Delaying Battlefield 5 to a heavily contested November calendar didn’t work out as planned, according to EA.
During its Q3 fiscal year 2019 call to investors this evening, EA said Battlefield 5 sales were below expectations.
According to company COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen, moving Battlefield 5 to a packed calendar, was just one reason it didn’t sell as well as hoped.
The combination of the poor start, a longer development cycle, and millions still playing Battlefield 1 and 4 were also contributing factors to the lower than expected sales, said CEO Andrew Wilson.
Battlefield 1 currently has nearly four million monthly active users, and Battlefield 4 has nearly two million.
“We made some decisions on launch timing and key features of this game that we felt would improve the quality of the experience,” said Wilson.
“For context, Battlefield 5 was designed from the beginning to offer a long-term live service. In August, we determined that we needed some more time for final adjustments to the core gameplay to fully deliver on the potential of the live service, so we moved the ship date to November to accommodate those goals.
“Unfortunately, the later release date meant the game launched deeper into a competitive holiday window where heavy price discounting was a big factor. In addition, we also made the decision to prioritize other features, including a single-player experience, at launch over a multiplayer mode.
“This year, battle royale modes became incredibly popular in shooter games. As a result of these decisions, we struggled to gain momentum and we did not met our sales expectations for the quarter.”
The game sold 7.3 million units during the quarter, which was one million less than expected. The lack of expected sales was also blamed on not focusing on the battle royale feature, per Jorgensen.
The game also didn’t sell as many Origin Access Premier subscriptions has EA had hoped, given the “difficult launch of the game.”