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Gamestop CFO predicts sales rebound for Star Wars Battlefront after Black Friday

This is one of the most saturated holiday seasons ever in gaming with major titles such as Fallout 4, Halo 5, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, and many many more. Star Wars Battlefront was expected to be among the top sellers, but after its first week it’s clear that EA and other parties have to reel back their projections.

In the latest Earning Conference Call, Gamestop called out Battlefront along with Halo and Tomb Raider for underwhelming sales numbers in the build-up to this holiday season, but Gamestop’s CFO has not lost hope in a great turn-around.

“…we anticipate that this game is going to be a very strong game, when the movie launches in mid-December. Not to mention the fact that we have it prominently displayed in our Black Friday, and in fact we’re the only retailer that has it with significant discount, which is also going to guide sales.” – Tony Bartel, Gamestop CFO

Gamestop is relying on the success of every single title due to release during this Q4 with themselves and other brick-and-mortar stores continuing to combat the growing sales of digital gaming, but the exact sales numbers that Black Friday is helping make up isn’t quite available yet — it’ll be at least a few days before we get any idea. Though, it’s reasonable to predict that digital gaming will continue to widen it’s lead on physical game sales.

Still, gamers and investors should expect better of Star Wars Battlefront. EA has launched a massive advertising campaign for the game, but so far it seems their emphasis on the PS4 has in-fact hurt their sales — the PS4’s userbase of Battlefront gamers is larger than that of the Xbox One and PC installbase combined.

While Battlefront took the brunt of Gamestop’s criticism, Bartel didn’t single out the Star Wars title — Halo 5 was another game that didn’t live up to expectations. Microsoft claimed it was the best launch in Halo history, but Bartel seemed to disagree telling reporters to direct questions regarding the exact digital sales-numbers of Halo 5 to Microsoft.

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J.J. Abrams delving into video game development

J.J. Abrams is perhaps the most famous director in the world right now amid the Star Wars: The Force Awakens release, but he wants to expand into the video game industry developing a new PC and mobile game that he and his partner Donald Mustard are calling “SpyJinx.”

He has already teamed up with Chair Entertainment (child company of Epic Games) — creator of Shadow Complex and Infinity Blade — in making the game on PC and mobile devices. The exact nature of the game is still being worked out, but after his latest interview with his own TV production company, Bad Robot, Abrams hinted at what they’re shooting for.

“Spyjinx is a unique blend between an action-strategy game mixed with really dynamic world building — with a healthy does of RPG character development.” – Donald Mustard ChAIR Entertainment co-founder

While some may be expecting a full on mobile game like all the others — don’t get ahead of yourself just yet. It’s possible this title could be a bit more with both Abrams and Mustard promoting a quality story/narrative. Mustard also mentioned his hopes that it expands to “eventually, hopefully, everywhere that you enjoy games.”

A beta sign-up is already available on SpyJinx’s official website. The beta is expected to be a key aspect of the development to find out exactly what fans want.

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Star Wars Battlefront to exceed expectations? EA ups sales estimations

Star Wars Battlefront is releasing with expectations as high as any game that has come out since the start of the new generation consoles, and after a very successful beta EA’s financial estimations are going up by a substantial margin — 13 million to the previous 9 million units shipped throughout the 2016 fiscal year.

The 31% increase in sales projections comes after a 9.5 million-player beta — the most successful beta for a game ever.

Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen talked about the confidencce that Battlefront has invoked on the entire company.

“Based on the ongoing strength of our business and reception of Star Wars Battlefront, we are raising our full-year outlook for the second time. Our markets are very healthy, the digital transition continues to drive margins, and engagement in our live services and excitement for our upcoming launches is exceptional.”

The excitement was expressed in the latest investors conference call for its second fiscal quarter. The Star Wars IP is expected to grow into a tremendous asset for EA with the potential for an entire new younger demographic up for grabs. There are two key groups that EA is relying on according to CEO Andrew Wilson.

“One are gamers that have lapsed, traditionally who have been big gamers in the past and maybe haven’t played for a while, and it’s certainly been a catalyst for those people to come back into the gaming universe as it relates to console. And two, onboarding a new younger age demographic.”

The Star Wars IP is expected to be used extensively in gaming over the span of the next trilogy of movies. Battlefront is simply the start for EA and with the ability to piggy-back on the success of the movies it should bode extremely well for fans hoping for more high-quality Star Wars games.

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EA introduces new control point game mode, Supremacy, for Star Wars Battlefront

Mutliplayer is all the focus of Star Wars Battlefront and EA is ready to make sure fans get enough variety in their online gameplay experience as they announce a new game mode called Supremacy.

Designed to encompass a variety of situations ranging from close-quarters combat to long-distance sniping battles, Supremacy faces two teams against each other with a series of points (5) to control in “the largest fighting grounds that Star Wars Battlefront has to offer.”

