sony Playstation 5, and by launching FIFA 21, Madden NFL 21 and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on Google Stadia. Our direct sales to Sony and Microsoft represented approximately 34 percent and 18 percent of total net revenue, respectively, in fiscal year 2021. Our mobile and tablet games and services are available through third-party application storefronts such as the Apple App Store and Google Play. Our PC games and services can be downloaded directly through Origin, EA’s digital storefront, as well as through third-party online download stores, such as Steam. We also partner
with third parties to publish our mobile and PC games and services in certain Asian territories, such as our partnerships with Tencent Holdings Limited for FIFA Online in China and Nexon Co. Ltd. for FIFA Online in Korea. From time to time, third parties will publish mobile and tablet games and services under a license to certain of our intellectual property assets.
We also offer our EA Play subscription service on consoles and PC as we look to build deeper relationships with our players and offer increased choice and flexibility for our players to try new games. EA Play allows players access to a selection of our console and PC games and services for a monthly or annual fee. In fiscal year 2021, we expanded the audience for EA Play by launching on Steam and integrating with Microsoft GamePass.
Our packaged goods games are sold directly to mass market retailers, specialty stores and through distribution arrangements.
New distribution methods and business models are expected to continue to emerge in the future, and we intend to evaluate these opportunities on a case-by-case basis.
Sony & Microsoft. Under the terms of agreements we have entered into with Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and its affiliates and with Microsoft Corporation and its affiliates, we are authorized to develop and distribute disc-based and digitally-delivered software products and services compatible with PlayStation and Xbox consoles, respectively. Under these agreements with Sony and Microsoft, we have the non-exclusive right to use, for a fixed term and in a designated territory, technology that is owned or licensed by them to publish our games on their respective consoles. With respect to our digitally-delivered products and services, the console manufacturers pay us either a wholesale price or a royalty percentage on the revenue they derive from their sales of our products and services. Our transactions for packaged goods products are made pursuant to individual purchase orders, which are accepted on a case-by case basis by Sony or Microsoft (or their designated replicators), as the case may be. For packaged goods products, we pay the console manufacturers a per-unit royalty for each unit manufactured. Many key commercial terms of our relationships with Sony and Microsoft — such as manufacturing terms, delivery times, policies and approval conditions — are determined unilaterally, and are subject to change by the console manufacturers.
The license agreements also require us to indemnify the console manufacturers for any loss, liability and expense resulting from any claim against the console manufacturer regarding our games and services, including any claims for patent, copyright or trademark infringement brought against the console manufacturer. Each license may be terminated by the console manufacturer if a breach or default by us is not cured after we receive written notice from the console manufacturer, or if we become insolvent. The console manufacturers are not obligated to enter into license agreements with us for any future consoles, products or services.
Apple, Google and Other App Stores. We have agreements to distribute our mobile applications and additional content through distributors such as Apple and Google. Our applications are downloaded for mobile devices from third party application storefronts. The distributor charges consumers for content purchased within the application or charges consumers a one-time fee to download the application. Our distribution agreements establish the amounts that are retained by the distributor and the amounts passed through to us. These arrangements are typically terminable on short notice. The agreements generally do not obligate the distributors to market or distribute any of our applications.
Publishing Partners in Asia. We have entered into agreements whereby we partner with certain companies, including Tencent Holdings Limited and Nexon Co., Ltd. or their respective affiliates, pursuant to which these companies publish our mobile and PC free-to-play games in certain countries, including China and Korea. Our players access games from the publishers’ online storefronts and are charged for additional content purchased within our game environment. The agreements generally establish the amounts that are retained by the publisher, and the amounts passed through to us.
The market for interactive entertainment is intensely competitive and changes rapidly as new products, business models and distribution channels are introduced. We also face competition for the right to use certain intellectual property included in our products. In order to remain successful, we are required to anticipate, sometimes years in advance, the ways in which our products and services will compete in the market. We face significant competition from companies such as Activision Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Epic Games, Tencent, Zynga, Netmarble, Warner Brothers, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, primarily with respect to developing games and services that operate on consoles, PCs and/or mobile devices. In addition, the gaming, technology/internet, and entertainment industries have converged in recent years and larger, well-funded technology companies such as Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft are pursuing and strengthening their interactive entertainment capabilities and new entrants continue to emerge.
More broadly, we compete against providers of different sources of entertainment, such as movies, television, social networking, online casual entertainment and music that our players could enjoy in their free time. Important competitive factors in our industry include the ability to attract creative and technical talent, game quality and ease of use, innovation, compatibility of products with certain consoles and other distribution channels, brand recognition, reputation, reliability, security, creativity, price, marketing, and quality of customer service.
Intellectual Property and Technology
To establish and protect our intellectual property, we rely on a combination of copyrights, trademarks, patents, patent applications, trade secrets, know-how, license agreements, confidentiality provisions and procedures and other contractual provisions. We actively engage in enforcement and other activities to protect our intellectual property, but the laws of some countries in which we operate, particularly in Asia, either do not protect our intellectual property to the same extent as the laws of the United States or are poorly enforced. As our digital business has grown, our games and services increasingly depend on the reliability, availability and security of our technological infrastructure. Our industry is prone to, and our systems and networks are subject to actions by malfeasant actors, such as cyber-attacks and other information security incidents. While we devote financial and operational resources to implement systems, processes and technologies to guard against cyber events and to help protect our intellectual property, employee and consumer data and information technology systems against intrusions or other security breaches, we have experienced such events in the past and expect future events to occur. In addition, we engage in activities designed to limit the impact of abuse of our digital products and services, including monitoring our games for evidence of exploitation and re-balancing our game environments in the event that such abuse is discovered.
We are a global company subject to various and complex laws and regulations domestically and internationally, including laws and regulations related to user privacy, data collection and retention, consumer protection, protection of minors, content, including user-generated content, advertising, localization, information security, intellectual property, competition and taxation, among others. Many of these laws and regulations are continuously evolving and developing, and the application to, and impact on, us is uncertain. Certain of our business models are subject to new laws or regulations or evolving interpretations and application of existing laws and regulations, including those related to gambling. The growth and development of electronic commerce, virtual items and virtual currency has prompted calls for new laws and regulations and resulted in the application of existing laws or regulations that have limited or restricted the sale of our products and services in certain territories.
We have historically experienced the highest percentage of our net bookings in our third fiscal quarter due to seasonal holiday demand and the launch timing of our games. While we expect this trend to continue in fiscal year 2022, there is no assurance that it will.
A healthy culture and engaged workforce is essential to our ability to execute our strategic pillars and build on-going and meaningful relationships with our communities. As a knowledge-based business, our ability to attract, train, motivate and retain qualified employees is a critical factor in the successful development of our products and services and that our future success will depend, in large measure, on our ability to continue attracting, training, motivating and retaining qualified employees. As of March 31, 2021, we employed approximately 11,000 people globally, with 64 percent located internationally.
We are focused on supporting our employees across the full employee lifecycle and have implemented programs and practices designed to promote inclusion and diversity, employee engagement and employee wellness. For example, we support seven employee resource groups (“ERGs”) which are a critical component of our culture and provide allyship across groups and functions within the company. Our ERGs connect employees, create a sense of belonging, and contribute directly to our inclusion and diversity pillars. Our largest ERG, Women’s Ultimate Team, has approximately 1,500 members. In addition, to support our employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, during fiscal year 2021 we enhanced our programs to provide additional temporary support, including payments to assist with work from home costs and care needs, a pandemic care leave program, and additional services for mental and physical health.
Inclusion and Diversity
Inclusion and diversity is a business imperative because our global player community crosses lines of gender, race, ethnicity and geography. To create games and experiences that resonate with players, we need to cultivate a workforce that reflects this diverse player community. We work to embed inclusion across our systems and processes in order to (1) develop relatable content and games, (2) enable expansion into new and diverse markets, (3) attract, develop and retain talent that can thrive and do their best work and (4) bridge to better representation that authentically reflects our players.
In fiscal year 2021, we published our Company-wide gender and racial/ethnic representation for the first time which will allow our communities and stakeholders to measure our progress. To accelerate this progress with respect to representation, we strive to (1) create an inclusive culture that welcomes different viewpoints and enables employees to do the best work of their careers, (2) equip our leaders with training and education that increases understanding and provides them with the tools and behaviors to be inclusive managers that advocate for equity, inclusion, and diversity and (3) evaluate people processes with an eye to systemic inclusion and execution of inclusive behaviors and practices.
Our commitments to inclusion, diversity and equity extend to compensating our employees fairly based on the work that they perform. We consider our pay equity philosophy at each stage at which compensation decisions are made, including when hiring and promoting employees and through our annual review cycle. In addition, we annually partner with an independent outside firm to review employees’ pay and ensure our compensation philosophy and practices are fair and free from unconscious bias, resulting in equitable pay.
Talent Acquisition, Development and Retention
Our talent planning and hiring strategies are aligned with our strategic vision and where we need to invest and develop as a business. We target talent that possess skills that are critical to the future of our business, including investing in the development and growth of the next generation of diverse talent through community outreach and STEAM education.
We are focused on promoting the total wellness of our people and maintain resources, programs and services to support employees' physical, mental, familial and financial health. We offer a wide range of benefits, such as comprehensive health insurance and time-off and leave programs, including specialized programs around key life events. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we introduced temporary expansions of our benefits programs that we determined were in the best interests of our employees and our communities. These include payments to assist with work from home costs and care needs and a pandemic care leave program.
All regular, full-time employees are asked to complete an Engagement Survey twice per year, which helps EA understand how to improve the employee experience. We also conduct regular manager surveys, and during fiscal year 2021, offered ongoing access to targeted surveys to better understand the needs of our employees as they navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. Results of all employee surveys are evaluated and shared across the organization and inform opportunities for further improvement in our people practices.
Our website address is www.ea.com. Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K, and any amendments to those reports filed pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act, as amended, are available free of charge on the Investor Relations section of our website at http://ir.ea.com as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The SEC maintains a website at www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. We announce material financial information and business updates through our SEC filings, press releases, public conference calls and webcasts, the Investor Relations section of our website at http://ir.ea.com, our blog at https://www.ea.com/news and through our Twitter account @EA. Except as expressly set forth in this Form 10-K annual report, the contents of our website, 2020 Impact Report and/or social media accounts are not incorporated into, or otherwise to be regarded as part of this report.
We were incorporated originally in California in 1982. In September 1991, we were reincorporated under the laws of Delaware. Our principal executive offices are located at 209 Redwood Shores Parkway, Redwood City, California 94065 and our telephone number is (650) 628-1500.
Information About Our Executive Officers
The following table sets forth information regarding our executive officers as of May 26, 2021:
|Name|| ||Age|| ||Position|
|Andrew Wilson|| ||46|| ||Chief Executive Officer|
|Blake Jorgensen|| ||61|| ||Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer|
|Laura Miele|| ||51|| ||Chief Studios Officer|
|Kenneth Moss|| ||55|| ||Chief Technology Officer|
|Christopher Bruzzo|| ||51|| ||Executive Vice President, Marketing, Commercial and Positive Play|
|Mala Singh|| ||50|| ||Chief People Officer|
|Kenneth A. Barker|| ||54|| ||Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer|
|Jacob J. Schatz|| ||51|| ||Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary|
Mr. Wilson has served as EA’s Chief Executive Officer and as a director of EA since September 2013. Prior to his appointment as our Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Wilson held several positions within the Company since joining EA in May 2000, including Executive Vice President, EA SPORTS from August 2011 to September 2013. Mr. Wilson also serves as chairman of the board of the privately-held World Surf League and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Paley Center for Media. Mr. Wilson has served on the board of directors of Intel Corporation within the last five years.
Mr. Jorgensen has served as EA’s Chief Financial Officer since September 2012 and as EA’s Chief Operating Officer since April 2018. Prior to joining EA, he served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of Levi Strauss & Co. from July 2009 to August 2012. From June 2007 to June 2009, Mr. Jorgensen served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of Yahoo! Inc. Mr. Jorgensen earned his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and his undergraduate degree from Stanford University.
Ms. Miele has served as EA’s Chief Studios Officer since April 2018. Ms. Miele joined EA in March 1996 and has held several positions at the Company, including Executive Vice President, Global Publishing from April 2016 to April 2018, Senior Vice President of Americas Publishing from June 2014 to April 2016, and several senior roles in the Company's marketing organization.
Mr. Moss has served as EA’s Chief Technology Officer since July 2014. He served as Vice President of Market Places Technology, Science and Data at eBay Inc. from November 2011 to July 2014. Prior to joining eBay, he co-founded CrowdEye, Inc. and served as its Chief Executive Officer from October 2008 to November 2011. Prior to CrowdEye, Mr. Moss served in various technology roles, including leadership roles, at Microsoft Corporation for twenty years. Mr. Moss graduated from Princeton University.
Mr. Bruzzo has served as EA’s Executive Vice President, Marketing, Commercial and Positive Play since October 2020. From September 2014 to October 2020, Mr. Bruzzo served as EA’s Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to joining EA, he served as Senior Vice President at Starbucks Corporation from June 2011 to August 2014. Mr. Bruzzo graduated from Whitworth University.
Ms. Singh has served as EA’s Chief People Officer since October 2016. Ms. Singh was previously employed by EA from 2009 to 2013, serving as Vice President, Human Resources, EA Labels from 2011 to 2013. Prior to rejoining EA, Ms. Singh served as the Chief People Officer of Minted, LLC from January 2014 to October 2016. Ms. Singh earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Rutgers University - New Brunswick.
Mr. Barker has served as the Company's Chief Accounting Officer since June 2003. From February 2012 to September 2012, he also served as Interim Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining EA, Mr. Barker was at Sun Microsystems, Inc., as its Vice President and Corporate Controller and at Deloitte & Touche as an audit partner. Mr. Barker serves on the Board of Directors of Gatepath, a non-profit organization, and on the Accounting Advisory Board for the University of Notre Dame. Mr. Barker graduated from the University of Notre Dame.
Mr. Schatz has served as EA’s General Counsel and Corporate Secretary since June 2014. Mr. Schatz joined EA in 1999, and prior to his current role, he served as Deputy General Counsel and as Vice President from 2006 to 2014. Mr. Schatz earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and received his undergraduate degree from Pomona College. Mr. Schatz is a member of the Bar of the State of California and is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and several United States District Courts.
Item 1A: Risk Factors
Our business is subject to many risks and uncertainties, which may affect our future financial performance. In the past, we have experienced certain of the events and circumstances described below, which adversely impacted our business and financial performance. If any of the events or circumstances described below occurs, our business or financial performance could be harmed, our actual results could differ materially from our expectations and the market value of our stock could decline. The risks and uncertainties discussed below are not the only ones we face. There may be additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently do not believe could be material that may harm our business or financial performance.
