EA Stocks Take Huge Hit Because of Star Wars Battlefront II Controversy
When EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront II was announced, we had every reason to think the game would be a massive success. That was until the loot box fiasco surfaced. Leading up to Battlefront II’s release, the game was inundated with fan rage with its microtransactions and pay-to-win strategy. EA attempted to downplay the system but hours before launch they pulled the plug on microtransactions, at least temporarily. This decision apparently came from Disney, or at least was pressured from Disney. By then; however, it was too late. The damage was done.
According to a report from CNBC, EA’s Battlefront II’s business model killed their stock value. They report the company’s stock fell 8.5 percent this month (through Tuesday) with a massive loss of $3.1 billion in shareholder value. Meanwhile, Take-Two showed a five percent increase, and Activision Blizzard saw a 0.7 percent increase in the same period. (The company is still up 25 percent from the previous year, but this is still a very notable loss.)
EA previously gave a December quarter sales forecast that did drop below some Wall Street estimates back in October, with some showing concern for Battlefront II as a result. Just a day later, the shares fell about four percent. It appears that the negativity surrounding the game is hurting its chances on the market as well. The first week the game was on sale in the U.K., sales were reportedly in a 61 percent decline over what the original Battlefront sold back in 2015, and the game hasn’t managed to get into Amazon’s top 100 list for best-selling games for the year to date, at least as of last Tuesday.
Stifel analyst Drew Crum noted on the situation, “We were underwhelmed by sell-through for Star Wars: Battlefront II (EA) over the Black Friday weekend, which follows a controversial launch for the game.”
Now we wonder what EA will do next as they say microtransactions will eventually make its way into the game. Yet, considering how badly sales are going, we will not be surprised if EA just drops the idea altogether or at least waits to see how the game sells over Christmas.
Star Wars: Battlefront II is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Origin PC.