"No Weakness" in Star Wars Battlefront, EA Exec Says After Underperformance Claims

"The comments were interesting and a little bit of a surprise to us."


Last week, GameStop management said during an earnings call that Star Wars Battlefront failed to meet its initial sales targets. Now, publisher Electronic Arts has responded. EA chief operating officer Peter Moore said this week during the Credit Suisse Technology, Media, and Telecom conference that there is "no weakness" in the game, which he reiterated remains on pace to ship 13 million copies during the company's fiscal year.

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"The comments were interesting and a little bit of a surprise to us," Moore said about GameStop's comments last week. "From our perspective, I'm here to reaffirm our guidance of 13 million units sold in for the fiscal year. There is no weakness that is perceptible yet in the title."

In November, GameStop said that although Battlefront missed the retailer's initial sales targets, it was confident the game would be one of its biggest hits of the year and eventually reach internal projections. Buzz surrounding Star Wars: The Force Awakens may help Battlefront sales, GameStop management said at the time, a point that Moore reiterated during his talk this week.

"I want everybody to understand that based on where we think this title is and the marketing beats ahead of us, in particular the movie launch over the next two weeks, we feel very comfortable that we're going to hit the guidance that we've given," Moore explained.

Another possibility of why Battlefront underperformed at GameStop could be because GameStop's Black Friday advertisement leaked a full week before the game was released, management said last week. The Battlefront PS4 bundle was one of the retailer's featured deals during the shopping bonanza, which could mean that some fans saw the ad and withheld their purchase until Black Friday.

Battlefront is one of three big-name games that GameStop said underperformed during its latest quarter. The other two were Halo 5: Guardians and Assassin's Creed Syndicate. As a result of these games coming up short at GameStop, and other factors, the company's share value fell dramatically.

Battlefront's first expansion, Battle of Jakku, arrived on December 1 as free DLC for people who pre-ordered the game. Everyone else gets it, also for free, on December 8. Looking ahead, EA has plans for lots more DLC, while multiple full sequels are also in the works.

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