Last night, Electronic Arts and DICE decided hours before the release of one of their biggest games of the year that they would remove microtransactions from Star Wars Battlefront 2. After weeks of fan backlash towards the progression system of the game that was largely dependent on a loot crate system that offered powerful in-game items to players, EA removed the ability to purchase these crates with real world cash through a system of virtual currency called “Crystals.”
This morning, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) is under pressure in early trading. The stock of the video game publisher is down around 3% at the time of this writing. While the broader market is down, and other video game publishers are also down on the news, none are taking as sizeable a hit as EA. Take Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) and Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI) are both also down in a down market.
For those unfamiliar, Electronic Arts would traditionally be classified as a “low beta” stock. By this metric it is supposed to be less volatile than the market as a whole. Today’s price movement can likely be attributed to last night’s decision to remove microtransactions from Star Wars Battlefront 2.
Electronic Arts’ stock has hit multi-year highs in 2017 topping out above 122 over the summer. The stock is currently trading at around 108 dollars per share.