During GameStop’s investor call last month, President Tony Bartel revealed that they lowered expectations for Star Wars Battlefront prior to launch “and it failed to hit those lowered expectations.”
The comment came as a surprise to publisher Electronic Arts, with COO Peter Moore explaining at the Credit Suisse Technology, Media, and Telecom conference this week that they are still aiming to sell 13 million copies:
The [GameStop] comments were interesting and a little bit of a surprise to us. From our perspective, I’m here to reaffirm our guidance of 13 million units sold in for the fiscal year. There is no weakness that is perceptible yet in the title.
Comparing Battlefront to Battlefield 4, Moore admitted BF4 “had a rocky start,” but as the issues were fixed and more content came out, sales picked up. He thinks the same thing will happen with Star Wars, adding, “12 months from now we’ll be sat here and we’ll be looking at the expansion packs we’ll deliver as part of that Season Pass having maintained and increased engagement and as a result, having sold more games.”
The launch of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, new consoles being gifted for the holidays, kids wanting to play Star Wars, and the gift card season in early January were also cited as reasons why Battlefront “will have an incredibly long tail.”
Meanwhile, at the Nasdaq Investor Conference in Europe, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen admitted Battlefront was designed as a much more accessible game for a wide age group, carrying a Teen rating from the ESRB.
So, an 8-year-old could play with his father on the couch, as well as a teenager or 20-year-old could play the game and enjoy it. It is more accessible. And for the hardcore, it may not have the depth that they wanted in the game.
EA hasn’t given sales figures for Star Wars Battlefront yet, only saying that it saw the biggest digital launch in EA history and had the biggest launch in Star Wars video game history.