At long last the US NPS sales figures are out for November, revealing just how big an impact the loot crate controversy had on Star Wars Battlefront 2’s sales across the pond. The news isn’t good, if you happen to be an EA shareholder. Battlefront 2 shifted just 882,000 physical copies during its opening month, coming in at around a fifth of Call of Duty: WWII’s opening month sales of 4.4 million.
Those are disappointing/uplifting figures depending on which side of the fence you sit on, further backing up the reports from the UK last month whereupon it turned out Battlefront 2’s launch week sales were down considerably compared to the original 2015 title. Taking into account Star Wars Battlefront 2015 underperformed by EA’s standards, and still managed to ship 14 million copies within six months, then Star Wars Battlefront 2 has to be chalked up as an underperformer for now.
It is, of course, worth bearing in mind that these sales figures are for physical copies only, so a shift towards digital in the last couple of years may have contributed somewhat to the decline.
Still, EA and investors remain hopeful that Star Wars Battlefront II’s fortunes can be turned around, aided by the release of The Last Jedi and the steady stream of additional content that will be coming its way.
“We believe that the loyalty of the Star Wars fan base, the game’s appeal as a holiday gift and the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi on December 15 will result in sales of the game bouncing back,” said Wedbush analytics.
Clearly, the handling of microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront 2 has had a much wider impact on sales than the usual core market. The average consumer is potentially staying away from Battlefront 2 after seeing its controversy played out on mainstream news networks. DICE and EA have got a lot of work to do if they want to right this ship; it’ll be interesting to see if they can indeed turn it around.
The counterpoint to all this is that Call of Duty has rebounded in fine style after Infinite Warfare sold disappointingly last year. An impressive feat considering COD: WWII isn't even a particularly good game.
What do you think then, can Star Wars Battlefront 2 bounce back and achieve sales as high as the original? Or is the damage well and truly done, and what impact will this have on AAA games going forward? Let us know your thoughts!