Before Apex Legends launched on Monday, it really wasn't a great time to be an EA investor. It's no secret that Battlefield V failed to set the sales charts on fire, and the whole Star Wars Battlefront II controversy is still causing problems abroad for the publisher.

Today during its quarterly earnings calls, EA said that the holiday period was "difficult" as it failed to meet expectations. VentureBeat reported that EA head Andrew Wilson said the following.

The video game industry continues to grow through a year of intense competition and transformational change. Q3 was a difficult quarter for Electronic Arts and we did not perform to our expectations. We are now applying the strengths of our company to sharpen our execution and focus on delivering great new games and long-term live services for our players. We're very excited about Apex Legends, the upcoming launch of Anthem, and a deep line-up of new experiences that we'll bring to our global communities next fiscal year.

VentureBeat added that analysts expected EA to post earnings per share of $1.94, but the results fell short of that and EA's stock price fell 17 percent in after-hours trading. That's quite a dip!

Hopefully Anthem will turn this around. EA also said that Battlefield V's focus on the campaign — which was a series of short scenarios — was in part to blame. Had the developer focused on the "Firestorm" battle royale mode, the situation may have been different. There's no way to prove this because there was just a lot of competition in the "AAA" space this holiday season.

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