EA's Head Blames Marketing, Development Delay for Low "Battlefield V" Sales

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

    Aug 20, 2006
    One of EA’s biggest admissions during its earnings call this week was Battlefield V being a “flop”: the game managed to sell 7.3 million copies in the third quarter, but that was a million less than company predictions. While EA president Andrew Wilson has blamed its long development cycle, which led to delays, as well as poor marketing, many gamers say it simply lacked compelling content. Others claim it suffered from controversy (e.g., female soldiers and other “historical inaccuracies”). In any case, EA did tell gamers not to buy the game.

    “You should expect that we will be more innovative and more creative around both marketing campaigns and how we bring games to market and more diligent in our operation against execution of the project plans around development of video games going forward,” he said. “I mean, it’s something we are taking very seriously across the full landscape of development.” Wilson later went on to note that “Titanfall 2” also struggled with a marketing problem.
    captaindiptoad likes this.
  2. PhaseNoise

    PhaseNoise [H]ard|Gawd

    May 11, 2005
    Lot's of reasons cited beyond

    It's just a "meh" game made on a development treadmill devoid of any encouragement of innovation. Just turn the crank baby.
  3. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

    Mar 18, 2013
    7.3 million sales is low.

    The fourth highest selling out of a 13 game franchise.

    A franchise that has long since seen her best days. In an era where there's a huge backlash against AAA game developers.

    This will result in lay-offs among the peons and fat bonuses among the brass.

    EA will learn all the wrong lessons from this. It's what they do.
    the901, Unter Dog, ChoGGi and 16 others like this.
  4. maxius

    maxius 2[H]4U

    Dec 17, 2001
    this is what happens when you put your CFO in-charge of game development
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  5. DrDoU

    DrDoU 2[H]4U

    Jun 4, 2007
    Should changed their name to SS Games(Super Stupid).They don’t know if they should scratch their watch or wind their ass
    Thunderdolt likes this.
  6. vegeta535

    vegeta535 2[H]4U

    Jul 19, 2013
    Wow when 7.3 million of a shit game is not enough. 10 years ago it was very rare that a game sold half that.
  7. Chunder

    Chunder Gawd

    Dec 5, 2011
    I love how capitalism and todays corporate world has ruined a once perfect series in pursuit of ever-increasing profits to make shareholders happy. 7 million sales is $210 million if everyone bought the game for $30 (what it was selling for about a week after launch due to initial bad sales). That's plenty of money, but instead, EA is going to want to change the game up even more, resulting in more core gameplay elements being changed/stripped as it looks at "market trends". Market trends that BF players don't enjoy and won't buy yet again.

    Minus the incel community and those that suffer from male fragility, no one cares about so called "historical inaccuracies". And even then, while the American and British armies didn't have women on the front lines, others did in some capacity from the Soviets to the French resistance.

    The real reason the game flopped so hard was due to core gameplay elements. There were notable positive changes to the game, such as the limited ammunition and fortifications. However, the COD run and gun style gameplay, and laserbeam machine guns, coupled with self-repairing vehicles making engineers redundant and vehicles OP, ruined what Battlefield is supposed to be. Not to mention the degradation of the netcode once again causing players to get shot around corners. BF3/BF4 wasn't perfect, but they were far better than BF1/BF5, and at least (mostly) had proper Battlefield maps. If EA really wanted to rescue the series, they'd let DICE go back to making the games like BF2 or BF2142 without any interference. Kinda what they allowed Respawn to do with Apex Legends instead of pushing for Titanfall 3, though I foresee that game dying out once the newness and initial hype fades away. It simply doesn't have the formula, support, or uniqueness that a game like Fortnite has with constant updates, improvements, new weapons/skins/gamemodes, etc.
    5150Joker likes this.
  8. Dodge245

    Dodge245 Limp Gawd

    Oct 8, 2018
    I love what there saying "theres nothing wrong with our game, we just need to hype our games to all hell and continue producing s**t"
  9. Chaos Machine

