Battlefront II’s Controversy Is Due To Overreaction; Games Should Have Higher Prices, Says Analyst
The Star Wars Battlefront II controversy just keeps going. After EA’s decision to temporarily remove all in-game purchases from Battlefront II, the company also tried to assuage investors that this U-turn wouldn’t affect their guidance for FY 2018.
Evan Wingren, Equity Research Analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets on video games and eSports, wrote an investors note reported by CNBC that’s going to add considerable fuel to the aforementioned controversy.
We view the negative reaction to Star Wars Battlefront II (and industry trading sympathy) as an opportunity to add to Electronic Arts, Take-Two, and Activision Blizzard positions. The handling of the SWBFII launch by EA has been poor; despite this, we view the suspension of MTX [micro-transactions] in the near term as a transitory risk. Gamers aren’t overcharged, they’re undercharged (and we’re gamers) … This saga has been a perfect storm for overreaction as it involves EA, Star Wars, reddit, and certain purist gaming journalists/outlets who dislike MTX.
If you take a step back and look at the data, an hour of video game content is still one of the cheapest forms of entertainment. Quantitative analysis shows that video game publishers are actually charging gamers at a relatively inexpensive rate, and should probably raise prices.
Despite its inconvenience to the popular press narrative, if you like Star Wars and play video games at an average rate, you’re far better off skipping the movie and playing the game to get the most bang for your buck.
Star Wars Battlefront II officially launched on November 17th and so far, early data does seem to indicate the backlash could have hurt the game financially as launch week sales are down 61% in the United Kingdom compared to the previous franchise entry.
Of course, it’s just too early to pass judgment and the game will definitely enjoy a considerable boost in sales around the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.