In a bid to provide as much polish as possible, Battlefield V has been delayed by a full month, EA today announced.
EA's big new Battlefield shooter has been pushed back from its original October 19 date to November 20, 2018, distancing it from major competitors like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Rockstar's wild west sequel Red Dead Redemption 2. As a result of the delay and other factors like exchange rates and mobile outlook, EA has adjusted its total FY2019 sales forecast from $5.5 billion to $5.2 billion, which represents a 5.45% drop. Company shares are down more than 9% following the announcement.
DICE's Oskar Gabrielson gives a few reasons for Battlefield V's push back, saying the dev team needs more time to iron out gameplay mechanics and use valuable player feedback to forge the WWII experience.
"We're going to take the time to continue to make some final adjustments to core gameplay, and to ensure we really deliver on the potential of Tides of War," Gabrielson said in a blog post. "And that's why we're moving our launch date. We know moving the launch date means that we all have to wait a little longer. But we're going to take our time to make sure we get it right."
"With the Open Beta just around the corner, we are excited about the millions of you who will join us and experience the game. And we fully expect to see even more feedback coming our way."
Analyst firm Cowen & Company also reports that Battlefield V pre-orders are quite low, which could hurt EA's outlook in the long run. However, firm Piper Jaffray predicts Battlefield V will handily outsell Red Dead Redemption 2 by 6 million copies and be a major winner for EA across its fiscal year timeline.
Despite all the sales talk, remember EA is all about live services now and full game sales aren't as important as continued revenue via microtransactions and DLC.
That's why Battlefield V will be monetized via optional cosmetic vanity items and DICE will offer tons of free content updates and activities for fans to enjoy. Keeping players engaged with new and accessible content is imperative to continued monetization potential.
Battlefield V is now slated to release on November 20, 2018 on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Check below for quotes from DICE as well as key EA executives:
"We believe we've got one of the best Battlefield games ever coming in Battlefield V," said Laura Miele, Chief Studios Officer, Electronic Arts.
"Tens of thousands of players have been hands-on with the game so far, and we've been honored to receive best multiplayer awards at E3 and Gamescom. 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."
"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," said COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen.
"Our core businesses, including FIFA Ultimate Team, are strong, we think our players are going to love Battlefield V, and excitement is building for our new IP, Anthem."
DICE General Manager Oskar Gabrielson:
Today, we're announcing that Battlefield V will have a new launch date - November 20, 2018. I wanted to give you a little bit of insight into how we arrived at this new date.
Over the summer, we've had tens of thousands of players get their hands-on the game during our Closed Alphas and at E3 and Gamescom - where we were honored to receive the awards for Best Multiplayer Game at both shows.
You have told us that you are seeing an increased focus on squad play come through, you are also feeling the difference in our revamped player movement and we are getting a lot of positive feedback for our improved weapons handling.
You've also spurred us to make some meaningful improvements to the core gameplay experience, including adjusting the gameplay tempo, improving soldier visibility and reducing player friction. You'll see a lot of these reflected in our Open Beta that starts on September 6.
We believe we have one of the best Battlefield games ever on our hands. A game that will deliver on an emotional journey through the return of unseen single player War Stories, a deep multiplayer experience, Battle Royale, along with our new live service, Tides of War - a journey across multiple theaters of WW2 and designed to keep our community together.
With the Open Beta just around the corner, we are excited about the millions of you who will join us and experience the game. And we fully expect to see even more feedback coming our way.
And that's why we're moving our launch date. We're going to take the time to continue to make some final adjustments to core gameplay, and to ensure we really deliver on the potential of Tides of War.
We know moving the launch date means that we all have to wait a little longer. But we're going to take our time to make sure we get it right.
Thank you for your continued passion and support. We can't wait to see you on the battlefield in just a few days.