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One analyst thinks that EA undercharged for Star Wars Battlefront II

One analyst thinks that EA undercharged for Star Wars Battlefront II

Gamers angry at EA over Star Wars Battlefront II's microtransactions are apparently overreacting.

That's according to Evan Wingren, an analyst at Wall Street firm KeyBanc Capital Markets, who - as reported by CNBC - said in a note to clients that EA has handled the launch of the sci-fi shooter poorly.

"We view the negative reaction to Star Wars Battlefront 2 (and industry trading sympathy) as an opportunity to add to Electronic Arts, Take-Two, and Activision Blizzard positions," he said.

"The handling of the SWBF2 launch by EA has been poor; despite this, we view the suspension of microtransactions in the near term as a transitory risk.

Furthermore, the analyst argues that gamers are in fact undercharged for video games.

"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 microtransactions."

The analyst reckons that if a gamer spends $60 on the base product, a further $20 per month on microtransactions and played for around 2.5 hours every day for a year, the cost per hour comes in at $0.40. We're not sure how many people play one singular video game for 2.5 hours each and every day, for one.

This, he compares to the $0.60 to $0.65 spent per hour on TV, $0.80 spent on film rental and $3 to see a movie at the cinema. 

"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."

This follows EA having to pull microtransactions from the sci-fi shooter, albeit temporarily, following a massive fan backlash in addition to Star Wars owner Disney getting involved to express their displeasure at the whole mess.

The above is anecdotal evidence of how the Star Wars Battlefront II debacle has been received by investors. EA's share price is down ten per cent following this whole mess, too. 


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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