Star Wars Battlefront 2 Sales Are 20 Percent Of Call Of Duty: WWII’s

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Star Wars Battlefront 2
Star Wars Battlefront 2 has sold just 882,000 copies to Call Of Duty: WWII's 4.4 million. The force of loot crates is strong with this one. Star Wars Battlefront 2 is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC. DICE/EA

Star Wars Battlefront 2 is officially in a sales freefall, according to the latest NPD numbers published by Dow Jones Newswires. Wall Street Journal’s Sarah Needleman tweeted the release Friday morning:

While video game sales were up 9 percent compared to last November, it appears Star Wars Battlefront 2 wasn’t a huge contributor to that statistic. Since launch, NPD reports that just 882,000 physical copies of the game have been sold. That being said, the research firm believes the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the general buying power of the Star Wars brand might help the game rebound in the coming months.

A number like 882,000 doesn’t sound terrible, but it’s put into perspective when compared to Activision’s shooter juggernaut Call Of Duty: WWII. That title enjoyed two full weeks on the market ahead of Battlefront 2 and was able to push 4.4 million copies across the same platforms over a similar period of time.

We have seen signs of sluggish sales from the U.K. over the past few weeks, but these U.S. NPD stats suggest Battlefront 2’s loot crate fiasco has had a measurable, global impact on EA’s profit margins. Recent reports indicated the publisher had lost $3 billion in stock value over the outrage, and now we’re seeing that loss trickle down to overall sales. As the Hawaii state legislature ramps up its efforts to crack down on loot boxes in triple-A games, the controversy hasn’t stopped yet.

The only limitation the NPD report has is that it only correlate to physical sales. That being said, while a larger percentage of consumers would likely be willing to buy a multiplayer-centric game like Battlefront 2 from a digital storefront, it’s still vastly underperforming compared to contemporaries.

These numbers are signs of a shockwave throughout this industry that even NPD previously underestimated. Three weeks prior to Battlefront 2’s release, NPD analyst Mat Piscatella gleefully told, "The loot box or microtransactions controversy has not yet resulted in clear noticeable limitations of the sales potential of the games with [those mechanics]." In fact, Piscatella even went far enough to tweet the “presence of loot boxes correlates to higher game sales volume.” Correlation doesn’t always mean causation, of course, but that hasn’t been the case for Battlefront 2.

To this point, that game’s loot box troubles are an outlier. But those against microtransactions say the event could mark the start of a larger trend working in the opposite direction. At the very least, this loss of profit will likely act as a cautionary tale to publishers that aim to push monetization strategies too far. Battlefront 2 has seemingly helped the mainstream understand what has otherwise been a hardcore gamer’s issue. With that knowledge, the loot box craze will likely be forced to scale back in the triple-A market. We’re already seeing that happen with EA’s recent progression changes to Need For Speed Payback.

Despite these shortcomings, Star Wars Battlefront 2 has just kicked off its Last Jedi season of free DLC. All players can enjoy new heroes, additional story missions and limited events throughout the month. A drip feed of new content could potentially bring players back if progression is also changed in meaningful ways.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Are you happy to see Battlefront 2 sales faltering for its loot crates? Can those poor numbers ever rebound? Tell us in the comments section!

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