Electronic Arts Stock Drops After Social Media Outcry
Shares of video game company Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) were down 2.6% at the bottom of the noon hour on November 17th. Controversy has erupted after the company has been the subject of a social media firestorm due to its monetization model in Star Wars Battlefront II.
The game is set to launch today, but it officially went live on November 9th, giving gamers a chance to test out the new product. The outcry was aimed at EA’s in-game content availability. Players were granted the option to spend more money in order to unlock key characters, such as Darth Vader, that would reportedly take many hours of gameplay to unlock otherwise.
Aggressive monetization in video games is not a new controversy. In fact, EA has come under fire in the past from players for the way it markets its downloadable content (DLC). Oftentimes players are forced to buy additional content on top of the $60 mark up for the original product in order to be granted a full experience. Another release, Mass Effect 3, was criticized after EA subsidiary Bioware released a DLC soon after the game’s release which included content many gamers believed should have been in the core game.
Wall Street has responded negatively to the news, and sales of Star Wars Battlefront II are expected to disappoint. This comes soon after EA was forced to restructure its other major Star Wars release, delaying it for at least another year.