    Chaos Machine Gawd

    Apr 13, 2012
    I think the bigger issue with battlefield 5 is ww2 shooters are a dime a dozen and there really isn't any new gameplay innovations instead banking on graphics and pedigree to sell the title. Id rather have seen them give another crack at sci-fi again like 2142. Try to shake up the formula, if you fail try something else.
  10. Fumz

    Fumz n00b

    Jul 11, 2008
    translation: it’s the lipstick
  11. Jim Kim

    Jim Kim 2[H]4U

    May 24, 2012
  12. sleepybp

    sleepybp Limp Gawd

    Feb 5, 2014
    OK so EA believes the game itself is solid and gamers arent getting burnt out on new "BF Skin" release every 18 months for $59.99?
    Unter Dog, Revdarian, eclypse and 5 others like this.
  13. Spidey329

    Spidey329 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Dec 15, 2003
    This reads exactly like an executive in upper management. Only missing synergy.
  14. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

    Apr 29, 2005

    But true.

    EA are a bunch of whinny bitches! I'd love to sell 7.3 million of something.

    PS: Attack of the Killer Tomato's cartoon was excellent :)
    HAL_404 likes this.
  15. HockeyJon

    HockeyJon [H]ard|Gawd

    Dec 14, 2014
    A lot of things were different 10 years ago. How much money has Fortnite made and how many users do they have? A free game taking major AAA studios to task was unheard of 10 years ago. E-sports gamers making more money than athletes and movies stars was unheard of 10 years ago. The market for video games was a fraction of what it is today going back a decade ago. Sure, 7.3 million units isn’t terrible, but what matters is how EA is comparing to their chief competitors, and my measures of unit sales and revenue, BFV is lagging their competitors. That’s why the stock got hammered. It’s a sign that EA and BFV is losing to their competitors.
  16. Ski

    Ski Gawd

    Jun 21, 2008
    They got one thing right, it was definitely marketing's fault because they just like the corporate executives are the ones pulling the strings, rather then allowing the creative talent to do their job. They base all of their decisions on quarterly reports, bullshit statistics, ad revenue, and the bottom line. And this is exactly what happened to Apple when the creative department lost control of policy in the office. You're seeing unfold not just in video games, but Hollywood as well.
    A Little Teapot and Armenius like this.
  17. opfreak

    opfreak Gawd

    Nov 17, 2005
    I've played many hundreds of hours of BF games. they are all hated at launch because BF X-1 was always better. That's what people do. I think this game had the fewest actual bugs that I remember for a BF game. However imho it has some of the weakest maps. I wouldn't call them COD maps, but they just aren't good. Grand Operations is weak sauce compared to BF1 (a mode I loved, there was a point in winning and progressing, or defending and ending the round).

    And now theres so many freaking hacks.
    SamuelL421 likes this.
  18. demondrops

    demondrops Limp Gawd

    Jul 7, 2016
    women in bf, so what! what about all the unrealistic skins and outfits lol :p same boat prety much, yet no one complain over that. what really fucked bfv up was the number of serious bugs, it felt rushed. and it did feel like it lacked maps i think. other then it, prety good game. and rtx settings were underwhelming also. overall i still enjoyed Bf1 way more, now there is tons of maps and dead servers all the time unfortunately so it is sort of unplayable sadly.
  19. sirmonkey1985

    sirmonkey1985 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010

    Sep 13, 2008
    this is why you don't work for a publicly owned company, it's never the fault of the people running the company, it's everyone else's fault.. but i agree they'll just play the blame game instead of figuring out why the game ended up doing so poorly and it's not because there's female characters in the game even though they'll just blame it on that.
  20. mavrocket

    mavrocket [H]ard|Gawd

    May 10, 2008
    The truth of the matter is that he wasn't talking to us, he was talking to their shareholders.

    Either EA knows how they went wrong with BF5, whichever the reasons are, and will course correct, or they don't know and don't care.

    Either way, you are fooling yourself if you think the BF series will ever play again like BF2-BF4. They want the casual crowd that will fill up the coffers with microtransactions and be ready to move onto the next iteration a year later.