Our business is intensely competitive. We may not deliver successful and engaging products and services, or consumers may prefer our competitors’ products or services over our own.
Competition in our business is intense. Many new products and services are regularly introduced, but only a relatively small number of products and associated services drive significant engagement and account for a significant portion of total revenue. Our competitors range from established interactive entertainment companies to emerging start-ups. In addition, the gaming, technology/internet, and entertainment industries have converged in recent years and larger, well-funded technology companies are pursuing and strengthening their interactive entertainment capabilities. We expect new competitors to continue to emerge throughout the world. If our competitors develop more successful and engaging products or services, offer competitive products or services at lower price points, or if we do not continue to develop consistently high-quality, well-received and engaging products and services, or if our marketing strategies are not innovative or fail to resonate with players, particularly during key selling periods, our revenue, margins, and profitability will decline.
We strive to create innovative and high-quality products and services that allow us to build on-going and meaningful relationships with our community. However, innovative and high-quality titles, even if highly-reviewed, may not meet our expectations or the expectations of our players. Many financially successful products and services within our industry are iterations of prior titles with large established consumer bases and significant brand recognition, which makes competing in certain categories challenging. In addition, products or services of our direct competitors or other entertainment companies may take a larger portion of consumer spending or time than we anticipate, which could cause our products and services to underperform relative to our expectations. A significant portion of our revenue historically has been derived from products and services based on a few popular franchises, and the underperformance of a single major title has had, and could in the future have, a material adverse impact on our financial results. For example, we have historically derived a significant portion of our net revenue from sales related to our largest and most popular game, FIFA, annualized versions of which are consistently one of the best-selling games in the marketplace. Any events or circumstances that negatively impact our FIFA franchise, such as product or service quality, other products that take a portion of consumer spending and time, the delay or cancellation of a product or service launch, increased competition for key licenses, or real or perceived security risks, could negatively impact our financial results to a disproportionate extent.
The increased importance of live services, including extra content, to our business heightens the risks associated with the products for which such live services are offered. Live services that are either poorly-received or provided in connection with underperforming games may generate lower than expected sales. Any lapse, delay or failure in our ability to provide high-quality live services content to consumers over an extended period of time could materially and adversely affect our financial results, consumer engagement with our live services, and cause harm to our reputation and brand. Our most popular live service is the extra content available for the Ultimate Team mode associated with our sports franchises. Any events or circumstances that negatively impact our ability to reliably provide content or sustain engagement for Ultimate Team, particularly FIFA Ultimate Team, would negatively impact our financial results to a disproportionate extent.
We may not meet our product and live service development schedules and key events, sports seasons and/or movies that are tied to our product and live service release schedule may be delayed, cancelled or poorly received.
Our ability to meet product and live service development schedules is affected by a number of factors both within and outside our control, including feedback from our players, the creative processes involved, the coordination of large and sometimes geographically dispersed development teams, the complexity of our products and the platforms for which they are developed, the need to fine-tune our products prior to their release and, in certain cases, approvals from third parties. We have experienced development delays for our products and services in the past which caused us to delay or cancel release dates. Any failure to meet anticipated production or release schedules likely would result in a delay of revenue and/or possibly a significant shortfall in our revenue, increase our development and/or marketing expenses, harm our profitability, and cause our operating results to
be materially different than anticipated. If we miss key selling periods for products or services, particularly the fiscal quarter ending in December, for any reason, including product delays or product cancellations our sales likely will suffer significantly.
We also seek to release certain products and extra content for our live services - such as our sports franchises and the associated Ultimate Team live service - in conjunction with key events, such as the beginning of a sports season, events associated with the sports calendar, or the release of a related movie. If such seasons or events were delayed, cancelled or poorly received, our sales could suffer materially. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the disruption, postponement, and cancellation of sports seasons and sporting events. Further disruption, postponement and cancellation of sports seasons and sporting events around which we seek to launch our games and provide live services could have a material adverse impact on our business and operating results.
Our industry changes rapidly and we may fail to anticipate or successfully implement new or evolving technologies, or adopt successful business strategies, distribution methods or services.
Rapid changes in our industry require us to anticipate, sometimes years in advance, the ways in which our products and services will be competitive in the market. We have invested, and in the future may invest, in new business and marketing strategies, technologies, distribution methods, products, and services. There can be no assurance that these strategic investments will achieve expected returns. For example, we are investing in our mobile business through seeking to maximize our mobile live services, meaningfully expanding key franchises on the mobile platform and through mergers and acquisitions activity. In addition, we are investing in a technological infrastructure that we expect will enable us to deliver content that will resonate with players and provide more choice in the way that players connect with their games, with each other, and with new types of content. Such endeavors involve significant risks and uncertainties. No assurance can be given that the technology we choose to implement, the business and marketing strategies we choose to adopt and the products, services and platform strategies that we pursue will achieve financial results that meet or exceed our expectations. Our reputation and brand could also be adversely affected. We also may miss opportunities or fail to respond quickly enough to adopt technology or distribution methods or develop products, services or new ways to engage with our games that become popular with consumers, which could adversely affect our financial results.
Our development process usually starts with particular platforms and distribution methods in mind, and a range of technical development, feature and ongoing goals that we hope to be able to achieve. We may not be able to achieve these goals, or our competition may be able to achieve them more quickly and in a way that better engages consumers. In either case, our products and services may be technologically inferior to those of our competitors, less appealing to consumers, or both. If we cannot achieve our goals within the original development schedule for our products and services, then we may delay their release until these goals can be achieved, which may delay or reduce revenue and increase our development expenses. Alternatively, we may increase the resources employed in research and development in an attempt to accelerate our development of new technologies, either to preserve our product or service launch schedule or to keep up with our competition, which would increase our development expenses.
Negative perceptions about our business, products and services and the communities within our products and services may damage our business, and we may incur costs to address concerns.
Expectations regarding the quality, performance and integrity of our products and services are high. Players have sometimes been critical of our brands, products, services, online communities, business models and/or business practices for a wide variety of reasons, including perceptions about gameplay fun, fairness, game content, features or services, or objections to certain of our business practices. These negative responses may not be foreseeable. We also may not effectively manage these responses because of reasons within or outside of our control. For example, we have included in certain games the ability for players to purchase digital items, including in some instances virtual “packs”, “boxes” or “crates” that contain variable digital items. The inclusion of variable digital items in certain games has attracted the attention of our community and if the future implementation of these features creates a negative perception of gameplay fairness or other negative perceptions, our reputation and brand could be harmed and revenue could be negatively impacted. In addition, we have taken actions, including delaying the release of our games and delaying or discontinuing features and services for our games, after taking into consideration, among other things, feedback from our community even if those decisions negatively impacted our operating results in the short term. We expect to continue to take actions to address concerns as appropriate, including actions that may result in additional expenditures and the loss of revenue.
We aim to offer our players safe, fun and inclusive environments in which to play; provide players with information about their engagement and tools that allow them control of their experiences; and deploy tools and technologies to give players faith in their gameplay experience. Although we expend resources, and expect to continue to expend resources, to promote positive play, our efforts may not be successful due to scale, limitations of existing technologies or other factors. If our efforts are
unsuccessful, our brand and reputation may be harmed and our financial and operating results may be adversely impacted. Negative sentiment about gameplay fairness, our online communities, our business practices, business models or game content also can lead to investigations or increased scrutiny from governmental bodies and consumer groups, as well as litigation, which, regardless of their outcome, may be costly, damaging to our reputation and harm our business.
Certain of our games and features on our platforms support online features that allow players and viewers to communicate with one another and post content, in real time, that is visible to other players and viewers. From time to time, this “user generated content” may contain objectionable and offensive content that is distributed and disseminated by third parties and our brands may be negatively affected by such actions. If we fail to appropriately respond to the dissemination of such content, we may be subject to lawsuits and governmental regulation, our players may not engage with our products and services and/or may lose confidence in our brands and our financial results may be adversely affected.
External game developers may not meet product development schedules or otherwise honor their obligations.
We contract with external game developers to develop our games or to publish or distribute their games. While we maintain contractual protections, we have less control over the product development schedules of games developed by external developers. We depend on their ability to meet product development schedules which could be negatively affected by, among other things, the distributed workforce model resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, disputes occasionally arise with external developers, including with respect to game content, launch timing, achievement of certain milestones, the game development timeline, marketing campaigns, contractual terms and interpretation. If we have disputes with external developers or they cannot meet product development schedules, acquire certain approvals or are otherwise unable or unwilling to honor their obligations to us, we may delay or cancel previously announced games, alter our launch schedule or experience increased costs and expenses, which could result in a delay or significant shortfall in anticipated revenue, harm our profitability and reputation, and cause our financial results to be materially affected.
Our business depends on the success and availability of consoles, systems and devices developed by third parties and our ability to develop commercially successful products and services for those consoles, systems and devices.
The success of our business is driven in part by the commercial success and adequate supply of third-party consoles, systems and devices for which we develop our products and services or through which our products and services are distributed. Our success depends on our ability to connect more players, across more platforms, and more ways to play by accurately predicting which consoles, systems and devices will be successful in the marketplace, our ability to develop commercially successful products and services that reach players across multiple channels, our ability to simultaneously manage products and services on multiple consoles, systems and devices and our ability to effectively transition our products and services to new consoles, systems and devices. We must make product development decisions and commit significant resources well in advance of the commercial availability of new consoles, systems and devices, and we may incur significant expense to adjust our product portfolio and development efforts in response to changing consumer preferences. Additionally, we may enter into certain exclusive licensing arrangements that affect our ability to deliver or market products or services on certain consoles, systems or devices. A console, system or device for which we are developing products and services may not succeed as expected or new consoles, systems or devices may take market share and interactive entertainment consumers away from those for which we have devoted significant resources. If consumer demand for the consoles, systems or devices for which we are developing products and services is lower than our expectations, we may be unable to fully recover the investments we have made in developing our products and services, and our financial performance will be harmed. Alternatively, a console, system or device for which we have not devoted significant resources could be more successful than we initially anticipated, causing us to not be able to reach our intended audience and take advantage of meaningful revenue opportunities.
In fiscal year 2021, our key console partners Sony and Microsoft each released new generation consoles. In periods of transition, sales of products for legacy generation consoles typically slow or decline in response to the introduction of new consoles, and sales of products for new generation consoles typically stabilize only after new consoles are widely-established with the consumer base. This console transition may have a comparable impact on our live services business, potentially increasing the impact on our financial results. The transition could accelerate faster than anticipated and may put downward pressure on legacy generation pricing, which could negatively affect our operating results. Our revenue from sales for the new generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft may not offset the negative effects of the transition on our operating results. Alternatively, adoption of the new generation consoles in which we have made significant investments may be slower than we anticipate or wide consumer availability may be delayed. We do not control the unit volumes of consoles made available for sale, the pricing or appeal of new generation consoles, or the rates at which consumers purchase these consoles. For a period of time, we will also develop, market and operate games and services on both legacy and new generation consoles simultaneously. As a result of these factors, our operating results during this transition may be more volatile and difficult to predict.
We may experience declines or fluctuations in the recurring portion of our business.
Our business model includes revenue that we deem recurring in nature, such as revenue from our annualized sports franchises (e.g., FIFA, Madden NFL), our console, PC and mobile catalog titles (i.e., titles that did not launch in the current fiscal year), and our live services. While we have been able to forecast the revenue from these areas of our business with greater relative confidence than for new games, services and business models, we cannot provide assurances that consumer demand will remain consistent, including in connection with circumstances outside of our control. Furthermore, we may cease to offer games and services that we previously had deemed to be recurring in nature. Consumer demand has declined and fluctuated, and could in the future decline or fluctuate, as a result of a number of factors, including their level of satisfaction with our games and services, our ability to improve and innovate our annualized titles, our ability to adapt our games and services to new distribution channels and business models, outages and disruptions of online services, the games and services offered by our competitors, our marketing and advertising efforts or declines in consumer activity generally as a result of economic downturns, among others. The reception to our sports games also depends, in part, on the popularity, reputation and brand of the leagues, organizations and individual athletes with whom we partner. Events and circumstances outside of our control that have a negative impact on the accessibility, popularity, reputation and brand of these partners has impacted, and could in the future negatively impact, sales related to our annualized sports games. Any decline or fluctuation in the recurring portion of our business may have a negative impact on our financial and operating results.
We could fail to successfully adopt new business models.
From time to time we seek to establish and implement new business models. Forecasting the success of any new business model is inherently uncertain and depends on a number of factors both within and outside of our control. Our actual revenue and profit for these businesses may be significantly greater or less than our forecasts. In addition, these new business models could fail, resulting in the loss of our investment in the development and infrastructure needed to support these new business models, as well as the opportunity cost of diverting management and financial resources away from more successful and established businesses. For example, we have devoted financial and operational resources to our subscription offerings without any assurance that these businesses will be financially successful. While we anticipate growth in this area of our business, consumer demand is difficult to predict as a result of a number of factors, including satisfaction with our products and services, our ability to provide engaging products and services, third parties offering their products and services within our subscription, partners that provide, or don’t provide, access to our subscription, products and services offered by our competitors, reliability of our infrastructure and the infrastructure of our partners, pricing, the actual or perceived security of our and our partners information technology systems and reductions in consumer spending levels. In addition, if our subscription offerings are successful, sales could be diverted from established business models. If we do not select a target price that is optimal for our subscription services, maintain our target pricing structure or correctly project renewal rates, our financial results may be harmed.
Acquisitions, investments, divestitures and other strategic transactions could result in operating difficulties and other negative consequences.
We have made and may continue to make acquisitions or enter into other strategic transactions including (1) acquisitions of companies, businesses, intellectual properties, and other assets, (2) minority investments in strategic partners, and (3) investments in new interactive entertainment businesses as part of our long-term business strategy. For example, in February 2021 we acquired Codemasters and in April 2021 we acquired Glu. The Codemasters acquisition, the Glu acquisition, and other transactions involve significant challenges and risks including that the transaction does not advance our business strategy, that we do not realize a satisfactory return on our investment or cannot realize anticipated tax benefits, that we acquire liabilities and/or litigation from acquired companies or liabilities and/or litigation results from the transactions, that our due diligence process does not identify significant issues, liabilities or other challenges, diversion of management’s attention from our other businesses, and the incurrence of debt, contingent liabilities or amortization expenses, write-offs of goodwill, intangibles, or acquired in-process technology, or other increased cash and non-cash expenses. In addition, we may not integrate these businesses successfully or achieve expected synergies. For example, we may experience difficulties and costs associated with the integration of business systems and technologies, and acquired products and services, the integration and retention of new employees, the implementation of our internal control and compliance procedures and/or the remediation of the internal control and compliance environment of the acquired entity, or the maintenance of key business and customer relationships. These events could harm our operating results or financial condition.
