There’s an interesting phenomenon in the gaming industry. Although social media shows opinionated gamers reacting quickly and strongly, the sales figures are usually one game behind when reflecting that passion.
EA’s version of Battlefront was critically panned, but still extremely successful, selling 14 million copies. Although the pre-release open beta blatantly showed the shortcomings of ineffective map design and boring shooting mechanics, it couldn’t stop the hype.
Star Wars has always been a popular property and was especially so with The Force Awakens releasing just one month later. Toss in two critically acclaimed Battlefront games from the PS2-era and EA had a project that couldn’t miss.
Battlefront 2 will suffer the consequences
My prediction is that gamers will do what they traditionally do and judge a game based on their last experience.
The new Battlefront promises more robust single-player content, and an actual campaign, fixing two of the major issues. With the foundation of a jaw-droppingly beautiful engine and reusable assets already in place, DICE had plenty of time to play their first game and focus on improving the core mechanics of the next outing.
But it doesn’t matter how good the next Battlefront is. I predict it will under-perform financially because the majority of those 14 million feel burnt by the first game. They’ll feel their love of Star Wars and Battlefront was used and abused. They expected to relive the glory of the original games, enjoying split-screen campaigns with friends, but were instead dumped into large open spaces to snipe at medium-long range with pistols. Forced to grind for jump-packs and powerful guns if they ever hoped to compete in the online-only snooze-fest.
Battlefront 2 could earn top reviews, win awards, and enjoy plenty of great word-of-mouth, but it won’t ever each 14 million. It could still sell several million to core gamers in the know, but the mainstream market that doesn’t follow games media won’t be there this time. They blew it.
You do realize that Battlefront 2 doesn’t need to sell anywhere near 14 million to be a successful title?
Anyways I do think your argument does hold water, Watch Dogs 2 is a good example of that. While a much superior game to the original I believe it sold much worse.
The issue with Battlefront is that it is star wars, and I am sorry to say, but there is absolutely no such thing as anything labeled star wars that wont sell as hot cakes.
Watch Dogs 2 is a fantastic example. You’re right that Battlefront 2 could still turn a profit with a fraction of the sales, but I’m sure EA will be hoping for similar figures.
Your point about Star Wars is intriguing. I found The Force Awakens very entertaining but Rogue One mediocre. I’m very interested to see how Episode 8 and the next stand alone perform.
And both of those movies are also good examples of the selling power of Star Wars. The prequels even more so. Movies hated by many, both critics and fans, yet they all sold like crazy.
The same is also true for most Star Wars games. In fact there are quite a lot of precedent for this. The sales trend for Star Wars games have been on a steady upwards curve, despite quality or critical reception. Of course that is only true of general trends and does not necessarily look at the whole picture in detail.
You might be right that Battlefront 2 is going to sell less than Battlefront 1, the problem is that if it even sells half of what the first one did, it will still be considered a financial success.
As to your movie rankings I respectfully disagree. The Force Awakens was to me moderately enjoyable. It was way too much of a recreation of A new hope to me. Clearly created almost entirely as fan service. On the other hand I would almost consider Rogue One the best Star Wars movie since Empire Strikes Back.
The Star Wars brand is strong with the force. Your comment had me intrigued to check out the box office numbers.
Force Awakens $936
Rogue One $529
Ep 1 $431
Ep 3 $380
Star Wars $307
Ep 2 $302
Star Wars Special Ed $138
Empire Special $67
Jedi Special $45
Ep 2 being the only modern SW to dip below an original trilogy film is a strong statement that at least some fans stayed away after an initial disappointment Like you said with Battlefront however, although lower than the previous entry, still posted buckets of profit.
I’ll give Rogue One another chance but I initially found the characters boring, the cast too large, and the tone a studio mishmash of a serious war film and nostalgia.
Jedi is weaker every time I see it. Great moments but the middle draaaaaaaags.
There is room for differing tastes here. I didn’t find the lack of character development that big of a deal in Rogue One. I like to look at each movie as an experience and those experiences are, when succesfull, very often more than the sum of it’s parts. Which is why I felt it worked in Rogue One. The story was never a story about any individual or group. The story was about the Death Star and it’s plans.
Regardless, I agree that the movie isn’t perfect. However, like you pointed out, neither is most of the original trilogy. Empire might be pretty darn close.
Also. I believe that has to be domestic box office numbers, because as far as I know The Force Awakens broke 2 billion.
I agree 100% …. I won’t buy it and my friends won’t either, they screwed up. I did put about 30 hours into the first game. But I’ve had my fill of Starwars FPS online game with the first one. I doubt they can do anything that’ll change my opinion with a sequel. Campaign or not …
On paper it seems like the best thing I could play with my friends but the actual in-game moments are a drag.
The levels are big enough to fit walkers and ships but strand the ground troops in terrible open fields of pistol sniping. Titanfall 1 and 2 did a much better job of combining pilots with mechs. The close quarters gives Titanfalls mechs a much larger presence than the AT-ATs, which are ten times the size but feel distant and small
It could, if they just make the game the way we want it. Just make it like the originals and we will buy it. No Battlefield re-skin. Galactic Conquest. campaign, class sets, split screen, have the whole movie time line. It’s not that hard. Hell, resale an HD remake of the originals and I guarantee you’ll make money.
THAT’S a remaster I’d love to see
nope battlefront sold millions on consoles dispite cry baby pc gamers you konw the gold standard as ea called them.i just hope they put more effort in to the console versions since thats where their money will be.
ea remember this if i was a pc gamer i would buy sw battlefront 2 from cd keys and g2a for $35 and not from you.just remember wher the mooney comes from consoles.
I know I wont be buying till its $20 and used, I felt very taken advantage of over the last crap they put out
I bought it for $20 and still feel like it was a waste. Tried online with a friend but the game is so bland once you get passed the stunning visuals and nostalgia
I saw a few casual gamer friends buy into the hype and get letdown like an absentee father leaving them waiting for a game of catch that never came. The season pass was another slap in the face as the game was woefully thin to begin with.
DICE seemed like the right developer but they probably weren’t given enough time by EA to properly flesh it out.
Well I was half right