Shares of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) plunged more than 6% on Thursday after the game-maker announced it would be delaying the release of “Battlefield V” by a month and adjusted its full-year guidance to reflect lower sales.
The next installation of EA’s popular Battlefield series will launch on November 20, the Company said in a statement. The new date now follows the releases of some other highly anticipated games like Activision Blizzard’s (NASDAQ: ATVI) “Call of Duty: Black Ops IV” and Take Two’s (NASDAQ: TTWO) “Red Dead Redemption,” which are both set to launch in October.
Analysts for Cowen had previously forecast weak numbers for “Battlefield V.” “EA’s Battlefield V currently appears to potentially be headed for serious disappointment,” analyst Doug Creutz said in a note on Monday. It is lagging far behind “Call of Duty,” “Red Dead Redemption 2” and “Assassin’s Creed,” he added, and by slightly more than it was two weeks ago in the case of the first two.
The analyst said preorders for “Battlefield V” are tracking more than 85% behind “Call of Duty: Black Ops IV,” which is substantially worse than previous instances. “Battlefield 3” and “Battlefield 4” titles lagged “Call of Duty” by about 20% to 40% and “Battlefield 1” actually tracked ahead of “Call of Duty” at this point before launch.
The delay also lowers the Company’s expected net bookings for fiscal year 2019 to USD 5.2 Billion from USD 5.55 Billion. “We’re updating our fiscal-year guidance to reflect the updated launch date for Battlefield V, the ongoing impact of foreign exchange rate changes, and our current outlook for our mobile business,” Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen said.
“We’ve had valuable feedback from our community, and we’re going to take the time to make some final adjustments and deliver a great experience for our fans,” Laura Miele, Chief Studios Officer for the Company, added.