Star Wars Battlefront 2 has seen a ton of backlash from the gaming community. From the very first time that players got their hands on the beta and saw the awful loot box driven progression system to the full release of the game which saw EA back-peddling at the very last moment to remove microtransactions at the request of Disney, it’s been a tumultuous launch to say the least.
According to analysts for EA’s stock, the company is actually undercharging its customers. A note from KeyBanc Capital Markets suggests that the outrage on display from media and fans is not justified.
They claim that their data suggests that video game content is “one of the cheapest forms of entertainment,” and that “video game publishers are actually charging gamers at a relatively inexpensive rate and should probably raise prices.”
The analysts at KeyBanc assume that a player spends $60 for the game and then an additional $20 per month for loot boxes. In this assumption they also say that this player plays for around 2.5 hours per day for one year. They then come to the conclusion that this comes out to around 40 cents per hour of entertainment. When compared to other mediums like television, movie rentals, and theater prices, that gaming as an entertainment medium is “cheap.”
KeyBanc’s analysis hammers home the disconnect between the executives and shareholders for big publishers and the people who actually buy their products. Considering that most people aren’t dropping $20 per month on microtransactions in any game, and furthermore, that there are multiple games all vying for that same entertainment dollar in every month of the year, and the numbers just don’t add up.
Sure, this analysis is solid if you’re talking about a single person that plays only a single game. However, as we’ve seen in 2017 there are many games all fighting over the same entertainment dollar, while also competing with other forms of entertainment.
Regardless, since the backlash began, Electronic Arts’ stock price has seen a decline from around 120 dollars per share to where it now trades at 108.