The game mode along with the large map sizes will be reminiscent of Conquest from the Battlefield franchise — something for fans should expect of the whole game given this a DICE developed game.

The influence from previous Battlefield games will show, but some key tweaks will make “improve the formula” that was used for Conquest.

Merging the Star Wars characters into the gameplay will give it its own sense of fun.

“Using a character like Darth Vader to secure control points is great, as he can take increased damage before going down. Luke Skywalker and Boba Fett are great for moving swiftly between attacking and defensive positions, and giving you the edge against opponents in battle,” – Lead Level Designer Dennis Brännvall

While the action takes place on the ground the battles continue on the sky with “TIE fighters and X-wings soaring through the sky to assist the quest for supremacy at each location.”

Supremacy will be available right away on Star Wars Battlefront when it releases on Xbox One, PS4, and PC November 17, 2015.

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EA to continue work with Star Wars IP

In the latest Investor’s earnings conference call Thursday afternoon, EA has claimed that they will take advantage of the Star Wars IP in continued work with Disney in the future on both consoles, PC, and mobile devices.

“Lots to come on Star Wars. We’re very excited about the franchise.”

More Star Wars games to come — and likely another Star Wars Battlefront, however the continued work with Disney is making way for an even greater focus on the movie franchise in video game.

Very strong pre-order numbers post E3 and even higher pre-order numbers are expected after Gamescom in Cologne Germany.

The expectations for the return of the Battlefront franchise is as high as they can be and EA’s reps spoke on how crucial the ties that the games will have with the movies. The continued envelopment of consumers in the Star Wars brand — especially during the immediate release of the movies — will surely help sales for the Star Wars games. With sales numbers already projected to be so high the game it’s no surprise to hear of future work with the Star Wars IP.

While they didn’t specifically mention another Battlefront, the promise for more Star Wars games coinciding with the movies makes the likelihood of a Star Wars Battlefront 2 almost a certainty.

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Star Wars Battlefront revealed

Amid so much excitement surrounding the Star Wars universe, even the return of the movie can’t completely overshadow the excitement of the return of the beloved Star Wars: Battlefront series.

Disney revealed today their current EA DICE-made re-envisioning of the Battlefront games nearly a decade since Battlefront 2 released on PlayStation 2, PSP, PC, and the original Xbox in 2005.

The Battlefront games have long been held in high esteem with sales in the upper-echelon of the rankings at 10+ million units sold. As Lucas Arts was bought by Disney in 2012 and Pandemic Studios was acquired by EA in 2008.

The new trailer shows fans what they can expect from the new release as it showcases the great visuals in the classic lush-jungle planet of Endor. Beyond just Endor, Hoth and Tatooine will also be returning as well as a new planet — Sullest.

Lead your team in battle taking control of the sith lord himself.
Lead your team in battle taking control of the sith lord himself.

Executive producer Patrick Bach said to the Associated Press that they worked to get the game to feel as authentic to the universe as possible.

Just as it was in the previous games, players can take control of some of the iconic characters in the Star Wars universe like Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and other heroes and villains.

Back spoke of the importance and power that players have when playing as these major characters.

“You can wield a lightsaber. You can Force choke the rebel scum, which is fun. Basically, you are the boss of the battle. This means that you, as Vader, can lead your team to victory — if you play well.”

Take control of TIE Fighters and X-Wings in awesome dog fights.
Take control of TIE Fighters and X-Wings in awesome dog fights.

When the foot battles end, the X-Wings and TIE Fighters will be the host of the aerial combat.

While the details on how the gameplay will play out is still a bit hazy, there is some exciting news regarding the player perspective. Players can now immediately switch between first-person and third-person views.

As incentive to pre-order, EA is offering a free DLC for all those who buy the game before release. The add-on centers around the “Battle of Jakku,” a major historical event that is shown in the Force Awakens trailer.

“You never get to see it in the new movie, so it was this brilliant opportunity to recreate the Battle of Jakku, which you only see the remnants of in the movie,” said executive producer Patrick Bach, according to the Associated Press.

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Star Wars: Battlefront gameplay reveal coming April 17

Disney will be revealing a plethora of Star Wars content on Friday with 30+ hours of content pertaining to both the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the new EA developed Battlefront game.

EA has been teasing small glimpses of the third major installment in the Battlefront series.
EA has been teasing small glimpses of the third major installment in the Battlefront series.

While Starwars.com’s main focus will be on the even more highly anticipated return of the Star Wars movies with a panel including director J.J. Abrams and the movie’s producer Kathleen Kennedy. The first glimpse at the new Star Wars: Battlefront will also be showcased at 1:30 pm (EST) during the event Friday. Both a trailer and never-before-seen gameplay will be shown.

The return of the Battlefront series is being developed by DICE — the same makers of the recent Battlefield games, and many similarities between the two games is reasonably expected.

Star Wars Battlefront will release later this year (2015) during the holiday season on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. For those looking to get the first exclusive access the game will be available early on EA access through the Xbox One.