We may fund strategic transactions with (1) cash, which would reduce cash available for other corporate purposes, (2) debt, which would increase our interest expense and leverage and/or (3) equity which would dilute current shareholders’ percentage ownership and also dilute our earnings per share. We also may divest or sell assets or a business and we may have difficulty selling such assets or business on acceptable terms in a timely manner. This could result in a delay in the achievement of our
strategic objectives, cause us to incur additional expense, or the sale of such assets or business at a price or on terms that are less favorable than we anticipated.
We may be unable to maintain or acquire licenses to include intellectual property owned by others in our games, or to maintain or acquire the rights to publish or distribute games developed by others.
Many of our products and services are based on or incorporate intellectual property owned by others. For example, our EA Sports products include rights licensed from major sports leagues, teams and players’ associations and our Star Wars products include rights licensed from Disney. Competition for these licenses and rights is intense. If we are unable to maintain these licenses and rights or obtain additional licenses or rights with significant commercial value, our ability to develop successful and engaging products and services may be adversely affected and our revenue, profitability and cash flows may decline significantly. Competition for these licenses has increased, and may continue to increase, the amounts that we must pay to licensors and developers, through higher minimum guarantees or royalty rates, which could significantly increase our costs and reduce our profitability.
Our business partners may be unable to honor their obligations to us or their actions may put us at risk.
We rely on various business partners, including third-party service providers, vendors, licensing partners, development partners and licensees. Their actions may put our business and our reputation and brand at risk. For example, we may have disputes with our business partners that may impact our business and/or financial results. In many cases, our business partners may be given access to sensitive and proprietary information in order to provide services and support, and they may misappropriate our information and engage in unauthorized use of it. In addition, the failure of these third parties to provide adequate services and technologies, or the failure of the third parties to adequately maintain or update their services and technologies, could result in a disruption to our business operations. Further, disruptions in the financial markets, economic downturns, poor business decisions, or reputational harm may adversely affect our business partners and they may not be able to continue honoring their obligations to us or we may cease our arrangements with them. Alternative arrangements and services may not be available to us on commercially reasonable terms or we may experience business interruptions upon a transition to an alternative partner or vendor. If we lose one or more significant business partners, our business could be harmed and our financial results could be materially affected.
A significant portion of our packaged goods sales are made to a relatively small number of retail and distribution partners, and these sales may be disrupted.
We derive a significant percentage of our net revenue attributable to sales of our packaged goods products to our top retail and distribution partners. The concentration of a significant percentage of these sales through a few large partners could lead to a short-term disruption to our business if certain of these partners significantly reduced their purchases or ceased to offer our products. The financial position of certain partners has deteriorated and while we maintain protections such as monitoring the credit extended to these partners, we could be vulnerable to collection risk if one or more of these partners experienced continued deterioration of their business or declared bankruptcy. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in closures of the retail stores of certain partners, which could negatively impact the sales of our packaged goods products and accelerate deterioration of the financial position of such partners. Additionally, receivables from these partners generally increase in our December fiscal quarter as sales of our products generally increase in anticipation of the holiday season which expose us to heightened risk at that time of year. Having a significant portion of our packaged goods sales concentrated in a few partners could reduce our negotiating leverage with them. If one or more of these partners experience deterioration in their business or become unable to obtain sufficient financing to maintain their operations, our business could be harmed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected how we are operating our business and the full extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and financial results is uncertain.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health measures, federal, state, local and foreign governmental authorities have imposed, and continue to impose, protocols and restrictions intended to contain the spread of the virus, including limitations on the size of gatherings, mandated closure of work facilities, schools and businesses, quarantines, lockdowns and travel restrictions. In addition, we have established, and will continue to maintain protocols to promote the health and safety of our workforce and business partners. Substantially all of our office locations, including our global headquarters in Redwood Shores, California and key studios across North America, Europe and Asia remain closed to the majority of our employees with onsite access limited to those with a critical need.
The global work-from-home operating environment has caused strain and fatigue to our global workforce. In addition, certain of our development teams currently work in a distributed environment, whereas these teams historically collaborated in-person on the creative and technical process required to develop high-quality products and services at scale. Each of these factors has disrupted, and may continue to disrupt, the productivity of our workforce and the creative process to which our teams are accustomed. Companies in our industry have experienced issues related to game and service quality during the current work-from-home period. While we were able to execute against our product and service launch schedules with minimal impact and deliver quality games and services at scale during fiscal year 2021, the longer-term impact to our creative and technical development processes is unknown and the associated risks, including with respect to game quality and developmental delays, which may cause us to delay or cancel release dates, may be heightened as the work-from-home period persists.
We are actively planning so that we are ready to re-open locations when it is appropriate to do so, consistent with the health and safety of our employees and in compliance with any local legal restrictions or requirements. The reintroduction of employees to the workplace could introduce operational risk, negatively impact productivity, and give rise to claims by employees or otherwise adversely affect our business. In addition, the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nature of the office environment and remote working are not certain and may present operational challenges and impact our ability to attract and retain talent, and our teams’ ability to collaborate creatively, each of which may adversely affect our business.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen increased demand for our products and services and changing player behavior with more people staying at home. Our financial results and operating metrics benefited during fiscal year 2021 from these factors. In addition, longer-term trends that benefit our business accelerated, including a significant increase in live services revenue and the proportion of our games purchased digitally. These trends from fiscal year 2021 may not be indicative of results for future periods, particularly as factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic lessen and consumers can engage with other forms of entertainment, if the trend towards digital adoption decelerates, or if global macroeconomic effects related to the COVID-19 pandemic persist even after the pandemic has subsided.
The extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic depends on future developments that cannot be accurately predicted at this time, such as the duration and spread of the pandemic, the extent, speed and effectiveness of worldwide containment and vaccination efforts and the impact of these and other factors on our employees, customers, partners and vendors. If we are not able to flexibly respond to and manage the impact of these and other currently unknown impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic, our business will be harmed.
To the extent that the COVID-19 pandemic harms our business and results of operations, many of the other risks described in this “Risk Factors” section may be heightened.
Catastrophic events may disrupt our business.
Natural disasters, cyber-incidents, weather events, wildfires, power disruptions, telecommunications failures, pandemics, health crises and other public health events, failed upgrades of existing systems or migrations to new systems, acts of terrorism or other events could cause outages, disruptions and/or degradations of our infrastructure (including our or our partners’ information technology and network systems), a failure in our ability to conduct normal business operations, or the closure of public spaces in which players engage with our games and services. The health and safety of our employees, players, third-party organizations with whom we partner, or regulatory agencies on which we rely could be also affected, any of which may prevent us from executing against our business strategies and/or cause a decrease in consumer demand for our products and services.
System redundancy may be ineffective and our disaster recovery and business continuity planning may not be sufficient for all eventualities. Such failures, disruptions, closures, or inability to conduct normal business operations could also prevent access to our products, services or online stores selling our products and services, cause delay or interruption in our product or live services offerings, allow breaches of data security or result in the loss of critical data. Our corporate headquarters and several of our key studios also are located in seismically active regions. An event that results in the disruption or degradation of any of our critical business functions or information technology systems, harms our ability to conduct normal business operations or causes a decrease in consumer demand for our products and services could materially impact our reputation and brand, financial condition and operating results.
We may experience security breaches and cyber threats.
The integrity of our and our partners’ information technology networks and systems is critical to our ongoing operations, products, and services. Our industry is prone to, and our systems and networks are subject to actions by malfeasant actors, such as cyber-attacks and other information security incidents that seek to exploit, disable, damage, and/or disrupt our networks, business operations, products and services and supporting technological infrastructure, or gain access to consumer and
employee personal information, our intellectual property and other assets. In addition, our systems and networks could be harmed or improperly accessed due to error by employees or third parties that are authorized to access to these networks and systems. We also rely on technological infrastructure provided by third-party business partners to support the online functionality of our products and services, who are also subject to these same cyber risks. Both our partners and we have expended, and expect to continue to expend, financial and operational resources to guard against cyber risks and to help protect our data and systems. However, the techniques used by malfeasant actors change frequently, continue to evolve in sophistication and volume, and often are not detected for long periods of time. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote access to our networks and systems, and the networks and systems of our partners, has increased substantially. While we and our partners have taken steps to secure our networks and systems, these networks and systems may be more vulnerable to a successful cyber-attack or information security incident while workforces remains distributed. The costs to respond to, mitigate, and/or notify affected parties of cyber-attacks and other security vulnerabilities are significant. In addition, such events could compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or accessibility of these networks and systems or result in the compromise or loss of the data, including personal data, processed by these systems. Consequences of such events have included, and could in the future include, the loss of proprietary and personal data and interruptions or delays in our business operations, as well as loss of player confidence and damage to our brand and reputation. In addition, such events could cause us to be non-compliant with applicable regulations, and subject us to legal claims or penalties under laws protecting the privacy or security of personal information or proprietary material information. We have experienced such events in the past and expect future events to occur.
In addition, the virtual economies that we have established in many of our games are subject to abuse, exploitation and other forms of fraudulent activity that can negatively impact our business. Virtual economies involve the use of virtual currency and/or virtual assets that can be used or redeemed by a player within a particular game or service. The abuse or exploitation of our virtual economies have included the illegitimate or unauthorized generation and sale of virtual items, including in black markets. Our online services have been impacted by in-game exploits and the use of automated or other fraudulent processes to generate virtual item or currency illegitimately, and such activity may continue. These abuses and exploits, and the steps that we take to address these abuses and exploits may result in a loss of anticipated revenue, increased costs to protect against or remediate these issues, interfere with players’ enjoyment of a balanced game environment and cause harm to our reputation and brand.
We may experience outages, disruptions or degradations in our services, products and/or technological infrastructure.
The reliable performance of our products and services depends on the continuing operation and availability of our information technology systems and those of our external service providers, including third-party “cloud” computing services. Our games and services are complex software products and maintaining the sophisticated internal and external technological infrastructure required to reliably deliver these games and services is expensive and complex. The reliable delivery and stability of our products and services has been, and could in the future be, adversely impacted by outages, disruptions, failures or degradations in our network and related infrastructure, as well as in the online platforms or services of key business partners that offer, support or host our products and services. The reliability and stability of our products and services has been affected by events outside of our control as well as by events within our control, such as the migration of data among data centers and to third-party hosted environments, the performance of upgrades and maintenance on our systems, and online demand for our products and services that exceeds the capabilities of our technological infrastructure.
If we or our external business partners were to experience an event that caused a significant system outage, disruption or degradation or if a transition among data centers or service providers or an upgrade or maintenance session encountered unexpected interruptions, unforeseen complexity or unplanned disruptions, our products and services may not be available to consumers or may not be delivered reliably and stably. As a result, our reputation and brand may be harmed, consumer engagement with our products and services may be reduced, and our revenue and profitability could be negatively impacted. We do not have redundancy for all our systems, many of our critical applications reside in only one of our data centers, and our disaster recovery planning may not account for all eventualities.
As our digital business grows, we will require an increasing amount of internal and external technical infrastructure, including network capacity and computing power to continue to satisfy the needs of our players. We are investing, and expect to continue to invest, in our own technology, hardware and software and the technology, hardware and software of external service providers to support our business. It is possible that we may fail to scale effectively and grow this technical infrastructure to accommodate increased demands, which may adversely affect the reliable and stable performance of our games and services, therefore negatively impacting engagement, reputation, brand and revenue growth.
We may not attract, train, motivate and retain key personnel.
Our business depends on our ability to attract, train, motivate and retain executive, technical, creative, marketing and other personnel that are essential to the development, marketing and support of our products and services. The market for highly-skilled workers and leaders in our industry is extremely competitive, particularly in the geographic locations in which many of our key personnel are located. In addition, our leading position within the interactive entertainment industry makes us a prime target for recruiting our executives, as well as key creative and technical talent. We may experience significant compensation costs to hire and retain senior executives and other personnel that we deem critical to our success. If we cannot successfully recruit, train, motivate and retain qualified employees, develop and maintain a diverse and inclusive work environment, or replace key employees following their departure, our ability to develop and manage our business will be impaired.
We rely on the consoles, systems and devices of partners who have significant influence over the products and services that we offer in the marketplace.
A significant percentage of our digital net revenue is attributable to sales of products and services through our significant partners, including Sony, Microsoft, Apple and Google. The concentration of a material portion of our digital sales in these partners exposes us to risks associated with these businesses. Any deterioration in the businesses of our significant partners could disrupt and harm our business, including by limiting the methods through which our digital products and services are offered and exposing us to collection risks.
In addition, our license agreements typically provide these partners with significant control over the approval and distribution of the products and services that we develop for their consoles, systems and devices. For products and services delivered via digital channels, each respective partner has policies and guidelines that control the promotion and distribution of these titles and the features and functionalities that we are permitted to offer through the channel. In addition, we are dependent on these partners to invest in, and upgrade, the capabilities of their systems in a manner than corresponds to the preferences of consumers. Failure by these partners to keep pace with consumer preferences could have an adverse impact on the engagement with our products and services and our ability to merchandise and commercialize our products and services which could harm our business and/or financial results.
Moreover, certain significant partners can determine and change unilaterally certain key terms and conditions, including the ability to change their user and developer policies and guidelines. In many cases these partners also set the rates that we must pay to provide our games and services through their online channels, and retain flexibility to change their fee structures or adopt different fee structures for their online channels, which could adversely impact our costs, profitability and margins. These partners also control the information technology systems through which online sales of our products and service channels are captured. If our partners establish terms that restrict our offerings, significantly impact the financial terms on which these products or services are offered to our customers, or their information technology systems experiences outages that impact our players’ ability to access our games or purchase extra content or cause an unanticipated delay in reporting, our business and/or financial results could be materially affected.
The products or services we release may contain defects, bugs or errors.
Our products and services are extremely complex software programs and are difficult to develop and distribute. We have quality controls in place to detect defects, bugs or other errors in our products and services before they are released. Nonetheless, these quality controls are subject to human error, overriding, and resource or technical constraints. In addition, the effectiveness of our quality controls and preventative measures may be negatively affected by the distribution of our workforce resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, these quality controls and preventative measures may not be effective in detecting all defects, bugs or errors in our products and services before they have been released into the marketplace. In such an event, the technological reliability and stability of our products and services could be below our standards and the standards of our players and our reputation, brand and sales could be adversely affected. In addition, we could be required to, or may find it necessary to, offer a refund for the product or service, suspend the availability or sale of the product or service or expend significant resources to cure the defect, bug or error each of which could significantly harm our business and operating results.
LEGAL AND COMPLIANCE RISKS
Our business is subject to complex and prescriptive regulations regarding consumer protection and data privacy practices, and could be adversely affected if our consumer protection, data privacy and security practices are not adequate, or perceived as being inadequate.
