Electronic Arts (EA - Analyst Report) and DICE have announced a wide range of Battlefield-branded merchandizes and collectibles. This marketing strategy aims to drive gamer engagement prior to Battlefield 4 release slated on Oct 29.
In addition to the current breed of gaming consoles available from Microsoft (MSFT - Analyst Report) and Sony (SNE - Analyst Report), EA’s Battlefield 4 can be played on the new gaming consoles – Xbox One and PS4.
The company has entered into licensing agreements with a number of brands to promote the game. The Battlefield-branded products include a novel penned by Peter Grimsdale that dwells on the background of Battlefield 4 as well as an art book related to the game published by Titan Books.
Other merchandizes include PC gaming peripherals and accessories, console controllers from PDP and clothing range from Jinx. The gamers can also have mobile and tablet covers from BigBen Interactive.
Apart from these products, EA and DICE had earlier announced that players who preorder Battlefield 4 will receive a premium expansion pack – Battlefield 4 China Rising. Additionally, gamers who preorder the exclusive edition – Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe –from Origin will get the base game, in-game items and the expansion pack. They will also get an access to the beta version of Battlefield 4, scheduled for a 2013 fall release.
Battlefield, one of EA’s most successful franchises, has more than 65 million players worldwide. The last expansion pack of the series – Battlefield 3: End game – had been highly rated by Metacritic. Moreover, almost all the recently released games and expansion packs of the Battlefield series have generated decent sales.
We believe that the current marketing strategies and the availability of the game in new consoles are expected to result in incremental sales for EA. Moreover, EA’s massive fan following and a holiday season release of the game will likely act as positives for the company.
However, we remain cautious on EA due to sluggish consumer spending on packaged video games, dismal video game sales and increasing competition from Activision (ATVI - Snapshot Report). Moreover, EA’s overdependence on Battlefield 4 sales in the holiday season could impact results if sales do not meet expectations.
Currently, EA has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).