Star Wars: Battlefront preorders have beat expectations, leading EA to raise its fiscal forecast

When the Disney Comp. (DIS) acquired the rights to Star Wars from George Lucas, reactions were mixed.  But cautious optimism regarding the upcoming Star Wars sequel trilogy has grown with the release of trailers and word that the classic crew would all be reprising their roles.

But even for fans that are enthused by the new movies, one thorny prospect remains -- Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) owns the game rights for the indefinite future and stands to make a killing off the beloved franchsie.  As Reuters report points out Electronic Arts is alread forecasting a record windfall from its upcoming Star Wars titles.

Leading the charge for EA will be Star Wars: Battlefront, a reboot of well-reviewed veteran LucasArt console gaming franchise.  SW:B is being developed by EA's Swedish subsidiary Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment (DICE), the studio behind Mirror's Edge and Battlefield gaming franchises.  Powered by EA's proprietary Frostbite 3 engine, the game will bring a mix of third and first-person space fantasy experiences to PC gamers and console gamers (PS4, Xbox One).

Star Wars Battlefront

The game releases in mid-November at the height of the holiday shopping season -- and one month ahead of the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.  EA mentioned in May that it was targeting 9 to 10 million unit sales of SW:B by March 31, 2016.  But by the sound of it, it's now expect even more.  It bumped its fiscal year revenue forecast from $4.40B USD to $4.45B USD, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.  That's a gain of roughly $50M USD -- which works out to maybe a million extra SW:B unit sales.

But fans have cause to be worried as well.

EA is known for its poor customer service, crippling of used gamesoppressive digital rights management (DRM), stifling developers (allegedly), and online service hiccups.  Those offenses earned it the title of "worst company in America" back-to-back in 2012 and 2013, based on surveys by The Consumerist.

EA on fire

Still, even many of EA's critics have appreciated the work of its Bioware studio which produced (notably) The Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) franchise.  EA's studio Visceral -- who is developing an unnamed Star Wars title in the vein of the Uncharted franchise -- also has a relatively positive reputation thanks to its Dead Space franchise (sure reactions to the third entry were mixed, but the series has a lot of fans).

Star Wars fans will just have to hope for the best as EA reportedly has exclusive game rights for Star Wars (licensed from Disney) locked up for "years to come."

Source: Reuters

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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