Star Wars Battlefront 2 Controversy Won’t Harm EA, According to Wall Street

Wall Street believes that Star Wars Battlefront 2's loot box controversy won't harm EA, with an analyst calling the pushback against the publisher "overdone."

EA pulled an unprecedented about-face on microtransactions after a major consumer backlash, with the publisher temporarily removing paid currency in Battlefront 2 prior to its launch. It's unclear whether or not microtransactions will ever be reinstated in the game, but a Wall Street analyst believes that the company won't be hurt by the move.

Gerrick Johnson, Director at BMO Capital Markets, posted a note to his clients in which he shared his thoughts on the EA controversy. Increasing his own target stock price for the publisher by 14.82%, Johnson claimed that the company wouldn't face long-term ramifications for the uproar surrounding Battlefront 2's loot boxes and microtransactions:

“While the cancellation of micro-transactions in Star Wars makes for an intriguing headline, the impact sounds much larger than it really is. Over the longer term, EA is experiencing a tailwind that is benefitting the entire video game software industry: the transition of physical software sales to digital downloads, which offer higher margins and the opportunity for incremental add-on sales and multi-player online services," he wrote.

"Consumer pushback to EA’s Star Wars in-game monetization strategy has undermined some investor confidence and has driven the stock lower. After further consideration, we believe the reaction may have been overdone, providing a buying opportunity for what is, otherwise, a solid long-term story.”

DICE and EA faced enormous pressure to remove microtransactions from Battlefront 2, with the intense response to their inclusion in the game even provoking a response from some US politicians, who lobbied to have loot boxes officially acknowledged as gambling.

It's unclear whether or not Battlefront 2's microtransactions will have any long-term impact on the gaming industry, though it seems that analysts in Wall Street believe EA will be just fine following this ordeal.

(H/T GameZone)