We always hear gamers say, vote with your wallets but it’s rare you see the impact. This time the Star Wars Battlefront 2 backlash against loot boxes from gamers has had a real impact on EA.
According to CNBC, $3.1 billion of shareholder value has been wiped with EA’s stock having dropped 8.5% in the past month. With sales of the game lower than expected, Analysts have become increasingly concerned.
Writing to his clients, Stifel analyst Drew Crum wrote, “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.”
Cowen’s Doug Creutz also alerted clients saying, “We think the time has come for the industry to collectively establish a set of standards for MTX implementation, both to repair damaged player perceptions and avoid the threat of regulation.”
Despite the backlash, CNBC also points out that EA’s shares are up 39 percent year to date because there is “anticipation of future profits stream from micro-transactions”.
The battle against loot box practices is only beginning and unless gamers continue to boycott games with mechanics that are pay to win, or could be considered gambling, nothing will change. Yesterday we saw the formation of the NCGP to tackle “unscrupulous videogame companies” but it’s not entirely clear what their mission is and who they represent.
For now, the only way to encourage change is by voting with your wallet. Star Wars Battlefront 2 was just the first step.