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Electronic Arts (EA) Delays Battlefield 2042 Launch to Nov 19

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Shares of Electronic Arts (EA - Free Report) closed down 5.7% to $137.04 during regular trading but rallied 2.7% in the extended session following the company’s announcement that its Battlefield 2042 would be delayed until Nov 19. It was initially slated for launch on Xbox, PS, and PC on Oct 22.

The company cited unforeseen challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic, which delayed the return of its development staff to offices as the reason behind the delay.

In Battlefield 2042, the world is on the verge of collapse with failed nations due to the shortage of food, energy, and clean water, which leads to the greatest refugee crisis in the history of humanity.

The new Battlefield Portal, which enables players to make and share custom game types using assets from multiple Battlefield games including 1942, Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 3 has become an instant attraction. It also comes with a new game mode called Hazard Zone.

The game will allow as many as 128 players at once in the PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5, which is the largest number for this series. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners will be able to play matches featuring up to 64 players on reduced map sizes.

EA Reiterates Full-Year Guidance of Net Bookings

EA reiterated its full-year guidance for net bookings despite the postponement of Dice’s upcoming entry in the Battlefield series. In the first quarter of fiscal 2022, the company had raised net bookings expectations for the year to be $7.4 billion.

This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company owns some robust franchises such as Apex Legends, Battlefield, Star Wars Battlefront, Need for Speed, and FIFA. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

EA’s strong slate of game releases for the rest of fiscal 2022, including the recently launched EA SPORTS Madden NFL 22 and Lost in Random, are expected to drive its top line and net bookings further.

Moreover, EA SPORTS FIFA 22, featuring the next-generation HyperMotion technology will be available worldwide starting Oct 11.

However, Battlefield 2042 is not the only game this year to get delayed because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO - Free Report) pushed back its launch of a remastered version of Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online. Take-Two reiterated its financial guidance for the year despite the delay.

Other examples include God of War: Ragnarok, The Last of Us Part II, Halo Infinite, and Deathloop, which were released recently after two COVID-19-related delays.

Battlefield 2042 will now release two weeks after Call of Duty: Vanguard, its competition from Activision Blizzard (ATVI - Free Report) owned Sledgehammer Games.

The primary competitors of Electronic Arts are Activision Blizzard, with the top franchises including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush, Take Two Interactive with Grand Theft Auto, and Ubisoft (UBSFY - Free Report) with Rayman Legends and Assassin’s Creed.

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