    DICE's last Battlefield game was BF4, RIP. It's time for someone else to pick up the mantle of military multiplayer FPS and vehicle combat.
  21. HockeyJon

    HockeyJon [H]ard|Gawd

    Dec 14, 2014
    I would count myself among those who don’t care, but I think it still had a measurable impact on sales because:

    A) A lot of people I saw online were turned off principally by the smug, virtue signalling attitude coming from the lead designer. They weren’t necessarily incels, but they were people fed up with lectures from corporate types who, at the end of the day, is primarily concerned with making money.

    B) Incels and people suffering from male fragility play a lot of video games.

    C) DICE really could have had it both ways as you said. Do lady campaigns on British SOE missions or Soviet snipers/tank crews/Night Witches, whatever, and then silence the opposition by saying they chose things specifically from history. They still might have lost incel customers, but they would have retained core players that were just turned off by the general virtue signalling of it all.
  22. refraxion

    refraxion [H]ardForum Junkie

    Oct 3, 2007
    Lol, marketing didn’t do their jobs in swindling the public? Please.
  23. Dion

    Dion 2[H]4U

    Oct 2, 2004
    To be fair every big Battlefield release goes down too 30$ in a month ( all platforms ). So do Battlefront games. Why people still buy these specific games for 60$ is interesting..

    I miss when EA actually took risk on games. Alice and Dead Space 1+2 I enjoyed alot..

    Anyways on topic.. BF5 was meh.. I got it free with video card.. Don't think id pay more then 30$ either.
  24. Delicieuxz

    Delicieuxz Gawd

    May 11, 2016
    As usual, EA practices denial instead of facing the facts.

    Battlefield 5 is a hollow shell of a game, and one that, like Bf1 which saw the worst player retention in Battlefield history, is way too dumbed-down to be stimulating over a long period of time.

    And another fact: DICE hasn't made a quality game since Bf4. Battlefront, Mirror's Edge Catalyst, Battlefield 1, Battlefront 2, Battlefield 5... were all mediocre games at best while at worst being terrible entries.

    I think it's long overdue that Patrick Soderlund, Patrick Bach left the studio - they were sell-outs from the start. And Lars Gustavsson probably should do something else, too. Alan Kertz, with his staunch casual console-gamer approach has been a source of the dumbing-down the series since he came on board. But, cleansing the studio of its baggage doesn't benefit the series when EA only tightens its corporate management over its design directions after each sell-out leaves. I bet the studio is now filled with a lot of yesmen and newbs who don't know about Battlefield prior to Bf3.

    From early on, DICE was never a studio that honoured its games, but one that chased the easy and sleazy dollar (selling their studio to EA for a pittance right before the best game in the series released was a tragedy) and which I think has now prostituted-out itself and the carcass of its Battlefield series for so long that DICE's reputation as a studio of note could be toast. A 6-game losing streak 5.5 years since producing a decent game make for some pretty large writing on the wall.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    Armenius likes this.
  25. andrewaggb

    andrewaggb Limp Gawd

    Oct 6, 2004
    Honestly I just have BF fatigue. Loved BF2/3/4.
    viscountalpha likes this.
  26. zehoo

    zehoo Limp Gawd

    Aug 22, 2004

    EA and “long development cycle” are mutually exclusive.
    Armenius and HAL_404 like this.
  27. umeng2002

    umeng2002 Gawd

    May 23, 2008
    Battlefield was the resistance to CoD... until it started getting dumb-down for consoles. And now it's trying to be Fortnite with WWII female cyborg ninjas.
    mavrocket and Armenius like this.
  28. Crystoff

    Crystoff [H]Lite

    Jun 3, 2017
    That's out of context, of course. The game dev laid out the reasons for their character choices, said they weren't going to back down or apologize for those, and if folks couldn't deal with that they could just not buy. Seems pretty fair and straightforward to me. In fact it's the kind of behavior we would normally applaud.
  29. Crystoff

    Crystoff [H]Lite

    Jun 3, 2017
    Well, here in BF V they did, and look at the complaints.
    SamuelL421 and AceGoober like this.
  30. readeh

    readeh Limp Gawd

    Apr 1, 2013
    You are delusional.
  31. Filter

    Filter [H]ardForum Junkie

    Dec 30, 2001
    they told me not to buy the game. so i didnt. im confused
  32. HAL_404

    HAL_404 Limp Gawd

    Dec 16, 2018
    and so they didn't.

