EA Analysts Lower Company’s Profit Forecast for FY2018 Due to Need for Speed Payback and Battlefront II Reception

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Cowen Group, a well-respected Wall Street analytic firm, analysed EA’s potential sales forecast for 2018’s financial year. The firm lowered the company’s projected forecast due to consumer feedback.

Cowen Group’s Doug Creutz estimates Star Wars Battlefront II’s sales are around 20 to 30% behind the first game’s sales, even if factor in the game’s digital sales and promotions. The controversy and backlash received from the game’s community, “clearly” had an impact on the final reception of the product. Star Wars Battlefront II isn’t the only title lowering EA’s expected financial estimates, since Need for Speed Payback didn’t do great either.

We are lowering our FY18 estimates to below management’s guidance as we believe that Star Wars Battlefront 2‘s performance (lower units + the indefinite delay of MTX) has been disappointing enough to more than offset any strength elsewhere in the model.

The negative player reaction to the mishandled loot box economy has clearly impacted SWBF2 sales … we think this is evidence that the industry’s core gamer constituency is getting increasingly unhappy about the degree to which MTX is being shoehorned into core gameplay loops.

Even factoring in the shift to digital units, it seems pretty likely that initial total sales will wind up being 20%-30% behind the pace of the original Battlefront, with bigger-than-normal price cuts also likely needed to move inventory. We think that the poorly-reviewed Need for Speed Payback is probably underperforming as well.

EA’s 2018’s financial earnings per share forecast has been lowered to $4.08 from the company’s guidance of $4.20. For our thoughts on Star Wars Battlefront II, make sure to check out our impressions on the game.