Corporate investment firm Bank of America Merrill Lynch has predicted that Star Wars Battlefront 2 will miss EA’s sales estimate of 14m units by 1.5m, as reported by CNBC.
Merrill Lynch’s prediction comes in light of the ongoing saga of controversy surrounding the inclusion, and recent temporary removal, of loot box microtransactions in the game. EA’s market valuation suffered a significant decrease of $3bn as a result of the same.
Merrill Lynch analyst, Justin Post, wrote in a note to clients that: “EA has had a challenging Q4, beginning with the shutdown of Visceral Games and now Battlefront 2 controversy."
The analyst went on to say, however, that: “As controversy subsides post-holidays, we expect investor interest to pick up ahead of a stronger 2019 fiscal year title slate. Battlefront microtransactions relaunch and FIFA World Cup content launch are key events.”
Not only does Post anticipate that investment in EA will recover in the not too distant future, but, also, that EA will reintroduce microtransactions into Battlefront 2; those which had been sought to be legislated against by a US State Representative and to be banned by Belgium’s Gambling Commission.
“Perhaps the biggest stock negative from the Battlefront 2 microtransactions issues is the potential negative impact on 2019 fiscal year microtransactions revenues,” wrote Post. “That said, even with 12m in total units sold and an average of $10 of microtransactions per game sold, Battlefront 2 could still do over $100m in microtransactions."