On Battlefield V's low preorder numbers


#1

There’s a literal shitstorm going on on twitter and youtube about this.

While one can wonder if the multitude of reasons for this was EAs track record mixed in with other great games being released around this time, anti-sjws are so intent on feeling like the “over politicizing of BFV having a female soldier” is the reason for it that when a youtuber tries and points out to more valid reasons for this, it gets disliked and called out.

It’s like witnessing a trash fire. I’m not making this post to talk about personalities, though it is surprising that AngryJoe has been tweeting out in anger about this in a way that sounds more political than anything I’ve seen him do. It’s refreshing, but the main point remains: there’s a serious part of the gaming community that has both A) been waiting for games in general to stop using and incentivizing preorders and B) ironically feels like the reason for this particular lack of preorders HAS to be that the mahority of gamers views it in the same way.

I could mention boogie’s take on things but outside of informing yourself on how silly a hardcore centrist take on this situation would sound, it doesn’t add much. (and yet is praised as an effective depiction of the situation)

So, we have a game with low preorder numbers, which should be a good thing, being painted as being slated to fail for “sjw pandering” by the same people.

The funniest part is that this initial outcry wasn’t “we want more realistic women in BF” like someone that DOES care about the issue would say. people really just ended up saying that it’s “blatant women for the sakes of appeasing feminism.” and outright REFUSING to buy it as if it’s such a damn problem.

In case you didn’t see that people were using this aforementioned bad metric of preorders as a victory:

This whole GetWokeGoBroke campaign is literally saying that you deserve to fail if you “pander to sjws”


#2

I read a Brendan Keogh piece a few months ago where he said that gamers are allies of corporations first and foremost. Makes sense that they’re twisting themselves up over the impact of their own bigoted revolts on the companies that they simultaneously despise on an individual worker level and want to be financially successful on a corporate level.


#3

I can see this point made in a sense of irony but I wouldn’t say it’s entirely true. They DO end up promoting corporate practices in defense of not allowing “sjw agenda”

At the end of the day, I can see a cynical look at the marketing of BFV concluding with: “this is probably going to be a poorly done diversity cash in” but even that cynicism would still lead us to yell about better female representation. However, that’s not the most common outcry over BFV. It’s one of “I can’t let this feminist agenda take over my games” while not realize how this mindset is causing them to push back and decry a female soldier with a prosthetic

4,859 votes and 1,755 comments so far on Reddit

This prosthetic and its transformation into a “robot arm” could use some attention too. There was a post on reddit not so long ago pointing out that this robot arm was literally an old fashioned prosthetic fitting of the times, if not maybe around that time period. Certainly not a futuristic image in the way we’ve seen it claimed in the “robot arm” soundbyte.

Isn’t it telling that we suck at our history so much that a female soldier with a prosthetic arm has literally become so alien to people that it seems scifi? That we think that this sort of representation is treated as if it makes no sense?

Now, there’s people shifting the goal posts and claiming that it just “looks robotic” as if this nuance was the true reason for the outrage. Or the cricket bat. The reality is, for a community that thinks itself so big i havent seen a movement attempting to redirect the blame to something that isn’t the female, like the katana or cricket bat. Instead, its a general outrage against any left agenda as if a woman’s existence can only be political

Idk. The irony in all the praise towards a failing preorder and all this backlash is just ridic


#4

Honestly I’m starting to think that people are just increasingly hesitant to give EA any of their money anymore. Between the Andromeda fiasco, the Battlefront 2 dumpster fire, the growing anxiety people have regarding Anthem and their hesitation to show that game off, and that mess of an E3 press conference, it’s just a company who keeps digging a whole deeper and deeper. And even though, for me at least, DICE is one of their most consistent devs who delivers for them time and again, there’s only so much good will they can try to earn while EA hovers over them and crams a bunch of crates and battle passes and overpriced DLC into their work.

All that said, the loudest, most rabid man-children who’ve been screaming about women being in the game will rally their followers and make this whole thing seem like a huge victory for consumers, proof of how if they spew misogynistic nonsense often enough they can influence the market. They’ll ignore that these pre-order numbers are likely just indicative of a larger trend surrounding the decline of Battlefield and Call of Duty as people’s tastes have changed and trends surrounding the battle royale craze and hero-shooter have taken over.

