Yesterday we posted our coverage of Electronic Arts (EA) earnings call that among other things offered details on Star Wars Battlefront II (SWBFII)’s sales numbers. SWBFII market performance was eagerly watched by investors as well as gamers due to the negative publicity that the game received during its launch. Many see this metric as a sign of success for the title as well as the health of Electronic Arts’ overall portfolio.
SWBFII sales numbers misreported
Many news outlets focused on sales and quickly posted articles about it. One of them, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), was one of the first one to report that SWBFII sold 9 million copies. Sarah E. Needleman from WSJ published the following tweet:
Yesterday, the same journalist posted the below tweet adjusting SWBFII’s numbers to 7 million instead of the originally reported 9 million. EA’s sales estimates were also skewed. The original estimate sat at 10 million, however, the actual estimate is 8 million. In both cases, SWBFII sales fell about 1 million short of EA’s predictions.
It’s worth pointing out that according to the WSJ, EA’s CFO Blake J. Jorgensen misspoke during his interview with them.
We’re all human and make mistakes. We can only imagine that a CFO’s job probably comes with a lot of pressures and demands. Mistakes can happen and that’s understandable. It is certainly good that they came out and corrected the mistake.
At the same time, we don’t have to point out that situations like these don’t make things any better for EA or SWBFII. Partially because they fuel the narrative about EA’s reputation. After all, the announcement that microtransactions are returning has created a negative reaction from gamers in social media. In addition, some very-well known game news outlets seem to be jumping on the bandwagon and driving some of the criticism. While some of this might be valid, it misses a key point. The fact that EA/DICE haven’t said anything about how microtransactions will be implemented.
This story won’t go down as EA’s best moments, especially if one considers the history the company has and the general perception. While this is most likely an honest mistake, sometimes appearances have a significant impact on public’s perception.
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