Battlefield 5 is one of the year’s most anticipated games, but market analysts are beginning to be concerned that it’s not as anticipated as they or EA expected. A DICE title is usually the highlight of the holiday season, whether it’s Battlefield or licensed multiplayer games such as last year’s Star Wars: Battlefront 2, but this year’s game is causing concern.
According to market analyst group Cowen, and reported by Wall Street Journal writer Sarah Needleman on her Twitter page, pre-order sales of Battlefield 5 “have been weak.” This is especially compared to Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2, which is probably going to be all-conquering when it comes out in October, and Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
— Sarah E. Needleman (@saraheneedleman) August 14, 2018
Usually Battlefield and Call of Duty compliment each other, with other games moving to get out of the way of their power struggle, but with the addition of Red Dead Redemption 2 to the mix Battlefield 5 finds itself stuck in the middle. Analysts at Cowen say that both games “are showing greater pre-order demand” than the latest Battlefield. There is also the particular worry that Battlefield 5 could suffer the same fate as EA’s Titanfall 2, Respawn’s shooter from 2016, which suffered poor sales because it had a release date sandwiched between Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Now, in a stroke of irony, Battlefield itself finds itself in that same position.
The report also showed concern at the departure of EA’s chief design officer Patrick Soderlund, which EA announced now just two months before the release of Battlefield 5. Soderlund is anticipated to leave later this year, possibly soon after the game’s release. As Soderlund was also CEO of DICE for 10 years, along with the concerns about pre-order sales compared to rivals Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2, the timing is very notable.