GameStop issued a warning about weak sales of Electronic Art’s “Star Wars: Battlefront”. EA shares plunged as much as 7 percent on Monday after the US-based video game retailer reported that sales of the blockbuster title were weaker than expected.
A top investor at EA said that it is premature to conclude that there is weak demand for the new game, especially given that the comments by GameStop don’t reflect sales on Black Friday – the US’s biggest shopping day of the year.
Cowen & Co analysts said that GameStop’s warning is “really being driven by an acceleration of digital downloads.”
Star Wars: Battlefront launched on November 17 – a month before the upcoming Star Wars movie.
Christopher Merwin, an analyst at Barclays, was quoted by Reuters as saying:
“It’s too early to sound any alarm bells. The success of ‘Star Wars Battlefront’ will be largely dictated by how it does digitally.”
In addition, over the past few years the videogame industry has shifted to selling games digitally. A lot of gamers prefer downloading games upon release – eliminating the need to go to a physical store.
Matt Titus, a shareholder in EA and a portfolio manager at American Century Investment Management, said that the plunge in EA stock on Monday was an “over-reaction”. Titus added that the new Star Wars game had “some of the strongest pre-orders in the history of gaming.”
EA expects to sell 13 million units of “Star Wars: Battlefront” for the year ending March 2016 – up from an earlier forecast of 9 to 10 million.
First week Star Wars: Battlefront sales in the UK
In the UK Star Wars: Battlefront became the fastest selling Star Wars game ever. According to Chart-Track, the new title sold 117 percent more in its first week compared to the previous Star Wars game.
However, the game lagged behind FIFA 16, Call Of Duty: Black Ops III, and Fallout 4 in first week sales – ranking it as the UK’s fourth biggest launch title of the year.