    I used to play BF4 but after a while I found having to repeat the whole chapter if I got killed (even if near the end of that chapter) rather stupid so I no longer play the game
  33. oldmanbal

    oldmanbal [H]ard|Gawd

    Aug 27, 2010
    I've bought every battlefield before this one. I wouldn't go near BFV or possibly any future battlefield because of how they shat all over male gamers. I don't enjoy the escapism in games having politics shoved down my throat.
    A Little Teapot and Armenius like this.
  34. Lakados

    Lakados [H]ard|Gawd

    Feb 3, 2014
    7.3 million in sales at $60 a pop is a nice chunk of change till you realize the game cost over 200 million to get out the door. So after various taxes and such they made back less than double their investment, so not enough to pay for the next one with out heavy income from micro transactions or DLC. So yes financially it’s a flop.

    Would it have done better with out the “if you don’t like it don’t buy it” campaign I can’t say maybe.... who knows that might have gotten them sales from people not usually buying their titles. The game was incomplete, and riddled with exploits so maybe if development wasn’t delayed t would have gotten more of those fixed before launch. Who knows, but at launch it had a lot of issues and compared to the plethora of currently available FPS titles available it doesn’t offer a hell of a lot that is better at this point.
  35. Blade-Runner

    Blade-Runner 2[H]4U

    Feb 25, 2013
    To make matters even worse for EA, how many of those 7.3 million copies were sold at deep discounts soon after release? I would guess a significant amount considering all the negative publicity and the fact that it could easily be found for 50% off at both physical and digital retailers for months leading up to Christmas and New Year. That being the case the revenue generated from those sales may be equivalent to only about 3.65 million copies being sold, which puts an entirely different slant on those sale figures.

  36. Blade-Runner

    Blade-Runner 2[H]4U

    Feb 25, 2013
    And how many of those copies were sold at 50% off?
    Armenius likes this.
  37. rudedog

    rudedog Gawd

    Dec 23, 2004
    I think this game would have sold better if they did something fresh and new

    - Let the community create their own maps. this could be record setting, where the community could turn out new maps on a weekly basis
    - Let the community run their own servers so they can police, set rules and run their own community the way they want too
    - Add a third party to control anti cheat
    - A mode that bridges arcade with real world. Something that would allow one shot one kills. Call it something like Hard Core or real world
    - Release the game with a good amount of content. Say 10 + maps, ample weapons and vehicles
    - Release official "map packs" every 6-8 months and charge the customer $10-$15 for this new content
    - Don't change the weapon mechanics every patch
    - Have a nice remote connection tool to manage your remote server. Call is something like RCON for short.
    - Let the developer create a game their customers would want to play
    - If it's history based have some kind of history following theme.
    - Listen to your customers​

    Just imagine how well their game(s) would sell if they did all this fresh new stuff that has never been done before..........
    Cr4ckm0nk3y and Armenius like this.
  38. Patton187

    Patton187 Gawd

    Feb 12, 2012
    Male fragility. Have some more post-modern buzz words.
  39. chithanh

    chithanh Gawd

    Oct 18, 2010
    And Sony didn't tell people to get a second job to buy a PS3.

    But you know what? People generally do not understand conditional sentences. They will ignore the "if" part. This was a serious communication blunder by EA, some beginner mistake. At the very least they could have gone the Microsoft way and said "if you don't like women in video games, we have a product for you".
  40. T_A

    T_A Limp Gawd

    Aug 4, 2005
    It went on sale 50% after two months already , i think i even saw it for 15-20$

    Anyway , i think the real issue with BF5 is content , they put out the least known battles of WW2 , most of them are before D-Day , no Russian/American armies , No pacific front , no naval warfare, so what did they expect?
    This is in a way a step back from BF1942 that had some of the 'greatest' battles of WW2 , perhaps they are saving those for the next year of updates till BF6
    Lakados likes this.