Well well well… What’s happening here then?
Since the launch of Star Wars Battlefront II, EA’s stock has lost $6bn in value. This is an extraordinary drop considering it coincided with what was arguably the biggest game release of the year.
The old saying of “you could put the Star Wars brand on a stick and sell it” has been proven wrong by EA. You can’t put the brand on this monetization and progression system and succeed.
The problem for EA isn’t stock value. It’s about stockholders expecting the worst when it comes to the freemium game market. The reactions to Battlefront II reached mainstream news and the idea of “games as gambling” is now synonymous with EA and Star Wars Battlefront II. The level of interest piqued that of politicians and now governments are passing judgments on whether this is gambling. Will this lead to legislations handicapping corporations from their freemium revenue streams? It’s possible if the pressure continues.
EA has forever tarnished themselves now and Star Wars fans are pushing a petition demanding that Disney remove the beloved franchise from EA’s grasp. So not only have EA been backed into a corner with the outrage and media coverage, they have put the freemium market into the hands of governments and risked their connection to the worlds biggest franchise.
Good work EA.
Despite all this, it isn’t the beginning of the end of EA. Their value is actually greater than last year and their sports franchises alone, even if governments add legislation hamstringing Ultimate Team profits will forever keep the corporation in profit. What all this might do however is change the gaming industry for the better as games would need to rely on quality, not addictions to profit.