The mass protest of Star Wars Battlefront II had the community’s desired effect, as publisher EA’s stock value has sagged.
Per a CNBC report, EA’s stock value dropped a staggering $3.1 billion since Star Wars Battlefront II launched on November 17th. Battlefront II featured a questionable progression system that unfairly rewarded players for spending money on microtransactions and made for artificially slowed progression for those that didn’t pay. This resulted in many gamers boycotting the game, even going as far as petitioning that EA lose the Star Wars license. Prior to the game’s launch, the publisher attempted to save face by temporarily deactivating the game’s purchasable currency, but game sales still took a hit, with 61 percent less physical copies sold than the previous Battlefront game.
EA recently assured investors that the removal of the microtransactions would not effect profits. Whether or not that is the case, the implementation of the microtransactions in the first place has certainly affected the company’s value. Granted, EA is far from bankrupt, with stock prices still up 39 percent over this time last year, but the company has seen an 8.5 percent drop since the beginning of this month.
The gaming community is calling for a change in direction for the publisher, which may happen soon if recent reports of Disney’s displeasure over EA’s handling of microtransactions are accurate. According to Cowen and Co. analyst Doug Creutz, the industry has reached the point at which such monetization needs more scrutiny.
“We think the time has come for the industry to collectively establish a set of standards for MTX implementation, both to repair damaged player perceptions and avoid the threat of regulation,” Creutz said in a recent investors note.
The pressure has not prevented EA from doubling down on the practice, with microtransactions planned to return to Battlefront II at a later date. Many had hoped the game’s loot boxes could solely reward cosmetic items, to avoid giving certain players an advantage, but EA CFO Blake Jorgensen has claimed this would violate Star Wars canon.
Source: PC Gamer