Electronic Arts Pockets $1.6B from Ultimate Team

    • Electronic Arts generated $1.62 billion in revenue from its Ultimate Team offerings in FY2021.
    • The game mode is available across EA’s “FIFA,” “Madden,” and “NHL” franchises.

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Electronic Arts has found its bread and butter.

The “Madden” and “FIFA” publisher generated $1.62 billion in revenue from its Ultimate Team offerings in FY2021, according to the company’s latest 10-K document filing.

Ultimate Team allows gamers to build and play with their own virtual team by earning, trading, or purchasing individual player cards or packs using the game’s token system. 

The game mode is available across EA’s “Madden,” “FIFA,” and “NHL” franchises, but “FIFA” is leading the charge. 

  • “FIFA 21” has amassed more than 25 million console and PC players since its October 2020 release. 
  • The title helped EA generate $1.34 billion in revenue in its fiscal Q4 2021.  
  • EA’s full-year revenue reached $5.6 billion — 29% of that total came from Ultimate Team modes. 

Despite its success, Ultimate Team has been marred by controversy.

In March, EA opened an investigation into allegations that at least one employee had been selling rare FIFA Ultimate Team cards for as much as $2,500 through a back channel. The publisher later confirmed that unauthorized sales had taken place. 

EA has also been under fire due to accusations of pushing players to purchase loot boxes, which led to a class-action lawsuit. The boxes offer random virtual goods but are criticized by some as similar to gambling.

The California-based company has made more than $7 billion in Ultimate Team revenue since 2015.