Prior to release, EA predicted that Star Wars Battlefront would sell 13 million copies during the course of its lifetime. Despite this 13 million figure being up from EA’s initial 10 million estimate, many believed that the game could pull it off. With the Darth Vader PS4 bundle and the draw of getting to play as Star Wars‘ most iconic heroes and villains, surely the game would sell out this holiday season? Unfortunately this may not be the case, as retailer GameStop says that the game ‘underperformed’.
During its recent earnings call, GameStop called out Star Wars Battlefront, along with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and Halo 5: Guardians, as games that had reportedly missed their retail sales targets. While publisher EA has yet to reveal any sales data about the highly anticipated online shooter, the company has refuted GameStop’s claims, with EA COO Peter Moore saying that the retailer’s words were a “little bit of a surprise.” Moore also notes that the “CFO in the call then started to correct the COO [Bartel] as the call went on,” which raises questions about the accuracy of GameStop’s statement.
Moreover, Moore says that EA stands by its 13 million sales estimate and that “there is no weakness that is perceptible yet in the title.” Moore also states that based on the game’s upcoming marketing, including the release of new movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it seems quite likely that Star Wars Battlefront will “hit the guidance that [EA has] given analysts, investors and Wall Street alike.”
Given that The Force Awakens is being tipped to shatter box office records, Moore’s words are certainly believable. Many have also pointed out that GameStop’s retail numbers for Battlefront may not be indicative of the game’s overall performance. Not only is Battlefront available on PC – where most players will have purchased the digital version of the game – but more and more console players are downloading digital versions of their games too.
As one example, Fallout 4 raked in $100 million in digital sales in just three days, whilst Halo 5 became the Xbox Store’s best-selling digital game ever. It’s entirely possible that Star Wars Battlefront is doing well commercially – but not necessarily for GameStop.
Many fans are no doubt hoping that is the case. Battlefront, being played mostly online, will need a constant influx of players at all skill levels in order for it remain fun. If sales don’t pick up, not only may the game feel unbalanced, but as Battlefront players go off and play other things, those that stick around may find themselves with no one to play with and against.
Have you been enjoying Star Wars Battlefront? Or are you waiting to pick up EA’s new shooter? Leave a comment and let us know.