July 26, 2018 / 8:03 PM / in 5 months

Game publisher EA's first quarter revenue beats estimates

July 26 (Reuters) - Electronic Arts Inc beat analyst estimates for quarterly revenue on Thursday, as more gamers thronged to its popular game franchises such as "FIFA" and "The Sims".

On an adjusted basis, EA's revenue was $749 million, beating analysts' average estimate of $742.42 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Redwood City, California-based Electronic Arts has iconic video-game franchises such as 'Battlefield' and 'Need for Speed' in its kitty, but the rise of games from the "battle royale" genre such as "Fortnite" have somewhat challenged publishers, including rivals Activision Blizzard Inc and Take Two Interactive Software Inc.

The company's "The Sims 4" player base grew 35 percent and the "FIFA World Cup" update had over 15 million unique players in the reported quarter.

The company forecast second-quarter adjusted revenue of $1.16 billion.

As the number of free-to-play games with captivating graphics and story-lines go up, the company could face stiff competition without the release of a new game headlining its portfolio.

Net income fell to $293 million, or 95 cents per share, in the first quarter ended June 30, from $644 million, or $2.06 per share, a year earlier.

The company said beginning April, 1 it adopted a new accounting rule, which affected how it accounts and reports earinings per share. (Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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