EA Stock Price Drops After Star Wars Battlefront 2 Microtransaction Removal
The company's stock price is still up 42 percent this year, though.
Late last week, on the eve of Star Wars: Battlefront II's wide release, Electronic Arts made the huge announcement that it was temporarily removing microtransactions. EA did so in the wake of a wave of criticism about how players could spend money to buy loot boxes, which contain items that theoretically provide an advantage on the battlefield. It appears that Wall Street is taking notice of this move, as EA's stock price closed on Friday, November 17--the day Battlefront II came out--down by around 2.5 percent.
That comes out to around $2.78, dropping EA's stock price to $108.82 at market close on Friday. The market opens again on Monday morning, so we'll see what happens then. For the month overall, EA's stock price is down by 7 percent, though for the full year, EA is doing incredibly well; it's stock price is up 42 percent this year.
EA submitted documentation with the United States Securities & Exchange Commission last week that said the removal of microtransaction is "not expected to have a material impact on EA's fiscal year 2018 financial guidance." For the year ending March 31, 2018, EA expects to make $5.075 billion in revenue and a profit of $1.136 billion.
EA will add microtransactions back to Battlefront II in the future, though it remains to be seen when they'll come back and if the progression/loot crate system is changed. If microtransactions come back before the end of EA's FY18, EA's revenue and profit could be even higher.
Star Wars: Battlefront II's microtransaction/loot crate system was highly contentious and controversial running back to when players discovered how the system worked in October's open beta. Loot boxes come with random items, but instead of things that are cosmetic only, they can also contain game-affecting things like deadlier grenades or cloaking abilities that give players a theoretical advantage.
EA's statement on the removal of Battlefront II's microtransactions quoted DICE boss Oska Gabrielson as saying, "We've heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages. And we've heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry we didn't get this right."
With all in-game purchases for Battlefront II now removed, progression is now exclusively tied to gameplay. EA is bringing back microtransactions "at a later date," but not until the studio has time to make unspecified "changes to the game." More details on this changes will come later as DICE considers more feedback and date. One possibility is that Battlefront II's microtransactions will return as cosmetic only, as is the case in Overwatch and other games, though this is just speculation.
"We have created a game that is built on your input, and it will continue to evolve and grow," Gabrielson explained.