No one’s buying EA’s flagship game ‘Battlefield V’

Battlefield V will be one of the largest games Electronic Arts releases in 2018 — 2016’s Battlefield 1 attracted more than 25 million players — but the latest shooter could be in trouble. According to industry analysts, pre-order numbers should have the publisher worried about the World War II shooter.

According to Wall Street Journal reporter Sarah Needleman, the analysis firm Cowen stated that pre-orders for Battlefield V have thus far been “weak,” possibly because of its launch positioning between heavyweights Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2.

“Cowen says Battlefield could suffer the same fate as EA’s Titanfall 2,” Needleman added.

Titanfall 2 sold far below EA’s expectations when it launched in 2016, but some of the sales disappointment likely came from EA itself; the publisher chose to release Battlefield 1 just a week earlier, forcing many players to pick between the two. As the original Titanfall hadn’t released on PlayStation 4, its name recognition was certainly not as strong as Battlefield, and it sold several million fewer copies than predicted. It was an especially unfortunate case because Titanfall 2 happens to be one of the best shooters of the generation, and it has received quite a bit of free downloadable content over the last few years, including new modes and maps.

There is likely another reason for the lower-than-expected pre-order numbers on Battlefield V. Last year’s Star Wars: Battlefront II was a public relations nightmare for EA, as its initial loot box system was criticized as being pay-to-win. Though the system was completely overhauled and EA promised that a similar system won’t appear in Battlefield V, the company has a long way to go toward restoring players’ faith that it will do the right thing. That being said, the decision to make all multiplayer maps free will likely keep the community together for a longer period of time than it did in Battlefield 1.

Battlefield V releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 19. Those who pre-order the Deluxe Edition will get access on October 16, and there will be a free trial available to EA Access members on Xbox One and Origin Access members on PC on October 11.

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