The troubles continue for EA and Star Wars Battlefront 2. The game has been the subject of controversy even before its initial release, with much of it having to do with the game’s loot box system, which is used for upgrades while playing. Even though EA tried to course correct by putting a hold on these microtransactions, following the wave of backlash they received, it wasn’t enough to wash the bad taste out of many gamer’s mouths. As a result, the game has failed to meet its sales projections so far.
According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, EA’s Star Wars Battlefront 2 has sold 9 million copies thus far. However, that’s 1 million shy of what they were aiming for. That means, despite selling another 1 to 3 million copies before the end of 2018, the sequel won’t come anywhere near to beating its predecessor, in terms of sales. For the sake of comparison, the first Star Wars Battlefront, which was released in November of 2015, had sold 14 million copies by the end of 2016. If Star Wars Battlefront 2 comes in on the low side of sales projections for 2018, the sequel could be nearly 4 million copies behind, sales wise, when compared to the first game.
The loot box and microtransaction issue goes far beyond Star Wars Battlefront 2, but as the Star Wars fanbase is incredibly passionate, the issue was brought to the forefront and even attracted the attention of several lawmakers who are trying to put a stop to what they call a predatory practice. Things got so bad that, at one point, people at EA received death threats from angry fans over the power-up system the company implemented for the new Battlefront. All of this, despite the fact that the company did go out of their way to try and make a great many improvements to this game, when compared to the first Star Wars Battlefront.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 included a single-player campaign, and one that ties into the official Star Wars canon. That was something the first game was sorely missing from the first game. EA also added many new levels, playable characters and vehicles to the multiplayer modes, but those require hours and hours of gameplay to unlock, or a more-than-decent chunk of change in microtransactions. That, unfortunately overshadowed many of the improvements and hurt the game’s overall sales.
Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm has been incredibly successful thus far, but if there’s one area that really needs to improve, it’s gaming. Star Wars Battlefront 2 simply isn’t cutting it. On the bright side for EA, digital sales of the sequel were up, as 37 percent of sales came digitally, as compared to 28 percent for the first game, which was reported by Wall Street Journal reporter Sarah E. Needleman’s Twitter account. That’s quite the small victory for EA and it certainly doesn’t help the many Star Wars fans who want to play quality games set in a galaxy far, far away again.