DICE's highly anticipated Star Wars: Battlefront has been on the market for just over two weeks at the time of writing this, giving Star Wars fans a welcome distraction while the wait for The Force Awakens drags on. The launch was hindered by a few marketing missteps, but the game still went on to be the fastest selling Star Wars game of all time.
Reviews of Battlefront have been largely mixed, but the consensus seems to be that the game features great design work, but simply lacks enough content for the price of admission. While the newly released Battle of Jakku DLC helps to remedy the problem, recent sales numbers may indicate that the game is underperforming (by EA's standards).
GameStop's COO Tony Bartel recently told investors that a number of high-profile fall games were selling less than expected. Those games that were listed included Halo 5: Guardians, Assassin's Creed Syndicate and Star Wars: Battlefront. EA previously predicted that Battlefront would sell 13 million units by March of 2016, so the news that it wasn't selling as well as GameStop expected caused many to wonder if the estimate was a bit too optimistic.
According to Eurogamer, EA's COO Peter Moore recently spoke to EA's own investors, indicating that their predicted sales numbers have not changed.
"[Gamestop's] comments were interesting and a little bit of a surprise to us, particularly as the CFO in the call then started to correct [Bartel] as the call went on. So 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 and I want everybody [to] understand that based on where we think the title is and based on the marketing beats ahead of us, in particular the movie launch over the next two weeks, we feel very comfortable we're going to hit the guidance that we've given analysts, investors and Wall Street alike."
As Moore mentions, the game is most likely to see a notable sales bump with the release of Star Wars Episode VII. The game is already positioning itself to tie into the film with their Jakku DLC, introducing players to an important locale from the film. More than likely, the first round of DLC from the season pass will include even more Force Awakens tie-in material. Coupled with the holiday sales price of the Star Wars: Battlefront PS4 bundle, the game should do well in terms of sales through the rest of the year.
It's important to note that GameStop's numbers only represent a single retailer, not sales overall. While GameStop remains the biggest retailer for physical games, there are a number of additional retailers that represent a significant portion of games sales, particularly Amazon. More importantly, digital sales of games represent a growing portion of sales for AAA titles. EA has yet to release a specific number, but the publisher has confirmed that Battlefront broke their records for digital sales.
Star Wars: Battlefront is available now.