We are subject to global data privacy, data protection, localization, security and consumer-protection laws and regulations worldwide. These laws and regulations are emerging and evolving and the interpretation and application of these laws and regulations often are uncertain, contradictory and changing. The failure to maintain data practices that are compliant with applicable laws and regulations, or evolving interpretations of applicable laws and regulations, could result in inquiries from enforcement agencies or direct consumer complaints, resulting in civil or criminal penalties, and could adversely impact our reputation and brand. In addition, the operational costs of compliance with these regulations is high and will likely continue to increase. Even if we remain in strict compliance with applicable laws and regulations, consumer sensitivity to the collection and processing of their personal information continues to increase. Any real or perceived failures in maintaining acceptable data privacy practices, including allowing improper or unauthorized access, acquisition or misuse and/or uninformed disclosure of consumer, employee and other information, or a perception that we do not adequately secure this information or provide consumers with adequate notice about the information that they authorize us to collect and disclose could result in brand, reputational, or other harms to the business, result in costly remedial measures, deter current and potential customers from using our products and services and cause our financial results to be materially affected.
Third party vendors and business partners receive access to certain information that we collect. These vendors and business partners may not prevent data security breaches with respect to the information we provide them or fully enforce our policies, contractual obligations and disclosures regarding the collection, use, storage, transfer and retention of personal data. A data security breach of one of our vendors or business partners could cause reputational and financial harm to them and us, negatively impact our ability to offer our products and services, and could result in legal liability, costly remedial measures, governmental and regulatory investigations, harm our profitability, reputation and brand, and cause our financial results to be materially affected.
We also are subject to payment card association rules and obligations pursuant to contracts with payment card processors. Under these rules and obligations, if information is compromised, we could be liable to payment card issuers for the cost of associated expenses and penalties. In addition, if we fail to follow payment card industry security standards, even if no consumer information is compromised, we could incur significant fines or experience a significant increase in payment card transaction costs.
Government regulations applicable to us may negatively impact our business.
We are a global company subject to various and complex laws and regulations domestically and internationally, including laws and regulations related to consumer protection, protection of minors, content, advertising, localization, information security, intellectual property, competition and taxation, among others. Many of these laws and regulations are continuously evolving and developing, and the application to, and impact on, us is uncertain. For example, the World Health Organization included “gaming disorder” in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases, prompting discussion and consideration of legislation and policies aimed at mitigating the risk of overuse of, and overspending within, video games. These laws could harm our business by limiting the products and services we can offer consumers or the manner in which we offer them. The costs of compliance with these laws may increase in the future as a result of changes in applicable laws or changes to interpretation. Any failure on our part to comply with these laws or the application of these laws in an unanticipated manner may harm our business and result in penalties or significant legal liability.
Certain of our business models and features within our games and services are subject to new laws or regulations or evolving interpretations and application of existing laws and regulations, including those related to gambling. The growth and development of electronic commerce, virtual items and virtual currency has prompted calls for new laws and regulations and resulted in the application of existing laws or regulations that have limited or restricted the sale of our products and services in certain territories. For example, governmental organizations have applied existing laws and regulations to certain mechanics commonly included within our games, including the Ultimate Team mode associated with our sports franchises. In addition, we include modes in our games that allow players to compete against each other and manage player competitions that are based on our products and services. Although we structure and operate our skill-based competitions with applicable laws in mind, including those related to gambling, our skill-based competitions in the future could become subject to evolving laws and regulations. We are also introducing features into our games and services that allow players to create and share user-generated content. Such content may be objectionable or offensive and decrease engagement with our products and services, cause a loss of confidence in our brands and expose us to liability and regulatory oversight, particularly as applicable global laws and
regulations are introduced and evolve. New laws related to these business models and features or the interpretation or application of current laws that impact these business models and features - each of which could vary significantly across jurisdictions - could subject us to additional regulation and oversight, cause us to further limit or restrict the sale of our products and services or otherwise impact our products and services, lessen the engagement with, and growth of, profitable business models, and expose us to increased compliance costs, significant liability, fines, penalties and harm to our reputation and brand.
We are subject to laws in certain foreign countries, and adhere to industry standards in the United States, that mandate rating requirements or set other restrictions on the advertisement or distribution of interactive entertainment software based on content. In addition, certain foreign countries allow government censorship of interactive entertainment software products or require pre-approval processes of uncertain length before our games and services can be offered. Adoption of ratings systems, censorship, restrictions on distribution and changes to approval processes or the status of any approvals could harm our business by limiting the products we are able to offer to our consumers. In addition, compliance with new and possibly inconsistent regulations for different territories could be costly, delay or prevent the release of our products in those territories.
We may be subject to claims of infringement of third-party intellectual property rights.
From time to time, third parties may claim that we have infringed their intellectual property rights. Although we take steps to avoid knowingly violating the intellectual property rights of others, it is possible that third parties still may claim infringement. Existing or future infringement claims against us may be expensive to defend and divert the attention of our employees from business operations. Such claims or litigation could require us to pay damages and other costs. We also could be required to stop selling, distributing or supporting products, features or services which incorporate the affected intellectual property rights, redesign products, features or services to avoid infringement, or obtain a license, all of which could be costly and harm our business.
In addition, many patents have been issued that may apply to potential new modes of delivering, playing or monetizing products and services such as those that we produce or would like to offer in the future. We may discover that future opportunities to provide new and innovative modes of game play and game delivery may be precluded by existing patents that we are unable to acquire or license on reasonable terms.
From time to time we may become involved in other legal proceedings.
We are currently, and from time to time in the future may become, subject to legal proceedings, claims, litigation and government investigations or inquiries, which could be expensive, lengthy, disruptive to normal business operations and occupy a significant amount of our employees’ time and attention. In addition, the outcome of any legal proceedings, claims, litigation, investigations or inquiries may be difficult to predict and could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, operating results, or financial condition.
Our products and brands are subject to intellectual property infringement, including in jurisdictions that do not adequately protect our products and intellectual property rights.
We regard our products, brands and intellectual property as proprietary and take measures to protect our assets from infringement. We are aware that some unauthorized copying of our products and brands occurs, and if a significantly greater amount were to occur, it could negatively impact our business. Further, our products and services are available worldwide and the laws of some countries, particularly in Asia, either do not protect our products, brands and intellectual property to the same extent as the laws of the United States or are poorly enforced. Legal protection of our rights may be ineffective in countries with weaker intellectual property enforcement mechanisms. In addition, certain third parties have registered our intellectual property rights without authorization in foreign countries. Successfully registering such intellectual property rights could limit or restrict our ability to offer products and services based on such rights in those countries. Although we take steps to enforce and police our rights, our practices and methodologies may not be effective against all eventualities.
Our financial results are subject to currency and interest rate fluctuations.
International sales are a fundamental part of our business. For our fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, international net revenue comprised 56 percent of our total net revenue, and we expect our international business to continue to account for a significant portion of our total net revenue. As a result of our international sales, and also the denomination of our foreign investments and our cash and cash equivalents in foreign currencies, we are exposed to the effects of fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, and volatility in foreign currency exchange rates remains elevated as compared to historic levels. Strengthening of the
U.S. dollar, particularly relative to the Euro, British pound sterling, Australian dollar, Japanese yen, Chinese yuan, South Korean won and Polish zloty, has a negative impact on our reported international net revenue but a positive impact on our reported international operating expenses (particularly when the U.S. dollar strengthens against the Swedish krona and the Canadian dollar) because these amounts are translated at lower rates. We use foreign currency hedging contracts to mitigate some foreign currency risk. However, these activities are limited in the protection they provide us from foreign currency fluctuations and can themselves result in losses. In addition, interest rate volatility, including lower interest rates resulting from actions taken in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, can decrease the amount of interest earned on our cash, cash equivalents and short-term investment portfolio.
We utilize debt financing and such indebtedness could adversely impact our business and financial condition.
We have $1.9 billion in senior unsecured notes outstanding as well as an unsecured $500 million revolving credit facility. While the facility is currently undrawn, we may use the proceeds of any future borrowings for general corporate purposes. We may also enter into other financial instruments in the future.
This indebtedness and any indebtedness that we may incur in the future could affect our financial condition and future financial results by, among other things:
•Requiring the dedication of a substantial portion of any cash flow from operations to the payment of principal of, and interest on, our indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of such cash flow for other purposes, including capital expenditures, share repurchases, acquisitions or otherwise funding our growth strategy;
•Limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and our industry; and
•Increasing our vulnerability to downturns in our business or adverse changes in general economic and industry conditions.
The agreements governing our indebtedness impose restrictions on us and require us to maintain compliance with specified covenants. In particular, the revolving credit facility requires us to maintain compliance with a debt to EBITDA ratio. Our ability to comply with these covenants may be affected by events beyond our control. If we breach any of these covenants and do not obtain a waiver from the lenders or noteholders, then, subject to applicable cure periods, our outstanding indebtedness may be declared immediately due and payable. There can be no assurance that any refinancing or additional financing would be available on terms that are favorable or acceptable to us, if at all. In addition, changes by any rating agency to our credit rating may negatively impact the value and liquidity of both our debt and equity securities, as well as the potential costs associated with any potential refinancing our indebtedness. Downgrades in our credit rating could also restrict our ability to obtain additional financing in the future and could affect the terms of any such financing.
Changes in our tax rates or exposure to additional tax liabilities, and changes to tax laws and interpretations of tax laws could adversely affect our earnings and financial condition.
We are subject to taxes in the United States and in various foreign jurisdictions. Significant judgment is required in determining our worldwide income tax provision, tax assets, and accruals for other taxes, and there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. Our effective income tax rate is based in part on our corporate operating structure and the manner in which we operate our business and develop, value and use our intellectual property. Taxing authorities in jurisdictions in which we operate have, and may continue to, challenge and audit our methodologies for calculating our income taxes, which could increase our effective income tax rate and have an adverse impact on our results of operations and cash flows. In addition, our provision for income taxes is materially affected by our profit levels, changes in our business, changes in our geographic mix of earnings, changes in the elections we make, changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities, changes in our corporate structure, changes in applicable accounting rules, or changes in applicable tax laws or interpretations of existing income and withholding tax laws, as well as other factors. For example, the outcome of future guidance related to the U.S. Tax Act could cause us to change our analysis and materially impact our previous estimates and consolidated financial statements. The impact of excess tax benefits and tax deficiencies could result in significant fluctuations to our effective tax rate.
In addition, changes to U.S. federal, state or international tax laws or their applicability to corporate multinationals in the countries in which we do business, particularly in Switzerland, where our international business is headquartered, and actions we have taken in our business with respect to such laws, have affected, and could continue to affect, our effective tax rates and cash taxes, cause us to change the way in which we structure our business and result in other costs. Our effective tax rate also could be adversely affected by changes in our valuation allowances for deferred tax assets. Our valuation allowances, in turn,
can be impacted by several factors, including changes to the expected mix and timing of product releases and future taxable income, expected growth rates of future taxable income, which are based primarily on third party market and industry growth data, changes in interest rates, and actions we take in connection with acquisitions. Significant judgment is involved in determining the amount of valuation allowances, and actual financial results also may differ materially from our current estimates and could have a material impact on our assessments.
We are required to pay taxes other than income taxes, such as payroll, sales, use, value-added, net worth, property, transfer, and goods and services taxes, in both the United States and foreign jurisdictions. Several foreign jurisdictions have introduced new digital services taxes on revenue of companies that provide certain digital services or expanded their interpretation of existing tax laws with regard to other non-income taxes. There is limited guidance about the applicability of these new taxes or changing interpretations to our business and significant uncertainty as to what will be deemed in scope. If these foreign taxes are applied to us, it could have an adverse and material impact on our business and financial performance.
Our business is subject to economic, market and geopolitical conditions.
Our business is subject to economic, market, public health and geopolitical conditions, which are beyond our control. The United States and other international economies have experienced cyclical downturns from time to time. Worsening economic conditions that negatively impact discretionary consumer spending and consumer demand, including inflation, slower growth, recession and other macroeconomic conditions, including those resulting from, and that may persist from, public health outbreaks such as the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical issues, such as the impact from the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, could have a material adverse impact on our business and operating results.
We are particularly susceptible to market conditions and risks associated with the entertainment industry, which, in addition to general macroeconomic downturns, also include the popularity, price and timing of our games, changes in consumer demographics, the availability and popularity of other forms of entertainment, and critical reviews and public tastes and preferences, which may change rapidly and cannot necessarily be predicted.
Our stock price has been volatile and may continue to fluctuate significantly.
The market price of our common stock historically has been, and we expect will continue to be, subject to significant fluctuations. These fluctuations may be due to our operating results or factors specific to our operating results (including those discussed in the risk factors above, as well as others not currently known to us or that we currently do not believe are material), changes in securities analysts’ estimates of our future financial performance, ratings or recommendations, our results or future financial guidance falling below our expectations and analysts’ and investors’ expectations, the failure of our capital return programs to meet analysts’ and investors’ expectations, the announcement and integration of any acquisitions we may make, departure of key personnel, cyberattacks, or factors largely outside of our control including, those affecting interactive gaming, entertainment, and/or technology companies generally, national or international economic conditions, investor sentiment or other factors related or unrelated to our operating performance. In particular, economic downturns may contribute to the public stock markets experiencing extreme price and trading volume volatility. These broad market fluctuations could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
Item 1B: Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2: Properties
Item 3: Legal Proceedings
Refer to Note 14 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for disclosures regarding our legal proceedings.
Item 4: Mine Safety Disclosures
Item 5: Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
There were approximately 721 holders of record of our common stock as of May 24, 2021. In addition, a significant number of beneficial owners of our common stock hold their shares in street name. Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “EA”.
In November 2020, we initiated and declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.17 per share of common stock. We paid aggregate cash dividends of $98 million during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021. We currently expect to continue to pay comparable cash dividends on a quarterly basis in the future; however, future declarations of dividends and the establishment of future record dates and payment dates are subject to the final determination of our Board of Directors or a designated Committee of our Board of Directors.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
In May 2018, a Special Committee of our Board of Directors, on behalf of the full Board of Directors, authorized a program to repurchase up to $2.4 billion of our common stock. We repurchased approximately 0.7 million, 12.3 million and 10.4 million shares for approximately $78 million, $1,207 million and $1,116 million under this program, respectively, during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019. We completed repurchases under the May 2018 program in April 2020.
