Battlefield V, the upcoming World War II-set shooter from Electronic Arts and DICE, was recently delayed by just over a month, and EA's stock price has taken a hit as a result. DICE General Manager Oskar Gabrielson announced the delay in a blog post this week, explaining that the developer wanted time to implement changes to feedback gathered when gamers tried out Battlefield V's Closed Beta at E3 and Gamescom.
Game delays are often a good thing, as they offer extra time for a studio to finish polishing a game before its release. In this case, Gabrielson said that the extra month will be spent making "some final adjustments to gameplay," and in particular improving the new live service, Tides of War, which promises to offer players a changing and immersive experience, with new events released periodically.
While players may be happy to give DICE more time to deliver Battlefield V, and eagerly looking forward to the arrival of the Open Beta on September 6, the month-long wait means that EA lowered its sales projections for this fiscal year, reducing expected net bookings from $5.55 billion to $5.2 billion. CNBC reports that EA's shares dropped almost 10 percent on Thursday morning in response to the delay announcement.
Prior to the delay, analysts from financial services firm Cowen had forecast weak sales numbers for Battlefield V, describing it as a "casualty of the crowded October window." These projections may have been a contributing factor in EA's decision to delay the release, as the original release date would have put Battlefield V in pretty direct competition with its biggest rival, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (which releases October 12) and the hugely anticipated sequel Red Dead Redemption 2 (which releases October 26). Of course, it's hard to find breathing room in the crowded pre-holiday release window, but now Battlefield V's closest competition will be Fallout 76, which is out on November 14.
While EA may have taken a temporary hit over the delay, and is facing lower overall sales for this fiscal year, changing Battlefield V's release date could easily prove to be the smart choice in the long run. Many gamers only have enough time and money for one new AAA game per month, so moving Battlefield V out of its precarious position between Black Ops 4 and Red Dead 2 may well (as EA is surely hoping) result in more units sold overall.
Battlefield V will release on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on November 20, 2018.