Electronic Arts and Activision will be going head-to-head in the first-person shooter space later this year, and though the publisher has said that it doesn't expect Battlefield 3 to top Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sales, it expects to at least take some market share. And thus far, it appears as if demand is quite high for the EA DICE-developed shooter.
Speaking at the Citi 2011 Tech Conference, EA CFO Eric Brown said that Battlefield 3 has already sold more than a million units at retail. "To date we have about 1.25 million preorders on Battlefield 3," Brown said. "So it's still well ahead of its predecessor title, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, in regards to preorders relative to the same number of weeks to launch, so it's doing very well."
In July, EA said that Battlefield 3 preorders were tracking 10 times higher than those of Bad Company 2 at the same point in development. The game is expected to launch on October 25. Bad Company 2 launched in March 2010 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, and has gone on to ship more than 9 million units.
Brown was also asked whether EA has plans to match Call of Duty's $50 service, which Activision detailed as part of the Call of Duty XP event last weekend.
"The short answer is no," Brown said, before detailing some of the postrelease add-on content that will be available for Battlefield 3. He did leave the door open for future installments in the Battlefield franchise to charge players, saying, "We'll monitor and see what the outcome is."
Brown also addressed EA and BioWare's upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic during his Citi 2011 Tech Conference appearance. Of note, Brown said that EA still expects to launch the game this year, but the publisher has allowed in its earnings expectations that the game could slip into early 2012.
Though he would not reveal The Old Republic preorder figures, Brown did say that demand for the game is tracking in line with the company's expectations. Previously, EA has said that SW:TOR has broken its record for preorders. The publisher has also said that it intends to limit sales of the game to ensure a smooth launch.