In November 2020, our Board of Directors authorized a program to repurchase up to $2.6 billion of our common stock. This stock repurchase program expires on November 4, 2022. Under this program, we may purchase stock in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions in accordance with applicable securities laws, including pursuant to pre-arranged stock trading plans. The timing and actual amount of the stock repurchases will depend on several factors including price, capital availability, regulatory requirements, alternative investment opportunities and other market conditions. We are not obligated to repurchase a specific number of shares under this program and it may be modified, suspended or discontinued at any time. We repurchased approximately 4.9 million shares for approximately $651 million under this program during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021. We are actively repurchasing shares under this program.
The following table summarizes the number of shares repurchased in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021:
|Fiscal Month||Total Number of Shares Purchased||Average Price Paid per Share||Total Number of Shares Purchased as part of Publicly Announced Programs||Maximum Dollar Value that May Still Be Purchased Under the Programs |
|January 3, 2021 - January 30, 2021||702,598 ||$||141.77 ||702,598 ||$||2,175 |
|January 31, 2021 - February 27, 2021||507,258 ||$||144.29 ||507,258 ||$||2,102 |
|February 28, 2021 - April 3, 2021||1,151,916 ||$||132.14 ||1,151,916 ||$||1,950 |
|2,361,772 ||$||137.61 ||2,361,772 |
Stock Performance Graph
The following information shall not be deemed to be “filed” with the SEC nor shall this information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Exchange Act, as amended, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into a filing.
The following graph shows a five-year comparison of cumulative total returns during the period from March 31, 2016 through March 31, 2021, for our common stock, the S&P 500 Index (to which EA was added in July 2002), the NASDAQ Composite Index, and the RDG Technology Composite Index, each of which assumes an initial value of $100. Each measurement point is as of the end of each fiscal year. The performance of our stock depicted in the following graph is not necessarily indicative of the future performance of our stock.
COMPARISON OF 5 YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN*
Among Electronic Arts Inc., the S&P 500 Index, the NASDAQ Composite Index,
and the RDG Technology Composite Index
|*||Based on $100 invested on March 31, 2016 in stock or index, including reinvestment of dividends.|
| ||March 31,|
|Electronic Arts Inc.||$||100 ||$||135 ||$||183 ||$||154 ||$||152 ||$||205 |
|S&P 500 Index||100 ||117 ||134 ||146 ||136 ||213 |
|NASDAQ Composite Index||100 ||123 ||148 ||164 ||165 ||287 |
|RDG Technology Composite Index||100 ||125 ||160 ||186 ||196 ||339 |
Item 6: [Reserved]
Item 7: Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The following overview is a high-level discussion of our operating results, as well as some of the trends and drivers that affect our business. Management believes that an understanding of these trends and drivers provides important context for our results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, as well as our future prospects. This summary is not intended to be exhaustive, nor is it intended to be a substitute for the detailed discussion and analysis provided elsewhere in this Form 10-K, including in the “Business” section and the “Risk Factors” above, the remainder of this “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (“MD&A”)” or the Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes.
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. We develop, market, publish and deliver games, content and services that can be played and watched on game consoles, PCs, mobile phones and tablets. We believe that the breadth and depth of our portfolio, live services offerings, and our use of multiple business models and distribution channels provide us with strategic advantages. Our foundation is a collection of intellectual property from which we create innovative games and content that enables us to build on-going and meaningful relationships with a community of players, creators and viewers. Our portfolio includes brands that we either wholly own (such as Battlefield, The Sims, Apex Legends, Need for Speed and Plants vs. Zombies) or license from others (such as FIFA, Madden NFL, UFC, NHL, Formula 1 and Star Wars). Through our live services offerings, we offer our players high-quality experiences designed to provide value to players and extend and enhance gameplay. These live services include extra content, subscription offerings and other revenue generated outside of the sale of our base games. In addition, we are focused on reaching more players whenever and wherever they want to play. We believe that we can add value to our network by making it easier for players to connect to a world of play by offering choice of business model, distribution channel and device.
Our key financial results for our fiscal year ended March 31, 2021 were as follows:
•Total net revenue was $5,629 million, up 2 percent year-over-year.
•Live services and other net revenue was $4,016 million, up 10 percent year-over-year.
•Gross margin was 73.5 percent, down 2 percentage points year-over-year.
•Operating expenses were $3,089 million, up 13 percent year-over-year.
•Operating income was $1,046 million, down 28 percent year-over-year.
•Net income was $837 million, down 72 percent year-over-year. Net income for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 was $3,039 million and included a one-time net tax benefit of $1,760 million.
•Diluted earnings per share was $2.87, down 72 percent year-over-year driven by the one-time net tax benefit included in net income for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020.
•Operating cash flow was $1,934 million, up 8 percent year-over-year.
•Total cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were $6,366 million.
•We repurchased 5.6 million shares of our common stock for $729 million.
•In November 2020, we initiated and declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.17 per share of common stock. We paid cash dividends of $98 million during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021.
•On May 10, 2021, we declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.17 per share of our common stock, payable June 23, 2021 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 2, 2021.
From time to time, we make comparisons of current periods to prior periods with reference to constant currency. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, foreign currency exchange rates did not have a material impact on our net revenue and operating expenses.
Trends in Our Business
COVID-19 Impact. We are closely monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to our people and our business. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have focused on actions to support our people, our players, and communities around the world that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our People: The wellbeing of our people is our top priority, and to keep everyone as safe as possible, the vast majority of our workforce is expected to work from home at least through September 2021. We are offering support and resources to our people, including payments to assist with work from home costs and care needs, a pandemic care leave program, and additional services for mental and physical health. We have developed a detailed protocol for how we evaluate the readiness to return to work for each of our offices around the world, accounting for guidance from health authorities and government, vaccine availability and effectiveness, the comfort level of our employees, and preparation of our facilities for continued physical distancing.
Our Business: In fiscal year 2021, execution against our strategic pillars and increased engagement with our products and services led to growth in our business, aided by consumers spending more time at home because of social restrictions and local government mandates related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, longer-term trends that benefit our business accelerated. Live services and other net revenue for fiscal year 2021 increased more than 10 percent year-over-year. We have also experienced a significant increase in the percentage of our games purchased digitally.
Future Outlook: The full extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to our business, operations and financial results will depend on numerous evolving factors that cannot be accurately predicted at this time, such as the duration and spread of the pandemic, the extent, speed and effectiveness of worldwide containment and vaccination efforts and the impact of these and other factors on our employees, customers, partners and vendors. Trends from fiscal year 2021 that benefited our industry and business may not be indicative of results for future periods, particularly as factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic lessen and consumers can engage with other forms of entertainment, if the trend towards digital adoption decelerates, or if global macroeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic persist even after the pandemic has subsided. Additional factors that could impact our business include: our ability to timely deliver high quality and technically stable games and services while our teams, including our development teams, work in a distributed environment, our ability to safely reintroduce our employees to our offices when it is appropriate to do so, and other factors included in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report under the heading “Risk Factors”.
Live Services Business. We offer our players high-quality experiences designed to provide value to players and to extend and enhance gameplay. These live services include extra content, subscription offerings and other revenue generated outside of the sale of our base games. Our net revenue attributable to live services and other was $4,016 million, $3,650 million and $3,157 million for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively, and we expect that live services net revenue will continue to be material to our business. Within live services and other, net revenue attributable to extra content was $3,068 million, $2,826 million and $2,373 million for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Extra content net revenue has increased as players engage with our games and services over longer periods of time, and purchase additional content designed to provide value to players and extend and enhance gameplay. Our most popular live service is the extra content purchased for the Ultimate Team mode associated with our sports franchises. Ultimate Team allows players to collect current and former professional players in order to build and compete as a personalized team. Net revenue from extra content sales for Ultimate Team was $1,623 million, $1,491 million and $1,369 million during fiscal years 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively, a substantial portion of which was derived from FIFA Ultimate Team.
Digital Delivery of Games. In our industry, players increasingly purchase games digitally as opposed to purchasing physical discs. While this trend, as applied to our business, may not be linear because of product mix during a fiscal year, consumer buying patterns and other factors, over time we expect players to purchase an increasingly higher proportion of our games digitally; therefore we expect net revenue attributable to digital full game downloads to increase over time and net revenue attributable to sales of packaged goods to decrease.
Our net revenue attributable to digital full game downloads was $918 million, $811 million and $681 million during fiscal years 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively; while our net revenue attributable to packaged goods sales decreased from $1,112 million in fiscal year 2019 to $1,076 million in fiscal year 2020 and $695 million in fiscal year 2021. In addition, as measured based on total units sold on Microsoft’s Xbox One and Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 4 and 5 rather than by net revenue, we estimate that 62 percent, 49 percent, and 49 percent of our total units sold during fiscal years 2021, 2020 and 2019 were sold digitally. Digital full game units are based on sales information provided by Microsoft and Sony; packaged goods units sold through are estimated by obtaining data from significant retail partners in North America, Europe and Asia, and applying internal sales estimates with respect to retail partners from which we do not obtain data. We believe that these percentages are
reasonable estimates of the proportion of our games that are digitally downloaded in relation to our total number of units sold for the applicable period of measurement.
During fiscal year 2021, the percentage of our full games purchased digitally accelerated, likely aided by factors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, including store closures of our key retail partners for a portion of fiscal year 2021. While digital adoption may decelerate in fiscal year 2022, as factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic lessen or if global macroeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic persist even after the pandemic has subsided, we believe that the significant increase in digital adoption we experienced in fiscal year 2021 is likely a permanent structural change. Increases in consumer adoption of digital purchase of games combined with increases in our live services revenue generally results in expansion of our gross margin, as costs associated with selling a game digitally is generally less than selling the same game through traditional retail and distribution channels.
Free-to-Play Games. The global adoption of mobile devices and a business model for those devices that allows consumers to try new games with no up-front cost, and that are monetized through a live service associated with the game, particularly extra content sales, has led to significant sales growth in the mobile gaming industry. Similarly, sales of extra content are the primary driver of our mobile business. We are investing resources in our mobile business, seeking to maximize our mobile live services, innovate on mobile with our franchises, and have added additional growth opportunities through mergers and acquisitions activity. Likewise, the consumer acceptance of free-to-play, live service-based, online PC games has broadened our consumer base and has begun to expand into the console market. For example, within our business, we offer Apex Legends as a free-to-play, live service-based PC and console game. We expect extra content revenue generated from mobile, PC and console free-to-play games to continue to be an important part of our business.
Concentration of Sales Among the Most Popular Games. In all major segments of our industry, we see a large portion of games sales concentrated on the most popular titles. Similarly, a significant portion of our revenue historically has been derived from games based on a few popular franchises, several of which we have released on an annual or bi-annual basis. In particular, we have historically derived a significant portion of our net revenue from our largest and most popular game, FIFA, the annualized version of which is consistently one of the best-selling games in the marketplace.
Recurring Revenue Sources. Our business model includes revenue that we deem recurring in nature, such as revenue from our annualized sports franchises (e.g., FIFA, Madden NFL), our console, PC and mobile catalog titles (i.e., titles that did not launch in the current fiscal year), and our live services. We have been able to forecast revenue from these areas of our business with greater relative confidence than for new games, services and business models. As we continue to incorporate new business models and modalities of play into our games, our goal is to continue to look for opportunities to expand the recurring portion of our business.
Net Bookings. In order to improve transparency into our business, we disclose an operating performance metric, net bookings. Net bookings is defined as the net amount of products and services sold digitally or sold-in physically in the period. Net bookings is calculated by adding total net revenue to the change in deferred net revenue for online-enabled games.
The following is a calculation of our total net bookings for the periods presented:
|Year Ended March 31,|
|Total net revenue||$||5,629 ||$||5,537 |
|Change in deferred net revenue (online-enabled games)||561 ||(165)|
Net bookings (a)
|$||6,190 ||$||5,372 |
(a) At the beginning of fiscal year 2021, we changed the way in which we present net bookings to align with GAAP net revenue measures. Net bookings from mobile platform partners are now presented gross of platform provider fees. Historically, we presented net bookings from these partners net of platform fees. Net bookings for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 has been recast for comparability.
Net bookings were $6,190 million for fiscal year 2021 driven by sales related to FIFA 21, Apex Legends, FIFA 20, The Sims 4, and Madden NFL 21. Net bookings increased $818 million or 15 percent as compared to fiscal year 2020 primarily driven by the FIFA franchise, Apex Legends, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, The Sims 4, and the Madden franchise, partially offset by Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Battlefield V, and Need for Speed Heat. Live services and other net bookings were $4,592 million for fiscal year 2021, and increased $1,000 million or 28 percent as compared to fiscal year 2020. The increase in live services and other net bookings was due primarily to an increase in sales of extra content for Ultimate Team, Apex Legends, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, and The Sims 4. Full game net bookings were $1,598 million for fiscal year 2021, and decreased $182
million or 10 percent as compared to fiscal year 2020 due to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, partially offset by Star Wars: Squadrons and UFC 4.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Acquisition of Glu Mobile. Subsequent to the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, we completed the acquisition of Glu Mobile Inc., a leading global developer and publisher of mobile games (“Glu” and the “Glu acquisition”) for cash consideration of approximately $2.3 billion. We also assumed all outstanding unvested equity awards held by Glu employees. We expect the Glu acquisition to accelerate our mobile growth by creating a combined organization with ongoing live services across multiple games and genres. We also believe that the acquisition will create value by adding Glu’s expertise in casual sports and lifestyle genres to new titles based on our intellectual property. Glu will be integrated into the Company for financial reporting purposes in the first fiscal quarter of fiscal year 2022. For more information about the Glu acquisition, see Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Note 7 — Business Combinations. Acquisition of Codemasters. On February 18, 2021, we completed the acquisition of Codemasters Group Holdings plc (“Codemasters” and the “Codemasters acquisition”) for total cash consideration of $1.2 billion, net of cash acquired. Codemasters is a UK-based game developer and publisher of high-quality racing games across console, PC and mobile. We expect the Codemasters acquisition to grow our presence in racing, creating a global leader in racing entertainment. Codemasters was integrated into the Company for financial reporting purposes during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021. For more information about the Codemasters acquisition, see Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Note 7 — Business Combinations.
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES
Our Consolidated Financial Statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“U.S. GAAP”). The preparation of these Consolidated Financial Statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, contingent assets and liabilities, and revenue and expenses during the reporting periods. The policies discussed below are considered by management to be critical because they are not only important to the portrayal of our financial condition and results of operations, but also because application and interpretation of these policies requires both management judgment and estimates of matters that are inherently uncertain and unknown, including uncertainty in the current economic environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, actual results may differ materially from our estimates.
