Cowen says EA's new 'Battlefield' game 'headed for a rough go'
Shares of Electronic Arts (EA) were marginally lower after a Cowen analyst said that the company's upcoming war shooter "Battlefield V" appears "headed for a rough go." ORDOMETER ANALYSIS: In a research note to investors, Cowen analyst Doug Creutz unveiled Cowen's updated Ordometer analysis, which historically used Amazon's (AMZN) best-seller data but transitioned this year to using GameStop's (GME) best-seller data. According to updated data, Activision Blizzard's (ATVI) "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" is at the top of the 2018 Ordometer rankings, as Creutz thinks pre-orders are tracking broadly in-line with other strong-selling "Call of Duty" games. The analyst noted that Take-Two's (TTWO) much-anticipated "Red Dead Redemption 2" is the third ranked game on the Odometer's rankings, with Bethesda's "Fallout 76" just ahead in second. "RDR 2" is currently tracking 46% below "Black Ops 4," according to Creutz. In addition, the analyst said that Ubisoft's (UBSFY) upcoming action role-playing game "Assassin's Creed Odyssey" is tracking roughly in line with the median of prior titles in the "Assassin's Creed" franchise, though he noted that most prior "Assassin's Creed" games were available for sale before E3, whereas "Odyssey" was first made available the week of E3, so his firm's data is capturing the initial pre-order surge. NEW BF GAME 'TRACKING WEAKLY': Meanwhile, Creutz backed a Market Perform rating on EA, saying that the newest "Battlefield" title is tracking "very weakly" -- over 85% behind "Black Ops 4." Creutz noted that this estimate is "very far off" the tracking levels of previous "Battlefield" games in 2011, 2013, and 2016. The analyst added that because "Battlefield V" has a release date directly in between the new "Call of Duty" and "Red Dead Redemption 2," he worries that EA's new shooter game could be headed for a similar fate as the 2016 EA game "Titanfall 2," which got squeezed out of its launch date directly between "Battlefield 1" and "Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare." Creutz noted that this year marks the first time "Battlefield" has gone head-to-head with the "Black Ops" sub-brand. PRICE ACTION: In afternoon trading, shares of EA are down about 0.5% to $127.41. Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard and Take-Two are both also trading lower. EA AMZN GME ATVI TTWO UBSFY