The share price of Electronic Arts (EA) plummeted 6% yesterday to close at $21.01 after reports started coming in that users were continuing to experience technical problems in Battlefield 4, the company’s latest first-person shooter. This price drop is the biggest one-day fall since November 15 when initial reports about glitches and technical issues started coming in.
EA’s share price has recovered after yesterday’s drop and was up 6% up in pre-market trading today but the game-distributor will continue to feel the sting of rejection unless it is able to fix the gameplay issues in its flagship offering.
Electronic Arts has delayed future game releases to focus on fixing the problems which are plaguing Battlefield 4’s users. A spokesman for Electronic Arts, John Reseburg, said that the company was aware of the fact that many gamers were experiencing frame rate drops and crashes while playing the game. He also said that the company is aware that the gameplay has not improved even after installing software updates for the game. He said that the company was currently engaged in developing patches which should be able to rectify the current performance and stability issues.
Battlefield 4, which was released on October 29, is in direct competition with Activision Blizzard’s (ATVI) Call of Duty: Ghosts, which was released on November 5. The $60 version of Call of Duty sold 703,638 units in its first two days, easily beating the two-day sales figure of 396,187 units for the $60 version of Battlefield 4. In contrast Grand Theft Auto 5, released by Take2 Interactive (TTWO) sold 11 million copies in the first 24 hours after its release.
The glitches in Battlefield 4, a product of Swedish game developer DICE, which is a subsidiary of Electronic Arts are likely to affect revenue growth for the company, since the Battlefield series represents approximately half of the EA’s annual sales.
Michael Olson, an analyst at Piper Jaffray (PJC), has said that although the glitches are a setback for such a visually appealing game, they will not stop the company from continuing with its progress on its upcoming titles such as Mirror’s Edge 2 and Star Wars which are slated for release in 2015.
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