We derive revenue principally from sales of our games, and related extra content and services that can be played on game consoles, PCs, mobile phones and tablets. Our product and service offerings include, but are not limited to, the following:
•full games with both online and offline functionality (“Games with Services”), which generally includes (1) the initial game delivered digitally or via physical disc at the time of sale and typically provide access to offline core game content (“software license”); (2) updates on a when-and-if-available basis, such as software patches or updates, and/or additional free content to be delivered in the future (“future update rights”); and (3) a hosted connection for online playability (“online hosting”);
•full games with online-only functionality which require an Internet connection to access all gameplay and functionality (“Online-Hosted Service Games”);
•extra content related to Games with Services and Online-Hosted Service Games which provides access to additional in-game content;
•subscriptions, such as EA Play and EA Play Pro, that generally offers access to a selection of full games, in-game content, online services and other benefits typically for a recurring monthly or annual fee; and
•licensing to third parties to distribute and host our games and content.
We evaluate and recognize revenue by:
•identifying the contract(s) with the customer;
•identifying the performance obligations in the contract;
•determining the transaction price;
•allocating the transaction price to performance obligations in the contract; and
•recognizing revenue as each performance obligation is satisfied through the transfer of a promised good or service to a customer (i.e., “transfer of control”).
Certain of our full game and/or extra content are sold to resellers with a contingency that the full game and/or extra content cannot be resold prior to a specific date (“Street Date Contingency”). We recognize revenue for transactions that have a Street Date Contingency when the Street Date Contingency is removed and the full game and/or extra content can be resold by the reseller. For digital full game and/or extra content downloads sold to customers, we recognize revenue when the full game and/or extra content is made available for download to the customer.
Games with Services. Our sales of Games with Services are evaluated to determine whether the software license, future update rights and the online hosting are distinct and separable. Sales of Games with Services are generally determined to have three distinct performance obligations: software license, future update rights, and the online hosting.
Since we do not sell the performance obligations on a stand-alone basis, we consider market conditions and other observable inputs to estimate the stand-alone selling price for each performance obligation. For Games with Services, generally 75 percent of the sales price is allocated to the software license performance obligation and recognized at a point in time when control of the license has been transferred to the customer (which is usually at or near the same time as the booking of the transaction). The remaining 25 percent is allocated to the future update rights and the online hosting performance obligations and recognized ratably as the service is provided (over the Estimated Offering Period).
Online-Hosted Service Games. Sales of our Online-Hosted Service Games are determined to have one distinct performance obligation: the online hosting. We recognize revenue from these arrangements as the service is provided.
Extra Content. Revenue received from sales of downloadable content are derived primarily from the sale of virtual currencies and digital in-game content that are designed to extend and enhance players’ game experience. Sales of extra content are accounted for in a manner consistent with the treatment for our Games with Services and Online-Hosted Service Games as discussed above, depending upon whether or not the extra content has offline functionality. That is, if the extra content has offline functionality, then the extra content is accounted for similarly to Games with Services (generally determined to have three distinct performance obligations: software license, future update rights, and the online hosting). If the extra content does not have offline functionality, then the extra content is determined to have one distinct performance obligation: the online-hosted service offering.
Sales of our subscriptions are deemed to be one performance obligation and we recognize revenue from these arrangements ratably over the subscription term as the performance obligation is satisfied.
In certain countries, we utilize third-party licensees to distribute and host our games and content in accordance with license agreements, for which the licensees typically pay us a fixed minimum guarantee and/or sales-based royalties. These arrangements typically include multiple performance obligations, such as a time-based license of software and future update rights. We recognize as revenue a portion of the minimum guarantee when we transfer control of the license of software (generally upon commercial launch) and the remaining portion ratably over the contractual term in which we provide the licensee with future update rights. Any sales-based royalties are generally recognized as the related sales occur by the licensee.
Significant Judgments around Revenue Arrangements
Identifying performance obligations. Performance obligations promised in a contract are identified based on the goods and services that will be transferred to the customer that are both capable of being distinct, (i.e., the customer can benefit from the goods or services either on its own or together with other resources that are readily available), and are distinct in the context of the contract (i.e., it is separately identifiable from other goods or services in the contract). To the extent a contract includes multiple promises, we must apply judgment to determine whether those promises are separate and distinct performance obligations. If these criteria are not met, the promises are accounted for as a combined performance obligation.
Determining the transaction price. The transaction price is determined based on the consideration that we will be entitled to receive in exchange for transferring our goods and services to the customer. Determining the transaction price often requires judgment, based on an assessment of contractual terms and business practices. It further includes review of variable consideration such as discounts, sales returns, price protection, and rebates, which is estimated at the time of the transaction. In addition, the transaction price does not include an estimate of the variable consideration related to sales-based royalties. Sales-based royalties are recognized as the sales occur.
Allocating the transaction price. Allocating the transaction price requires that we determine an estimate of the relative stand-alone selling price for each distinct performance obligation. Determining the relative stand-alone selling price is inherently subjective, especially in situations where we do not sell the performance obligation on a stand-alone basis (which occurs in the majority of our transactions). In those situations, we determine the relative stand-alone selling price based on various observable inputs using all information that is reasonably available. Examples of observable inputs and information include: historical internal pricing data, cost plus margin analyses, third-party external pricing of similar or same products and services such as software licenses and maintenance support within the enterprise software industry. The results of our analysis resulted in a specific percentage of the transaction price being allocated to each performance obligation.
Determining the Estimated Offering Period. The offering period is the period in which we offer to provide the future update rights and/or online hosting for the game and related extra content sold. Because the offering period is not an explicitly defined period, we must make an estimate of the offering period for the service-related performance obligations (i.e., future update rights and online hosting). Determining the Estimated Offering Period is inherently subjective and is subject to regular revision. Generally, we consider the average period of time customers are online when estimating the offering period. We also consider the estimated period of time between the date a game unit is sold to a reseller and the date the reseller sells the game unit to the customer (i.e., time in channel). Based on these two factors, we then consider the method of distribution. For example, games and extra content sold at retail would have a composite offering period equal to the online gameplay period plus time in channel as opposed to digitally-distributed games and extra content which are delivered immediately via digital download and therefore, the offering period is estimated to be only the online gameplay period.
Additionally, we consider results from prior analyses, known and expected online gameplay trends, as well as disclosed service periods for competitors’ games in determining the Estimated Offering Period for future sales. We believe this provides a reasonable depiction of the transfer of future update rights and online hosting to our customers, as it is the best representation of the time period during which our games and extra content are played. We recognize revenue for future update rights and online hosting performance obligations ratably on a straight-line basis over this period as there is a consistent pattern of delivery for these performance obligations. Prior to July 1, 2020, these performance obligations were generally recognized over an estimated nine-month period beginning in the month after shipment for games and extra content sold through retail and an estimated six-month period for digitally-distributed games and extra content beginning in the month of sale.
During the three months ended September 30, 2020, we completed our annual evaluation of the Estimated Offering Period, and noted that generally, consumers were playing our games for longer periods of time as players engage with services we provide that are designed to enhance and extend gameplay. Based on this, we concluded that the Estimated Offering Period applied to sales made after June 30, 2020 should be lengthened. Revenue for service related performance obligations for games and extra content sold through retail are now recognized over an estimated ten-month period beginning in the month of sale, and revenue for service related performance obligations for digitally-distributed games and extra content are now recognized over an estimated eight-month period beginning in the month of sale, which results in revenue being recognized over a longer period of time. This change in Estimated Offering Period did not impact the amount of net bookings or the operating cash flows that we report. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, this change to our Estimated Offering Period resulted in a decrease in net revenue of $333 million and net income of $280 million, and a decrease of $0.96 diluted earnings per share.
Principal Agent Considerations
We evaluate sales to end customers of our full games and related content via third-party storefronts, including digital storefronts such as Microsoft’s Xbox Store, Sony’s PlayStation Store, Apple App Store, and Google Play Store, in order to determine whether or not we are acting as the principal in the sale to the end customer, which we consider in determining if revenue should be reported gross or net of fees retained by the third-party storefront. An entity is the principal if it controls a good or service before it is transferred to the end customer. Key indicators that we evaluate in determining gross versus net treatment include but are not limited to the following:
•the underlying contract terms and conditions between the various parties to the transaction;
•which party is primarily responsible for fulfilling the promise to provide the specified good or service to the end customer;
•which party has inventory risk before the specified good or service has been transferred to the end customer; and
•which party has discretion in establishing the price for the specified good or service.
Based on an evaluation of the above indicators, except as discussed below, we have determined that generally the third party is considered the principal to end customers for the sale of our full games and related content. We therefore report revenue related to these arrangements net of the fees retained by the storefront. However, for sales arrangements via Apple App Store and Google Play Store, EA is considered the principal to the end customer and thus, we report revenue on a gross basis and mobile platform fees are reported within cost of revenue.
Fair Value Estimates
Business Combinations. We must estimate the fair value of assets acquired, liabilities assumed, and acquired in-process technology in a business combination. Our assessment of the estimated fair value of each of these can have a material effect on our reported results as intangible assets are amortized over various estimated useful lives. Furthermore, the estimated fair value assigned to an acquired asset or liability has a direct impact on the amount we recognize as goodwill, which is an asset that is not amortized. Determining the fair value of assets acquired requires an assessment of the highest and best use of the asset or group of assets that maximizes the value from a market participant perspective or the expected price to sell the asset and the related expected future cash flows. Determining the fair value of acquired in-process technology also requires an assessment of our expectations related to the use of that technology. Such estimates are inherently difficult and subjective and can have a material impact on our Consolidated Financial Statements.
We recognize deferred tax assets and liabilities for both (1) the expected impact of differences between the financial statement amount and the tax basis of assets and liabilities and (2) the expected future tax benefit to be derived from tax losses and tax credit carryforwards. We do not recognize any deferred taxes related to the U.S. taxes on foreign earnings as we recognize these taxes as a period cost.
We record a valuation allowance against deferred tax assets when it is considered more likely than not that all or a portion of our deferred tax assets will not be realized. In making this determination, we are required to give significant weight to evidence that can be objectively verified. It is generally difficult to conclude that a valuation allowance is not needed when there is significant negative evidence, such as cumulative losses in recent years. Forecasts of future taxable income are considered to be less objective than past results. Therefore, cumulative losses weigh heavily in the overall assessment.
In addition to considering forecasts of future taxable income, we are also required to evaluate and quantify other possible sources of taxable income in order to assess the realization of our deferred tax assets, namely the reversal of existing deferred tax liabilities, the carryback of losses and credits as allowed under current tax law, and the implementation of tax planning strategies. Evaluating and quantifying these amounts involves significant judgments. Each source of income must be evaluated based on all positive and negative evidence and this evaluation may involve assumptions about future activity. Certain taxable temporary differences that are not expected to reverse during the carry forward periods permitted by tax law cannot be considered as a source of future taxable income that may be available to realize the benefit of deferred tax assets.
Every quarter, we perform a realizability analysis to evaluate whether it is more likely than not that all or a portion of our deferred tax assets will not be realized. Our Swiss deferred tax asset realizability analysis relies upon future Swiss taxable income as the primary source of taxable income but considers all available sources of Swiss income based on the positive and negative evidence. We give more weight to evidence that can be objectively verified. However, there is significant judgment
involved in estimating future Swiss taxable income, specifically related to assumptions about expected growth rates of future Swiss taxable income, which are based primarily on third party market and industry growth data. Actual results that differ materially from those estimates could have a material impact on our valuation allowance assessment. Although objectively verifiable, Swiss interest rates have an impact on the valuation allowance and are based on published Swiss guidance. Any significant changes to such interest rates could result in a material impact to the valuation allowance. Switzerland has a seven-year carryforward period and does not permit the carry back of losses. Changes in Estimated Offering Period and actions we take in connection with acquisitions could also impact the utilization of our Swiss deferred tax asset.
As part of the process of preparing our Consolidated Financial Statements, we are required to estimate our income taxes in each jurisdiction in which we operate prior to the completion and filing of tax returns for such periods. This process requires estimating both our geographic mix of income and our uncertain tax positions in each jurisdiction where we operate. These estimates involve complex issues and require us to make judgments about the likely application of the tax law to our situation, as well as with respect to other matters, such as anticipating the positions that we will take on tax returns prior to our preparing the returns and the outcomes of disputes with tax authorities. The ultimate resolution of these issues may take extended periods of time due to examinations by tax authorities and statutes of limitations. In addition, changes in our business, including acquisitions, changes in our international corporate structure, changes in the geographic location of business functions or assets, changes in the geographic mix and amount of income, as well as changes in our agreements with tax authorities, valuation allowances, applicable accounting rules, applicable tax laws and regulations, rulings and interpretations thereof, developments in tax audit and other matters, and variations in the estimated and actual level of annual pre-tax income can affect the overall effective tax rate.
IMPACT OF RECENTLY ISSUED ACCOUNTING STANDARDS
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Our fiscal year is reported on a 52- or 53-week period that ends on the Saturday nearest March 31. Our results of operations for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021 contained 53 weeks and ended on April 3, 2021. Our results of operations for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019 contained 52 weeks each and ended on March 28, 2020 and March 30, 2019, respectively. For simplicity of disclosure, all fiscal periods are referred to as ending on a calendar month end.
Net revenue consists of sales generated from (1) full games sold as digital downloads or as packaged goods and designed for play on game consoles, PCs and mobile phones and tablets (2) live services associated with these games, such as extra-content, (3) subscriptions that generally offer access to a selection of full games, in-game content, online services and other benefits, and (4) licensing our games to third parties to distribute and host our games.
Comparison of Fiscal Year 2021 to Fiscal Year 2020
Net revenue for fiscal year 2021 was $5,629 million, primarily driven by FIFA 21, FIFA 20, The Sims 4, Apex Legends, and Madden NFL 21. Net revenue for fiscal year 2021 increased $92 million, as compared to fiscal year 2020. This increase was driven by a $489 million increase in net revenue primarily from The Sims, FIFA, and Madden franchises, and Apex Legends. This increase was partially offset by a $397 million decrease in net revenue primarily from Anthem, and the Star Wars and Battlefield franchises.
Net Revenue by Composition
As our business has evolved and management focuses less on the differentiation between our packaged goods business and our digital business and more on our full game sales and live services that extend and enhance gameplay, we have updated our presentation of net revenue by composition to align with this management view.
Our net revenue by composition for fiscal years 2021 and 2020 was as follows (in millions):
|Year Ended March 31,|
|2021||2020||$ Change||% Change|
|Full game downloads||$||918 ||$||811 ||$||107 ||13 ||%|
|Packaged goods||695 ||1,076 ||(381)||(35)||%|
|Full game||$||1,613 ||$||1,887 ||$||(274)||(15)||%|
|Live services and other||$||4,016 ||$||3,650 ||$||366 ||10 ||%|
|Total net revenue||$||5,629 ||$||5,537 ||$||92 ||2 ||%|
Full Game Net Revenue
Full game net revenue includes full game downloads and packaged goods. Full game downloads includes revenue from digital sales of full games on console, PC, and mobile phones and tablets. Packaged goods includes revenue from software that is sold physically. This includes (1) net revenue from game software sold physically through traditional channels such as brick and mortar retailers, and (2) software licensing revenue from third parties (for example, makers of console platforms, personal computers or computer accessories) who include certain of our full games for sale with their products (for example, OEM bundles).
