Entertainment Arts (EA), the game software goliath, recently took an action that converted the U.S. App Store’s top 25 paid list into its personal stomping ground. By reducing the price of apps to $0.99, EA claimed 14 of the top 25 paid apps spots, or a whopping 56%, in the U.S. App Store. This is an awesome display of power. EA flexed its muscles to communicate that it considers the app market an important engine for growth and that it is and wants to continue to be a leader in that market.
By running a 48 hour $0.99 sale, EA secured the following spots among the U.S. App Store’s Top 25 Paid List:
# 1 Need for Speed Shift
# 2 Tiger Woods PGA Tour
# 4 FIFA 10 by EA Sports
# 5 Madden NFL 10 by EA Sports
# 6 SimCity
# 7 Need for Speed
# 8 The Game of LIFE Classic Edition
# 9 Command & Conquer Red Alert
#10 NBA Live by EA Sports
#13 Trivial Pursuit
#17 Yahtzee Adventures
#22 Connect 4
Although 9 of the apps were already among the most popular top 200 paid apps prior to the 48 hour sale, 4 apps that weren’t catapulted into the top 25: Need for Speed Shift, Command & Conquer Red Alert, Trivial Pursuit, and Connect 4.
In its most recent earnings release for fiscal year 2010 ending March 31, 2010, EA Mobile, the division responsible for wireless games, reported revenue of $212 million for fiscal 2010, up 12% from the previous fiscal year. With total revenue in fiscal 2010 of approximately $3.7 billion, apps now represent approximately 6% of EA’s total revenue, a great start for a market that began less than 2 years ago on July 10, 2008 when the App Store first opened.
By tactically taking ownership of the top 25 paid app list, EA may be signaling to other app developers that it intends to defend and enlarge its position as the most dominant producer of popular apps. John Schappert, EA’s Chief Operating Officer, said during the earnings conference call on May 11, 2010, “I want to highlight that EA is the #1 App Store game publisher, a formidable achievement that affirms our belief that mobile consumers gravitate towards high quality and brands they recognize from other platforms.” EA has certainly affirmed John’s point about consumers gravitating toward brands they know by possessing 9 of the 10 ten paid games in the App Store. Which app penetrated the top 10 paid app list to spoil EA’s clean sweep? Angry Birds, the perennial powerhouse of an app that refuses to leave its lofty perch in the top 10.