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Even if Star Wars Battlefront sold like hotcakes during the holidays, EA missed its initial forecast for Q3 FY15. After the company unveiled their sale numbers for the third quarter of last year, their market shares dropped by 8%.
This was rather surprising given the fact that SW Battlefront sold 13 million units up until now, with over 1 million PS4 bundle copies as well, a number initially expected for the month of March 2016. But market analysts are now fearing that EA will suffer from this massive boom in sales felt in the 3rd quarter by showing an impressive decrease in the 4th one.
The reason why EA’s shares dropped, alongside their profits, is based on the fact that most sold games where in the form of physical copies. This comes at an ill time because the company has been steadily emphasizing their digital platform Origin, as well as investing more and more into digital game versions sold on PSN, Steam and Xbox Live.
EA’s adjusted revenue in the 3rd quarter rose by 26.3%, being marked at $1.80 billion. Unfortunately, this was slightly below the initial market estimates for the period, marked at $1.81 billion, making EA miss analyst expectations for the first time since 2014. True, this disparity between estimates and actual values is not immense, but it does hint at how EA might be going a bit slow in the current markets.
If one would take into account the fact that the only reason why SW Battlefront sold this much can be basically attributed to hype, a next installment in the franchise might not be as popular as this first one. Most customers got heavily burned, being able to enjoy just a couple of multiplayer modes plagued by poor respawn mechanics, unfair pre-order bonuses, a low number of maps and no single player campaign or story at all.
Four expansions will be added to the game until the next Star Wars movie will release in December 2016, but if these DLCs will not improve the base game’s mechanics by a significant margin, gamers may become less enticed in regards to the purchase of SW Battlefront 2. It will all depend on how the company will approach this situation, given the limitations installed by the Star Wars franchise owner, Disney.
EA spokespersons claimed that they cannot put Rey or Kylo Ren from Force Awakens or any character from the Star Wars prequels in SW Battlefront due to cannon disparity. But this did not stop them from allowing players to play the Emperor or Bobba Fett on the Hoth map, even if this makes no sense from a story perspective.
Although EA missed its initial forecast for Q3 FY15, the 4th quarter may increase the company’s profits by a slight margin, with games like Garden Warfare 2, Unravel and EA Sports UFC 2 being scheduled to release in the following months.