Full game net revenue for fiscal year 2021 was $1,613 million, primarily driven by FIFA 21, Madden NFL 21, FIFA 20, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and Need for Speed Heat. Full game net revenue for fiscal year 2021 decreased $274 million, or 15 percent, as compared to fiscal year 2020. This decrease was driven by a $381 million decrease in packaged goods net revenue primarily driven by the FIFA franchise, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and Anthem. This decrease was partially offset by a $107 million increase in full game downloads net revenue primarily driven by the FIFA and Madden franchises and UFC 4, partially offset by Anthem and Battlefield V.
Live Services and Other Net Revenue
Live services and other net revenue includes revenue from sales of extra content for console, PC and mobile games, licensing revenue from third-party publishing partners who distribute our games digitally, subscriptions, advertising, and non-software licensing.
Live services and other net revenue for fiscal year 2021 was $4,016 million, primarily driven by sales of extra content for FIFA Ultimate Team, Apex Legends, and The Sims 4. Live services and other net revenue for fiscal year 2021 increased $366 million, or 10 percent, as compared to fiscal year 2020. This increase was driven by sales of extra content for FIFA Ultimate Team, Apex Legends, The Sims 4, and Madden Ultimate Team.
Comparison of Fiscal Year 2020 to Fiscal Year 2019
Net revenue for fiscal year 2020 was $5,537 million, primarily driven by FIFA 20, FIFA 19, The Sims 4, Apex Legends, and Madden NFL 20. Net revenue for fiscal year 2020 increased $587 million, as compared to fiscal year 2019. This increase was driven by a $924 million increase in net revenue primarily from Apex Legends, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Anthem. This increase was partially offset by a $337 million decrease in net revenue primarily from the Battlefield franchise.
Net Revenue by Composition
Our net revenue by composition for fiscal years 2020 and 2019 was as follows (in millions):
|Year Ended March 31,|
|2020||2019||$ Change||% Change|
|Full game downloads||$||811 ||$||681 ||$||130 ||19 ||%|
|Packaged goods||1,076 ||1,112 ||(36)||(3)||%|
|Full game||$||1,887 ||$||1,793 ||$||94 ||5 ||%|
|Live services and other||$||3,650 ||$||3,157 ||$||493 ||16 ||%|
|Total net revenue||$||5,537 ||$||4,950 ||$||587 ||12 ||%|
Full Game Net Revenue
Full game net revenue for fiscal year 2020 was $1,887 million, primarily driven by FIFA 20, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Madden NFL 20, Anthem, and FIFA 19. Full game net revenue for fiscal year 2020 increased $94 million, or 5 percent, as compared to fiscal year 2019. This increase was driven by a $130 million increase in full game downloads net revenue primarily driven by Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Anthem, partially offset by the Battlefield franchise. This increase was partially offset by a $36 million decrease in packaged goods net revenue primarily driven by the FIFA and Battlefield franchises, partially offset by Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Anthem.
Live Services and Other Net Revenue
Live services and other net revenue for fiscal year 2020 was $3,650 million, primarily driven by sales of extra content for FIFA Ultimate Team, Apex Legends, The Sims 4, and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes. Live services and other net revenue for fiscal year 2020 increased $493 million, or 16 percent, as compared to fiscal year 2019. This increase was driven by sales of extra content for Apex Legends, FIFA Ultimate Team, and The Sims 4, partially offset by the Battlefield franchise.
Cost of Revenue
Cost of revenue consists of (1) manufacturing royalties, net of volume discounts and other vendor reimbursements, (2) certain royalty expenses for celebrities, professional sports leagues, movie studios and other organizations, and independent software developers, (3) data center, bandwidth and server costs associated with hosting our online games and websites, (4) inventory costs, (5) payment processing fees, (6) mobile platform fees associated with our mobile revenue (for transactions in which we are acting as the principal in the sale to the end customer), (7) expenses for defective products, (8) write-offs of post launch prepaid royalty costs and losses on previously unrecognized licensed intellectual property commitments, (9) amortization of certain intangible assets, (10) personnel-related costs, and (11) warehousing and distribution costs. We generally recognize volume discounts when they are earned from the manufacturer (typically in connection with the achievement of unit-based milestones); whereas other vendor reimbursements are generally recognized as the related revenue is recognized.
Cost of revenue for fiscal years 2021 and 2020 was as follows (in millions):
|% of Net|
|% of Net|
|% Change||Change as a % of Net Revenue|
|$||1,494 ||27 ||%||$||1,369 ||25 ||%||9 ||%||2 ||%|
Cost of Revenue
Cost of revenue increased by $125 million, or 9 percent during fiscal year 2021, as compared to fiscal year 2020. This increase was primarily due to an increase in royalty costs driven by higher sales associated with the FIFA and Madden franchises, and an increase in platform fees and hosting fees driven by higher sales of Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and Apex Legends, partially offset by a decrease in inventory costs driven by the Star Wars, FIFA, and Need for Speed franchises, and a decrease in royalty costs driven by the Star Wars franchise.
Cost of revenue as a percentage of total net revenue increased by 2 percent during fiscal year 2021, as compared to fiscal year 2020. This increase was primarily due to increases in deferred net revenue, platform fees, and hosting fees, partially offset by a decrease in royalty costs due to product mix and lower inventory costs due to the favorable mix of net revenues from lower packaged goods as compared to digital full game downloads.
Research and Development
Research and development expenses consist of expenses incurred by our production studios for personnel-related costs, related overhead costs, external third-party development costs, contracted services, depreciation and any impairment of prepaid royalties for pre-launch products. Research and development expenses for our online products include expenses incurred by our studios consisting of direct development and related overhead costs in connection with the development and production of our online games. Research and development expenses also include expenses associated with our digital platform, software licenses and maintenance, and management overhead.
Research and development expenses for fiscal years 2021 and 2020 were as follows (in millions):
|% of Net|
|% of Net|
|$ Change||% Change|
|$||1,778 ||32 ||%||$||1,559 ||28 ||%||$||219 ||14 ||%|
Research and development expenses increased by $219 million, or 14 percent, in fiscal year 2021, as compared to fiscal year 2020. This increase was primarily due to a $173 million increase in personnel-related costs primarily resulting from an increase in headcount due to our continued investment in our studios and an increase in variable compensation and related expenses, a $56 million increase in stock-based compensation, and a $19 million increase in contracted services. These increases were partially offset by a $28 million decrease in travel and entertainment expense.
Marketing and Sales
Marketing and sales expenses consist of personnel-related costs, related overhead costs, advertising, marketing and promotional expenses, net of qualified advertising cost reimbursements from third parties.
Marketing and sales expenses for fiscal years 2021 and 2020 were as follows (in millions):
|% of Net|
|% of Net|
|$ Change||% Change|
|$||689 ||12 ||%||$||631 ||11 ||%||$||58 ||9 ||%|
Marketing and sales expenses increased by $58 million, or 9 percent, in fiscal year 2021, as compared to fiscal year 2020. This increase was primarily due to a $42 million increase in personnel-related costs primarily resulting from an increase in variable compensation and related expenses, a $24 million increase in advertising and promotional spending primarily on the FIFA franchise, and a $9 million increase in stock-based compensation. These increases were partially offset by a $15 million decrease in travel and entertainment expense, and a $4 million decrease in contracted services.
General and Administrative
General and administrative expenses consist of personnel and related expenses of executive and administrative staff, corporate functions such as finance, legal, human resources, and information technology, related overhead costs, fees for professional services such as legal and accounting, and allowances for doubtful accounts.
General and administrative expenses for fiscal years 2021 and 2020 were as follows (in millions):
|% of Net|
|% of Net|
|$ Change||% Change|
|$||592 ||11 ||%||$||506 ||9 ||%||$||86 ||17 ||%|
General and administrative expenses increased by $86 million, or 17 percent, in fiscal year 2021, as compared to fiscal year 2020. This increase was primarily due to a $53 million increase in personnel-related costs driven by an increase in variable compensation and related expenses, a $22 million increase in stock-based compensation, a $13 million increase in contracted services, and an $11 million increase in facility related costs. These increases were partially offset by a $16 million decrease in travel and entertainment expense.
Provision for (benefit from) income taxes for fiscal years 2021 and 2020 was as follows (in millions):
|March 31, 2021||Effective Tax Rate||March 31, 2020||Effective Tax Rate|
|$||180 ||17.7 ||%||$||(1,531)||(101.5)||%|
Our effective tax rate for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021 was 17.7 percent as compared to negative 101.5 percent for the same period in fiscal year 2020. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, we completed an intra-entity sale of some of our intellectual property rights to our Swiss subsidiary, where our international business is headquartered (the “Swiss intra-entity sale”). The transaction did not result in a taxable gain. Under U.S. GAAP, any profit resulting from this intercompany transaction is eliminated upon consolidation. However, the transaction resulted in a step-up of the Swiss tax-deductible basis in the transferred intellectual property rights and, accordingly, created a temporary difference between the book basis and the tax basis of such intellectual property rights (the “Swiss Deferred Tax Asset”).
Our effective tax rate and resulting provision for income taxes for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021 includes a $103 million tax benefit related to changes in our Swiss Deferred Tax Asset. This benefit was more than offset by a $180 million charge related to our decision to capitalize for income tax purposes certain foreign expenses which increased the taxable income in our foreign entities that is subject to U.S. tax. In accordance with our existing accounting policy, we do not establish deferred tax assets to offset this charge, but we expect future deductions of the capitalized amounts.
Our effective tax rate and resulting provision for income taxes for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 were significantly impacted by our recognition of the Swiss Deferred Tax Asset related to the Swiss intra-entity sale.
During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, we recognized a $1.840 billion Swiss Deferred Tax Asset, which is net of the impact of a $131 million valuation allowance and a $393 million reduction due to the impact of the Altera opinion. The Altera opinion also requires related parties in an intercompany cost-sharing arrangement to share stock-based compensation expenses. The Altera opinion resulted in the recognition of a one-time charge of $80 million related to prior period U.S. uncertain tax positions during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. In total, during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, we recognized total one-time tax benefits of $1.760 billion related to the $1.840 billion Swiss Deferred Tax Asset, partially offset by the $80 million one-time Altera opinion charge.
Excluding the impacts of the Swiss Deferred Tax Asset and Altera opinion, our effective tax rate for the year ended March 31, 2020 would have been 15.0 percent. Our effective tax rate for the year ended March 31, 2021 of 17.7 percent was higher primarily due to the increase in U.S. taxes on foreign earnings, which was partially offset by uncertain tax position and valuation allowance benefits.
Our effective tax rates for future periods will continue to depend on a variety of factors, including changes in our business, such as acquisitions and intercompany transactions, our corporate structure, the geographic location of business functions or assets, the geographic mix of income, our agreements with tax authorities, applicable accounting rules, applicable tax laws and regulations, rulings and interpretations thereof, developments in tax audit and other matters, and variations in our annual pre-tax income or loss. We anticipate that the impact of excess tax benefits, tax deficiencies, and changes in valuation allowances may result in significant fluctuations to our effective tax rate in the future.
Comparison of Fiscal Year 2020 to Fiscal Year 2019
For the comparison of our results of operations as it relates to Cost of Revenue, Operating Expenses, and Income Taxes between fiscal year 2020 and fiscal year 2019, refer to Part II, Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for our fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, filed with the SEC on May 20, 2020 under the subheading “Comparison of Fiscal Year 2020 to Fiscal Year 2019.”
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
| ||As of March 31,|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||5,260 ||$||3,768 ||$||1,492 |
|Short-term investments||1,106 ||1,967 ||(861)|
|Total||$||6,366 ||$||5,735 ||$||631 |
|Percentage of total assets||48 ||%||52 ||%|
| ||Year Ended March 31,|
|Net cash provided by operating activities||$||1,934 ||$||1,797 ||$||137 |
|Net cash used in investing activities||(505)||(1,357)||852 |
|Net cash used in financing activities||(15)||(1,358)||1,343 |
|Effect of foreign exchange on cash and cash equivalents||78 ||(22)||100 |
|Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents||$||1,492 ||$||(940)||$||2,432 |
Changes in Cash Flow
Operating Activities. Net cash provided by operating activities increased by $137 million during fiscal year 2021, as compared to fiscal year 2020, primarily driven by higher collections due to improved performance as we executed against our strategic pillars and increased engagement with our products and services which led to growth in our business, aided by players spending more time at home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, lower travel and entertainment payments, lower inventory costs, and lower marketing and advertising payments. These increases were partially offset by higher cash payments for income taxes, higher personnel-related costs resulting from an increase in headcount and payments to employees during fiscal year 2021 to assist with work-from-home costs and care needs, higher cash outflow from hedging activities, higher variable compensation payments related to fiscal year 2020 performance, higher prepayments made to contracted services, lower interest income, higher hosting and platform fees, and higher royalty costs.
Investing Activities. Net cash used in investing activities decreased by $852 million during fiscal year 2021, as compared to fiscal year 2020, primarily driven by a $1,544 million increase in proceeds from maturities and sales of short-term investments and a $531 million decrease in the purchase of short-term investments. These decreases were offset by a payment of $1,239 million in connection with our acquisition of Codemasters during fiscal year 2021.
Financing Activities. Net cash used in financing activities decreased by $1,343 million during fiscal year 2021, as compared to fiscal year 2020, primarily driven by proceeds from the issuance of the 2031 Notes and 2051 Notes for $1,478 million in February 2021, a $478 million decrease in the repurchase and retirement of our common stock, and a $122 million of contingent consideration payment in connection with our acquisition of Respawn Entertainment, LLC during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. These decreases were offset by a repayment of $600 million of our 2021 Notes in February 2021, payments of $98 million of cash dividends in the current year, and a $61 million increase in cash paid to taxing authorities in connection with withholding taxes for stock-based compensation.
Due to our mix of fixed and variable rate securities, our short-term investment portfolio is susceptible to changes in short-term interest rates. As of March 31, 2021, our short-term investments had gross unrealized gains of $1 million, or less than 1 percent of the total in short-term investments. From time to time, we may liquidate some or all of our short-term investments to fund operational needs or other activities, such as capital expenditures, business acquisitions or stock repurchase programs.
In February 2021, we issued $750 million aggregate principal amount of the 2031 Notes and $750 million aggregate principal amount of the 2051 Notes. The effective interest rate is 1.98% for the 2031 Notes and 3.04% for the 2051 Notes. Interest is payable semiannually in arrears, on February 15 and August 15 of each year.
