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Electronic Arts Stock Jumps, Says 'Battlefield 2042' Delay Won't Dent Forecasts

"Building the next generation of Battlefield during a global pandemic has created unforeseen challenges for our development teams," EA's DICE Studios said.

Electronic Arts  (EA) - Get Electronic Arts Inc. Report shares jumped higher Thursday after it said delays in the launch of its highly-anticipated "Battlefield 2042" wouldn't hit the video game maker's bottom line.

The popular "Battlefield 2042" game will be released worldwide on November 19, a month later than expected, owing to what the group called "unforseen challenges" linked to the global pandemic, including chip shortages and supply chain disruptions. 

Electronic Arts eased investor concerns over the delay, however, when it reiterated its forecast for $7.4 billion in net bookings and $6.85 billion in sales for its current fiscal year, as analysts noted the last time a 'Battlefield' release was delayed, in 2019, it resulted in a 5% cut to that year's financial guidance. 

"Building the next generation of Battlefield during a global pandemic has created unforeseen challenges for our development teams," said Sweden-based DICE Studio general manager Oskar Gabrielson. "Given the scale and scope of the game, we had hoped our teams would be back in our studios together as we move towards launch. With the ongoing conditions not allowing that to happen safely, and with all the hard work the teams are doing from home, we feel it is important to take the extra time to deliver on the vision of Battlefield 2042 for our players."

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"Your enthusiasm for the game has been very inspiring," he added. "We believe in the game we’re making, and we thank you for your patience as we put some finishing touches into the experience."

Electronic Arts shares were marked 1.6% higher in early trading Thursday to change hands at $139.60 each, a move that would trim the stock's year-to-date decline to around 3%. 

"The delay disrupts BF2042's otherwise near "perfect" flow since its reveal early June and in our view dulls its edge over ATVI's CoD Vanguard in the launch window," said Oppenheimer analyst Martin Yang, who carries an outperform rating with a $165 price target on the stock. "While we still believe BF2042 can gain players from CoD and other mainstream shooter games based on novel and differentiated content/gameplay, the delay gives us more concern over BF2042's initial momentum."