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Titanfall 360 delay is about managing higher preorders, not polishing game

Pre-orders are likely over 3.5 million for Titanfall, meaning EA can afford to hold back the 360 build of mech shooter and still meet sales targets.

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When Electronic Arts said last night it would delay the release of Titanfall on the Xbox 360 for two weeks until March 25th, it claimed the time would be used to polish the experience for players.

But it's more likely that the publisher can afford to delay the game because preorders are so high, letting the company hit expected revenue targets for the financial year ending March 31st with the Xbox One version - and kick off the following financial year with stellar sales of the Xbox 360 version.

According to analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan, the game could sell over 7 million copies in its first three months on shelves - the majority of which will be on the Xbox 360 due to a higher user base.

"We have modeled 3.5 million units of sell-in for the game in its release quarter, with the bulk of sales likely occurring on the Xbox 360 platform; we suspect that pre-order demand for the game is above this figure, and believe that EA expects to sell more than 7 million units overall in the game's first three months following launch," he wrote.

"We believe that by delaying the launch of the Xbox 360 version until several days before quarter end, EA can manage its sell-in of units to around 3.5 million, and still largely satisfy demand. This will allow EA to sell sufficient units to hit its Q4 revenue and earnings guidance, and ensure that its FY:15 starts on solid footing."

The Xbox One version of Titanfall is due for release on March 11.

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