In February 2016, we issued $600 million aggregate principal amount of the 2021 Notes and $400 million aggregate principal amount of the 2026 Notes. The effective interest rate was 3.94% for the 2021 Notes and is 4.97% for the 2026 Notes. Interest is payable semiannually in arrears, on March 1 and September 1 of each year. We redeemed $600 million aggregate principal amount of the 2021 Notes on February 1, 2021 plus accrued and unpaid interest of $9 million.
See Note 12 — Financing Arrangements to the Consolidated Financial Statements in this Form 10-K as it relates to our Senior Notes, which is incorporated by reference into this Item 7.
On August 29, 2019, we entered into a $500 million unsecured revolving credit facility (“Credit Facility”) with a syndicate of banks. The Credit Facility terminates on August 29, 2024 unless the maturity is extended in accordance with its terms. As of March 31, 2021, no amounts were outstanding under the Credit Facility. See Note 12 — Financing Arrangements to the Consolidated Financial Statements in this Form 10-K as it relates to our Credit Facility, which is incorporated by reference into this Item 7.
Our material cash requirements as of March 31, 2021 are set forth in our Note 14 — Commitments and Contingencies to the Consolidated Financial Statements in this Form 10-K, which is incorporated by reference into this Item 7. We expect capital expenditures to more than double in fiscal year 2022 to approximately $250 million due to facility buildouts. We believe that our cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments, cash generated from operations and available financing facilities will be sufficient to meet these material cash requirements, which include debt repayment obligations of $1.9 billion, and fund our operating requirements for the next 12 months and beyond, including working capital requirements, capital expenditures, the implementation of our $2.6 billion share repurchase program, quarterly cash dividend, which is currently $0.17 per share, subject to declaration by our Board of Directors or a designated Committee of the Board of Directors, and potentially, future acquisitions or strategic investments. We may choose at any time to raise additional capital to repay debt, strengthen our financial position, facilitate expansion, repurchase our stock, pursue strategic acquisitions and investments, and/or to take advantage of business opportunities as they arise. There can be no assurance, however, that such additional capital will be available to us on favorable terms, if at all, or that it will not result in substantial dilution to our existing stockholders.
During fiscal year 2021, we returned $827 million to stockholders through our capital return programs, repurchasing 5.6 million shares for approximately $729 million and $98 million through our quarterly cash dividend program which was initiated in November 2020.
During fiscal year 2021, we also increased our mergers and acquisitions activity, completing our acquisition of 100% of the equity interests of Codemasters for total cash consideration of $1.2 billion, net of cash acquired, on February 18, 2021, and completing the acquisition of Glu for cash consideration of approximately $2.3 billion on April 29, 2021. We also assumed all outstanding unvested equity awards held by Glu employees.
Our foreign subsidiaries are generally subject to U.S. tax, and to the extent earnings from these subsidiaries can be repatriated without a material tax cost, such earnings will not be indefinitely reinvested. As of March 31, 2021, approximately $1.1 billion of our cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments were domiciled in foreign tax jurisdictions. All of our foreign cash is available for repatriation without a material tax cost.
We have a “shelf” registration statement on Form S-3 on file with the SEC. This shelf registration statement, which includes a base prospectus, allows us at any time to offer any combination of securities described in the prospectus in one or more offerings. Unless otherwise specified in a prospectus supplement accompanying the base prospectus, we would use the net proceeds from the sale of any securities offered pursuant to the shelf registration statement for general corporate purposes, which may include funding for working capital, financing capital expenditures, research and development, marketing and distribution efforts, and if opportunities arise, for acquisitions or strategic alliances. Pending such uses, we may invest the net proceeds in interest-bearing securities. In addition, we may conduct concurrent or other financings at any time.
Our ability to maintain sufficient liquidity could be affected by various risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, customer demand and acceptance of our products, our ability to collect our accounts receivable as they become due, successfully achieving our product release schedules and attaining our forecasted sales objectives, economic conditions in the United States and abroad, the impact of acquisitions and other strategic transactions in which we may engage, the impact of competition, the seasonal and cyclical nature of our business and operating results, and the other risks described in the “Risk Factors” section, included in Part I, Item 1A of this report.
As of March 31, 2021, we did not have any off-balance sheet arrangements.
Item 7A: Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
We are exposed to various market risks, including changes in foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates and market prices, which have experienced significant volatility, including increased volatility in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Market risk is the potential loss arising from changes in market rates and market prices. We employ established policies and practices to manage these risks. Foreign currency forward contracts are used to hedge anticipated exposures or mitigate some existing exposures subject to foreign exchange risk as discussed below. While we do not hedge our short-term investment portfolio, we protect our short-term investment portfolio against different market risks, including interest rate risk as discussed below. Our cash and cash equivalents portfolio consists of highly liquid investments with insignificant interest rate risk and original or remaining maturities of three months or less at the time of purchase. We do not enter into derivatives or other financial instruments for speculative trading purposes and do not hedge our market price risk relating to marketable equity securities, if any.
Foreign Currency Exchange Risk
Foreign Currency Exchange Rates. International sales are a fundamental part of our business, and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar (particularly relative to the Euro, British pound sterling, Australian dollar, Japanese yen, Chinese yuan, South Korean won and Polish zloty) has a negative impact on our reported international net revenue, but a positive impact on our reported international operating expenses (particularly the Swedish krona and the Canadian dollar) because these amounts are translated at lower rates as compared to periods in which the U.S. dollar is weaker. While we use foreign currency hedging contracts to mitigate some foreign currency exchange risk, these activities are limited in the protection that they provide us and can themselves result in losses.
Cash Flow Hedging Activities. We hedge a portion of our foreign currency risk related to forecasted foreign-currency-denominated sales and expense transactions by purchasing foreign currency forward contracts that generally have maturities of 18 months or less. These transactions are designated and qualify as cash flow hedges. Our hedging programs are designed to reduce, but do not entirely eliminate, the impact of currency exchange rate movements in net revenue and research and development expenses.
Balance Sheet Hedging Activities. We use foreign currency forward contracts to mitigate foreign currency exchange risk associated with foreign-currency-denominated monetary assets and liabilities, primarily intercompany receivables and payables. These foreign currency forward contracts generally have a contractual term of three months or less and are transacted near month-end.
We believe the counterparties to our foreign currency forward contracts are creditworthy multinational commercial banks. While we believe the risk of counterparty nonperformance is not material, a sustained decline in the financial stability of financial institutions as a result of disruption in the financial markets could affect our ability to secure creditworthy counterparties for our foreign currency hedging programs.
Notwithstanding our efforts to mitigate some foreign currency exchange risks, there can be no assurance that our hedging activities will adequately protect us against the risks associated with foreign currency fluctuations. As of March 31, 2021, a hypothetical adverse foreign currency exchange rate movement of 10 percent or 20 percent would have resulted in potential declines in the fair value on our foreign currency forward contracts used in cash flow hedging of $223 million or $447 million, respectively. As of March 31, 2021, a hypothetical adverse foreign currency exchange rate movement of 10 percent or 20 percent would have resulted in potential losses in the Consolidated Statements of Operations on our foreign currency forward contracts used in balance sheet hedging of $92 million or $184 million, respectively. This sensitivity analysis assumes an adverse shift of all foreign currency exchange rates; however, all foreign currency exchange rates do not always move in the same manner and actual results may differ materially. See Note 5 — Derivative Financial Instruments to the Consolidated Financial Statements in this Form 10-K as it relates to our derivative financial instruments, which is incorporated by reference into this Item 7A.
Interest Rate Risk
Our exposure to market risk for changes in interest rates relates primarily to our short-term investment portfolio. We manage our interest rate risk by maintaining an investment portfolio generally consisting of debt instruments of high credit quality and relatively short maturities. However, because short-term investments mature relatively quickly and, if reinvested, are invested at the then-current market rates, interest income on a portfolio consisting of short-term investments is subject to market fluctuations to a greater extent than a portfolio of longer term investments. Additionally, the contractual terms of the investments do not permit the issuer to call, prepay or otherwise settle the investments at prices less than the stated par value. Our investments are held for purposes other than trading. We do not use derivative financial instruments in our short-term investment portfolio.
As of March 31, 2021, our short-term investments were classified as available-for-sale securities and, consequently, were recorded at fair value with changes in fair value, including unrealized gains and unrealized losses not related to credit losses, reported as a separate component of accumulated other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax, in stockholders’ equity.
Notwithstanding our efforts to manage interest rate risks, there can be no assurance that we will be adequately protected against risks associated with interest rate fluctuations. Changes in interest rates affect the fair value of our short-term investment portfolio. To provide a meaningful assessment of the interest rate risk associated with our short-term investment portfolio, we performed a sensitivity analysis to determine the impact a change in interest rates would have on the value of the portfolio assuming a 150 basis point parallel shift in the yield curve. As of March 31, 2021, a hypothetical 150 basis point increase in interest rates would have resulted in a $13 million, or 1% decrease in the fair market value of our short-term investments.
Item 8: Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Index to Consolidated Financial Statements
ELECTRONIC ARTS INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
|(In millions, except par value data)||March 31, 2021||March 31, 2020|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||5,260 ||$||3,768 |
|Short-term investments||1,106 ||1,967 |
|Receivables, net||521 ||461 |
|Other current assets||326 ||321 |
|Total current assets||7,213 ||6,517 |
|Property and equipment, net||491 ||449 |
|Goodwill||2,868 ||1,885 |
|Acquisition-related intangibles, net||309 ||53 |
|Deferred income taxes, net||2,045 ||1,903 |
|Other assets||362 ||305 |
|TOTAL ASSETS||$||13,288 ||$||11,112 |
|LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY|
|Accounts payable||$||96 ||$||68 |
|Accrued and other current liabilities||1,341 ||1,052 |
|Deferred net revenue (online-enabled games)||1,527 ||945 |
|Senior notes, current, net||— ||599 |
|Total current liabilities||2,964 ||2,664 |
|Senior notes, net||1,876 ||397 |
|Income tax obligations||315 ||373 |
|Deferred income taxes, net||43 ||1 |
|Other liabilities||250 ||216 |
|Total liabilities||5,448 ||3,651 |
Commitments and contingencies (See Note 14)
Preferred stock, $0.01 par value. 10 shares authorized
|— ||— |
Common stock, $0.01 par value. 1,000 shares authorized; 286 and 288 shares issued and outstanding, respectively
|3 ||3 |
|Additional paid-in capital||— ||— |
|Retained earnings||7,887 ||7,508 |
|Accumulated other comprehensive loss||(50)||(50)|
|Total stockholders’ equity||7,840 ||7,461 |
|TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY||$||13,288 ||$||11,112 |
See accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
ELECTRONIC ARTS INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
| ||Year Ended March 31,|
|(In millions, except per share data)||2021||2020||2019|
|Net revenue||$||5,629 ||$||5,537 ||$||4,950 |
|Cost of revenue||1,494 ||1,369 ||1,322 |
|Gross profit||4,135 ||4,168 ||3,628 |
|Research and development||1,778 ||1,559 ||1,433 |
|Marketing and sales||689 ||631 ||702 |
|General and administrative||592 ||506 ||460 |
|Acquisition-related contingent consideration||— ||5 ||14 |
|Amortization of intangibles||30 ||22 ||23 |
|Total operating expenses||3,089 ||2,723 ||2,632 |
|Operating income||1,046 ||1,445 ||996 |
|Interest and other income (expense), net||(29)||63 ||83 |
|Income before provision for (benefit from) income taxes||1,017 ||1,508 ||1,079 |
|Provision for (benefit from) income taxes||180 ||(1,531)||60 |
|Net income||$||837 ||$||3,039 ||$||1,019 |
|Earnings per share:|
|Basic||$||2.90 ||$||10.37 ||$||3.36 |
|Diluted||$||2.87 ||$||10.30 ||$||3.33 |
|Number of shares used in computation:|
|Basic||289 ||293 ||303 |
|Diluted||292 ||295 ||306 |
See accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
ELECTRONIC ARTS INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
|Year Ended March 31,|
|Net income||$||837 ||$||3,039 ||$||1,019 |
|Other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax:|
|Net gains (losses) on available-for-sale securities||4 ||(3)||7 |
|Net gains (losses) on derivative instruments||(68)||17 ||88 |
|Foreign currency translation adjustments||64 ||(34)||(21)|
|Total other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax||— ||(20)||74 |
|Total comprehensive income||$||837 ||$||3,019 ||$||1,093 |
See accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
ELECTRONIC ARTS INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
(In millions, share data in thousands)
| ||Common Stock||Additional Paid-in|
|Balances as of March 31, 2018||306,370 ||$||3 ||$||657 ||$||4,062 ||$||(127)||$||4,595 |
|Cumulative-effect adjustment from the adoption of ASC 606||— ||— ||— ||590 ||22 ||612 |
|Cumulative-effect adjustment from the adoption of ASU 2018-02||— ||— ||— ||(1)||1 ||— |
|Total comprehensive income||— ||— ||— ||1,019 ||74 ||1,093 |
|Stock-based compensation||— ||— ||284 ||— ||— ||284 |
|Issuance of common stock||2,722 ||— ||(61)||— ||— ||(61)|
|Repurchase and retirement of common stock||(10,985)||— ||(880)||(312)||— ||(1,192)|
|Balances as of March 31, 2019||298,107 ||$||3 ||$||— ||$||5,358 ||$||(30)||$||5,331 |
|Total comprehensive income (loss)||— ||— ||— ||3,039 ||(20)||3,019 |
|Stock-based compensation||— ||— ||347 ||— ||— ||347 |
|Issuance of common stock||2,623 ||— ||(29)||— ||— ||(29)|
|Repurchase and retirement of common stock||(12,317)||— ||(318)||(889)||— ||(1,207)|
|Balances as of March 31, 2020||288,413 ||$||3 ||$||— ||$||7,508 ||$||(50)||$||7,461 |
|Total comprehensive income (loss)||— ||— ||— ||837 ||— ||837 |
|Stock-based compensation||— ||— ||435 ||— ||— ||435 |
|Issuance of common stock||3,685 ||— ||(66)||— ||— ||(66)|
|Repurchase and retirement of common stock||(5,633)||— ||(369)||(360)||— ||(729)|
Cash dividends declared ($0.34 per common share)
|— ||— ||— ||(98)||— ||(98)|
|Balances as of March 31, 2021||286,465 ||$||3 ||$||— ||$||7,887 ||$||(50)||$||7,840 |
See accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
ELECTRONIC ARTS INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
|Year Ended March 31,|
|Net income||$||837 ||$||3,039 ||$||1,019 |
|Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:|
|Depreciation, amortization and accretion||181 ||150 ||145 |
|Acquisition-related contingent consideration||— ||5 ||14 |
|Stock-based compensation||435 ||347 |