Industry analysts believe that EA’s reckoning has arrived after the controversy surrounding Star Wars Battlefront 2. As we reported earlier in the month, along with seemingly every gaming outlet and even major news networks, the micro-transaction design in Battlefront 2 was hugely unpopular and has already led to game changes. However, the backlash from fans was extraordinary and continues to affect both the sales of the game and EA’s market value.
According to CNBC’s article here, EA has seen it’s share price decline by 8.5 percent since the start of November. This translates to $3 billion in market value and is a sign that EA’s methodology around micro-transactions in all of their major titles may be at risk.
Of course, it’s worth pointing out that year to date, EA shares are still up 39 percent. With major titles like the next Battlefield and Anthem on the way in fiscal year 2019, we’ll see how EA handles future implementations of the model.
This could be seen as a win for gamers and we certainly encourage the larger publishers to think twice before implementing pay models that encourage grinding or pay to win mechanics. That said, we should always be careful what we wish for. With the publicity around Battlefront 2 leading to governments and legal bodies now looking into the industry more closely, it could open a proverbial can of worms. Keep in mind that fair use comes into play often within the industry including let’s play videos, youtube content creators, and even smaller sites like ours. No matter what, it’s clear that this has now become a larger conversation and the next few years will likely lay the foundation for the direction the industry heads.