Is Electronic Arts (EA) problem surrounding "Star Wars Battlefront 2" an opportunity for investors?
Last week, the video game maker launched the game but gamers have been less than thrilled. Since its debut, backlash from the gaming community has been intense, criticizing its overall gameplay.
A simple trip to the game's Reddit page is all one needs to see to understand how the fans feel, and according to Eurogamer.net, the games physical sales are down over 60% than Star Wars Battlefront 1. The backlash, in part, has been focused around microtransactions (MTX), in other words buying extra content within the game.
Last Friday, EA temporarily turned off all in-game purchases just as Battlefront 2 went live, but it did little in curbing the game's negative sentiment.
EA's stock was lower almost 3% since the game's launch and was falling again on Monday, nearly 1%.
But it's not all bad for EA, as analysts at Keybanc see the growing negative attitude surrounding the company's stock as an opportunity to snatch up shares.
"The handling of the SWBF2 launch by EA has been poor; despite this, we view the suspension of MTX in the near term as a transitory risk. We continue to believe it's a better-quality game with more content, which should win out in the long run," Keybanc wrote in a note to clients Monday.
The more significant concern the firm has is that the game's negative press has made its way into the mainstream via outlets like Reddit, and it could cause the game to underperform its sales target.
But ultimately "we view the unit risk as transitory too, as long as the game sells well in its core demographic (and those that pay), and the mechanisms to which players could reportedly pay gain a competitive advantage are addressed," Keybanc said. "We think they will, which is why we believe long-term investors should be adding to positions on weakness."
The firm goes onto argue that "the vocal minority is not indicative of the average person who is likely going to play (and buy) this game," and that it's backlash is unlikely to deter those from giving the game as a gift.
Keybanc currently has an "Overweight" rating on shares of EA, with a $134 price target.
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