Star Wars Battlefront II recently launched worldwide, delivering the second entry to Electronic Arts' shooter series. And while some welcome improvements have been made over its predecessor, the narrative surrounding its launch has taken a negative turn, following widespread outrage over multiplayer systems and monetization routes.
As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, Star Wars Battlefront II's first-week physical sales have now surfaced in the UK, with lower figures than initially expected. First-week sales for the game (starting on Tuesday, November 14 for the Elite Trooper Deluxe Edition, followed by the Standard Edition on November 17) are down 61 percent, in contrast with the same launch period for its 2015 predecessor, Star Wars Battlefront. Sales for the game also fell significantly behind last year's EA blockbuster, Battlefield 1, racking up half the sales of the brutal WW1 shooter. This decline resulted in the game's debut on UK video game charts in second place, topped by Call of Duty: WWII.
A drop in physical sales has been seen for most major releases this year, as the industry continues to shift toward digital content distribution. This clearly accounts for a share of lost physical sales, however, selling less than half the units, it's hard not to attribute this to recent events. Outcry surrounding Star Wars Battlefront II's implementation of microtransactions became the defining aspect of its launch week – many choosing to pass on the game for its practices. Electronic Arts may have removed microtransactions at launch, but a negative view of the publisher remains.
It will be interesting to see how Star Wars Battlefront II sells going forward, once more data is available from other regions. With the theatrical release of "Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi" only a few weeks away, Battlefront II is bound to see wide appeal. However, the impact of strong monetization may have still tarnished an otherwise engaging shooter.
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