EA initially had very high expectations for their new Star Wars title, Star Wars: Battlefront II, expecting to ship over 14 million copies around the world in a mere five months time. Unfortunately, early sales figures suggest that it is highly unlikely EA DICE will see those kinds of numbers.
You may be thinking that it has solely to do with the fact that EA has been under heavy scrutiny after the whole lootbox debacle, but that maybe only account for some of the reason. Retailers in the UK suggest that their sales for physical copies of the game are down 61% compared to physical sales of the titles predecessor, Star Wars: Battlefront, which was released in 2015.
Retailers also indicated that the titles sales are down 50% compared to Battlefield 1, which was released last year and has been on ongoing success. Star Wars: Battlefront II also takes a seat right behind Call of Duty: WW2 on the UK sales charts.
It is worth mentioning that this decline could be largely attributed to the fact that more and more players choose to buy their games digitally instead of purchasing boxed copies. Still, there is a large portion of the community that remains “old fashioned” and prefers to own physical copies of all of their games, especially console players.
Although the physical/digital copy figures are surely playing a part in the decline, the loot box controversy is definitely affecting sales negatively. The war on EA’s decision to ultimately make the game pay-to-win has been raging for weeks, while EA has only recently made the call to temporarily remove all in-game purchases from Battlefront II.
This issue alone has caused many people to lose the respect for EA that they once had and decide against purchasing the game. Many players have even reported cancelling their pre-orders in direct response to EA’s decision to include microtransactions and loot boxes in the first place.
While EA has these few significant factors working against them, they have suggested that the title will be receiving a discount to coincide with the new Star Wars movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It is likely that those on the fence about purchasing the game will be more inclined to go out and buy it after watching and enjoying the new film, especially with a discount – at least that’s what EA is hoping for.