#StarWars news: #EA’s shareholders are running for the hills this month due to the company’s profitable business model now at risk after angry gamers revolted over its aggressive in-game moneymaking strategy in “Star Wars #BattlefrontII.” EA’s stock value is down 8.5% this month wiping out $3.1-billion in shareholder value while 2 of its competitors (Take-Two & Activision Blizzard) have seen their stock values go up during the same period.
Video gamer backlash over EA’s micro-transaction model (as we have previously posted about) on social media over pay-to-win micro-transactions for content that gamers believe believe should be part of the $60 price for the video game appears to be impacting sales of the video game. First-week physical game sales in the U.K. were down 61% as compared with EA’s previous release of “Star Wars Battlefront” 2 years ago. Also, “Battlefront II” is still not on Amazon’s top list of top-100 video game sales year-to-date.
On Sunday,Stifel analyst Drew Crum wrote in a note to clients, “We were underwhelmed by sell-through for Star Wars: Battlefront II (EA) over the Black Friday weekend, which follows a controversial launch for the game.”
But, it gets worse: Hawaiian state Reps. Chris Lee and Sean Quinlan have vowed to take action to protect underage kids from the game’s monetization practices. Lee said, “This game is basically a Star Wars-themed online casino designed to lure kids into an addictive cycle of gambling money for a chance to win game upgrades. These exploitive mechanisms have no place in games being marketed to minors, and perhaps no place in games at all.”
Lee also wrote, “Nothing currently prevents EA from exploiting people buying lootcrates with random contents through microtransactions because there is no requirement to disclose the odds of winning something meaningful, and companies like these are allowed to specifically target youth without the cognitive maturity to know when they are being exploited.”
Lee & Quinlan are also working with representatives in other states with similar interests to limit these types of video game practices.
Former EA employee Manveer Heir said in an interview last month, “The reason is that EA and those big publishers in general only care about the highest return on investment. They don’t actually care about what the players want, they care about what the players will pay for.” He also said, “You need to understand the amount of money that’s at play with microtransactions … I’ve seen people literally spend $15,000 on Mass Effect multiplayer cards.”
- EA’s day of reckoning is here after ‘Star Wars’ game uproar, $3 billion in stock value wiped out
- EA Shares Plummet After ‘Star Wars: Battlefront II’ Loot Box Fiasco
- Chris Lee Tweet on Video Game Micro-Transactions
- Amazon Best Selling Video Games of 2017
- State legislators call EA’s game a ‘Star Wars-themed online casino’ preying on kids, vow action
- Belgian Gaming Commission: Loot Boxes Are Gambling
- To Unlock All Content in “Star Wars Battlefront II” Is Estimated to Take 4,528 Hours of Gameplay or $2100
- “Star Wars Battlefront II” Becomes PR Nightmare for EA Games Due to In-Game Micro-Transactions