It’s a bummer because I loved Battlefield 1 and thought this one looked like an interesting take on WWII, focusing on lesser known locations and combatants. Hope it maintains a healthy player base after launch, and I really hope the people angrily shouting about how they won’t buy the game actually do follow through on that promise and stay the fuck out of my squad


#5

Yup, this is what AngryJoeShow pointed out in the youtube video I linked. The reaction? Tons of dislike and drama about what he said because he dared make a point that wasn’t “it’s because people don’t want sjw pandering in their games” and instead wanted to contextualize these numbers in a different way


#6

You couldn’t pay me to read those friggin’ comments.


#7

I think, if you break it down business wise. There is two factors at play. EA’s been nowhere near as aggressive at showing it off as they did Battlefront 2 or Battlefield 1, even though they have outlaid the content plan (Maps and content is free. Customization only MT’s. Likely to have a progression pass like Fortnite) and the next few months are absolutely stacked in terms of big games that a lot of the more casual audience that buys it in bulk would rather have their money down for Red Dead Redemption 2 or Fallout 76. Especially since Black Ops 4 isn’t looking too hot from the recent betas. And it’s weird because a lot of the impressions I’ve heard from friends playing the closed alphas is that it’s really good if just a bit more iterative on Battlefield 1. Maybe word of mouth might pick up from a good open beta but there’s so many good games for everyone this year that the improbable might happen and both COD and Battlefield get lost in the shuffle.

The loud goobers, proclaiming “Victory” though. That’s always been there. One of the early catalysts towards Goobergate was EA being the “Worst Company In America” in 2011 was a 4chan campaign blaming it all on Jenifer Helper of Bioware and EA’s more diverse hiring policies but dressing it up as “Its actually about ethics in DLC” (Even though EA were no angels). And considering how awful the backlash anything EA does regarding inclusive moves like having Womens teams in FIFA that’s dressed with a veneer of “You are scum for defending the Evil money hungry corporation who nickels and dimes you with microtransactions”. I find it really, really hard to take a lot of anti-EA sentiment seriously especially from “Pro-Consumer” youtubers. And even when Joe lays out a good argument, it once more exposes that it never really was about microtransactions or business practices in the first place for the people complaining. It’s just pure gatekeeping


#8

A low pre-order number doesn’t mean what it used to. Five years ago pre-orders were the method that companies used to measure consumer interest and predict the success of a game. Now Day 1 sales don’t mean the same thing they used to, pre-orders don’t mean half as much as they used to, so while I don’t think this is good news for Battlefield V, nobody at EA is jumping out of windows over this.

With the advent of “games as service” and games having long tails with micro-transactions, EA could afford to have a smaller player base for Battlefield V that are twice as addicted (and have looser wallets).

So if you’re declaring victory over this, you don’t really understand the war anymore.


#9

It seems odd that an analyst would have access to numbers for EA’s internal pre-orders (as the majority of games are now sold digitally and so those details cannot be taken from loose lips at a retailer - anyone with access to the central audit from a PoS system or even sampling clerks who only have access to their own PoS terminal data would only be able to confirm the continuing downward trend of the relevance of physical pre-orders in an era of pre-purchases on digital stores or ordering things online for next day delivery without concerns for local stock logistics). I wasn’t aware EA had said much about specifically BF V pre-order numbers.


#10

Some interesting follow up here from Jeff Grubb of Gamesbeat. Every game is underperforming in certain metrics compared to Red Dead Redemption 2 which is exceeding metrics. Along with that, it came from dodgy analysis including Amazon charts. So essentially its a non-issue as every company was expecting pre-orders to be soft against RDR2 and further engagement is likely where they will see their forecasts going.

That puts an interesting light on things, that one single game can swallow the market whole. But also that the people claiming it’s “Pandering to SJW’s” are looking for anything to dog any company that has diversity policies. But because the companies are so easily labeled as greedy, money hungry corporations for partaking in capitalism (Acknowledging that EA does things that doesn’t help their case, but I digress) it’s very easy to shape an argument and make people who are not campaigning on social politics, argue on behalf of the side that wants to punish women and minorities for “invading” their hobby. It’s a troubling trend and it’s made me rethink “Pro-consumer” stances very, very hard lately. How do we tackle legitimate issues that have been co-opted by the worst of the hobby as their ammo?


#11

Is Titanfall 3 out yet?

Because I’ll pre order the shit out of that.


#12

Possible occam’s razor thing here: BF4 was not nearly as good as BF3, they have a pretty fast release schedule these days, maybe people don’t need as much BF.

Also they announced an upcoming open beta. Smart buyers will wait to see that.