Rivals Didn’t Meet EA’s Expectations

EA’s CEO and CFO revealed that mobile game Command & Conquer: Rivals has “not driven in stores organically at the levels we anticipated.”

Q3 2018 was a fairly quiet and disappointing quarter for EA. While Apex Legends and Anthem are set to make Q4 more profitable for them, late 2018 housed quite a few lackluster launches for EA. The most notable disappointment was Battlefield 5, with EA blaming its performance on a late release date and the lack of a battle royale mode at launch. That being said, another notable and somewhat controversial title from last year also disappointed according to a recent investor Q&A: Command & Conquer: Rivals for iOS and Android.

You may remember that the world’s first look at Command & Conquer: Rivals was during a long and boring part of EA’s 2018 EA Play press conference. Once people learned what the game actually was, the response was tepid to say the least. The Command & Conquer franchise had been ignored by EA for some time prior to 2018 so many hardcore fans were frustrated to see the series’ long-awaited return happen with mobile game.

While EA still went ahead with promoting and releasing Command & Conquer: Rivals last December, they did seem to have taken those comments into account. As we speak, 8-Bit Armies and Conan Unconquered developer Petroglyph Games are working on remasters of the original Command & Conquer as well as Command & Conquer: Red Alert.

In the shadow of that whole debacle and resolution, Command & Conquer: Rivals soft launched; apparently, that actually went quite well for EA. In October, EA Redwood Studios General Manager Michael Martinez told Variety that “We’ve been thrilled to see the early response from players during soft launch. Player feedback has made the game stronger for our launch in December.” EA CEO Andrew Wilson also confirmed that Command & Conquer: Rivals had “positive soft launch results” before going into the game’s lackluster performance.

“But since global release, it is not driven in stores organically at the levels we anticipated,” he said. “We are now working to bring more players into that game.” While no specific numbers were shared, the Google Play store for Android does say that over 1 million people have downloaded the game. Even though that may seem impressive, it was likely under EA’s expectations and doesn’t directly translate into paying players as Command & Conquer: Rivals is a free-to-play title.

Even if Command & Conquer: Rivals is “ramping slowly” due to “unprecedented competition for players’ time” according to COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen, Andrew Wilson did reveal that the mobile game is “performing very, very well in China.” EA also doesn’t to be abandoning the mobile gaming market anytime soon, with Andrew Wilson saying:

“We continue to be committed to mobile. We believe in the value of our franchise in the marketplace, and we are doubling down on these games through live services.”

You can check out the latest trailer for the game below. Command & Conquer: Rivals is currently available on iOS and Android and remasters of the first Command & Conquer and Command & Conquer: Red Alert are currently in development.

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