Electronic Arts is under great pressure. The company's stock stuck in the news wake of a game Star Wars riot and a poor showing from Battlefield 5 and investors are growing anxiously. It is likely that the EA is causing the danger to provide its own success with the release of Respawn Entertainment's Apex Legends a free-to-play battle royale shooter.
The EA's roadmap was faithful over the last week: Anthem in February, and a major battlefield 5 update, with the long-awaited Firestorm fighting royale mode, .
The surprise launch of Apex Legends upends plan.
The problem is that there are only hours in the day, playing a limited number of shooters. The EA not only competes with its rivals by launching two games that appeal to similar audiences such as many other February releases; It also competes against itself.
Every day is important
Apex Legends is part of a bold approach. The stand-alone, AAA, free game play battle royale is a risk, even from a studio as respected as Respawn. But solid gameplay, an early burst of influencers, and features that set them from other royale battle games show that Apex Legends can have power remaining. It may even be enough to stand tall against Fortnite .
A game like Apex Legends did not come together overnight. Respawn Polygon said that it saw Battlegrounds of PlayerUnknown's pushing in 2017, and designed Apex Legends to maximize the growing trend of the royale train. This is an opportunity to make a mark on a genre that still looks its footing.
Since then, battle royale has not only taken off; It has solidified, with clear market leaders pulled away from the pack. In July 2018, the analytics firm SuperData said that executives are ready to accept what others are aware of in the industry: Fortnite began to eat in traditional game sales.
The opportunity Fortnite began when Respawn's development started now with a downside: Apex Legends serves a long shadow.
The Apex Legends removal would be good news for EA, in a vacuum . But in Anthem only two weeks away, the popularity of Apex Legends could have ravaged the launch of the first BioWare game since underwhelming Mass Effect: Andromeda . Most companies will not release a free-to-play shooter surprise amidst promoting another high profile online game, but the EA is not the most companies.
There are a number of possibilities of how it will be removed:
- Holds the Apex Legends to its audience, with Respawn which is important to convince a part of the audience to hold the purchase of Anthem . The result may be another blow to investors' confidence, says co-founder of SuperData Joost van Dreunen. "The EA is looking for a winner in the category of shooter so I expect them to come in blazing guns," said van Dreunen. "But how many investors are still looking for total unit sales after its release as a standard for the company's overall success, it can arouse itself on foot by maneuvering in a small space."
- Anthem [19459004themultiplefromthematthewsandthey Apex Legends but retain the players away from the Respawn battle royale game. This will reduce the number of players and the purchase of microtransaction, the lifeblood of free-to-play games, for Apex Legends . Due to the early success of the game, the EA has to take its hands around the wheel so that it can take place.
- Everything works as EA's hopes, and Apex Legends and Anthem have their own large, dedicated readers who have not hurt each other's chances for success .
Option No. 3 is not out of likelihood, but history gives reason for concern. The EA made a mistake when it released Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 just one week in a happy holiday season in 2016.
CEO Andrew Wilson is confident about the decision time.
"We believe that Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 whereas they have some overlapping, different motives to what a player is looking for, "Wilson said in a call. "So we think there are three types of players: those who really love the Battlefield, and this kind of big strategic gameplay going to that direction; the player who loves fast, fluid, recognized gameplay of the Titanfall 2 and really coming from that direction; and the player needs to play the two greatest shooters this year and buy the same. "
Fast-forward on a revenue call in January 31, 2017, when the EA announced that Titanfall 2 fell short of sales expectations.
The current situation of the EA is somewhat different. Anthem has no competitive multiplayer mode, and Apex Legends does not offer experience with a single player. But they are still competing for the time of the players. Combining hard competition elsewhere: Metro Exodo Far Cry New Dawn Crackdown 3 all drops in February as well.
And there is another potential victim of the EA decision to release Apex Legends this month.
The upcoming Firestorm
Battlefield 5 gets its own capture in the genre of the royale battle, called Firestorm, in March. Firestorm did not get the October launch of the game, but in return, it gives the EA a chance to restore the Battlefield 5 spring for new players and recapture the finished that.
"Audiences are likely to be more loyal to a category or genre than a particular franchise," says van Dreunen. "As such, it is possible that Apex eats in the BF5 combat royale mode."
Battlefield 5 is in a hard place. It says that all EAs will say about the release of third-quarter earnings this week is that it's released. Similarly, what the EA will say after the Battlefield 1 debut: " Battlefield 1 is our biggest launch of the Battlefield ever and has a player base of more than 50% greater than Battlefield 4 in its comparable quarter of its launch. "
EA does not say about the Battlefield 5 ; this is what it does not say. No compliments or glittering statistics. Retrieving and maintaining players will be harder than last year for the Battlefield franchise, especially for the first entry to launch without the traditional season pass.
New players in a premium game with a battle royale mode is a more tough proposition when you offer another game in the genre for free.
The road to March 31
Chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen said EA's biggest challenge on Tuesday's call, suggesting that the publisher was facing "the time of the players." That challenge does not change at any time soon, and now EA has two new games on identical genres that guard for attention.
Competition for players time will be even more important as publishers are increasingly changing monthly active users in first sales. Getting players to boot up a game regularly creates emotional investment, leading to repeated spending on the game. Developers of games should quickly accumulate players, and find ways to keep them playing. There is no reason to buy skin for a game you can not go back.
The EA requires retaining players who have sex with Apex Legends for a long time if they want to make them money. Too often, new games see a large audience at launch, as a sort of "vacation" from franchises that players are really investing.
"Free-to-play titles first draw a big crowd – with or without the help of a string of tastemakers promoting it – finally see players return to their preferred franchises," explains van Dreunen. "For one, because of the social layer in many games, moving costs are increasing. So what you see is a way of tourism: People playing hot new games for a bit and then just go back This means that despite the strong vitality, the play time becomes an indicator of spending over an extended period. "
The best hope of EA is the coordination of content drops in Both Anthem and Apex Legends encourage players to hop back and forth between the two games, while maintaining the public interest in war 5 . Take additional steps to ensure that BioWare and Respawn games are not moving at one foot feet (at least in the first few months) is an important way to ensure long-term health, and profitability, of the same games.
When the EA stock price slid behind Apex Legends' early success, the company's approach seems to be paying today. However, if the publisher does not have a focused plan to promote the song while sitting on shadow of Apex Legends' EA may sacrifice BioWare for Respawn.