New 'Star Wars' title from EA set to be big draw this holiday season

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By Ayanti Bera

(Reuters) – Electronic Arts Inc (NASDAQ:) launched “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” on Friday, garnering strong reviews for its flagship action-adventure series that is crucial to its holiday sales, after the videogame publisher shelved “NBA Live” game.

The latest title, which scored 83% on Metacritic earlier in the day, follows the story of one of the last surviving Jedi as he attempts to rebuild the order.

In fiscal 2020, EA expects to sell 6 million to 8 million units of the latest title.

Fextralife, a Twitch streamer with channels views of over 400 million, said the title is a step in the right direction.

“There is a bit too much Uncharted in the game, and I was hoping for more of an action ARPG, akin to Dark Souls,”, the gaming group said.

The game’s official gameplay trailer garnered over 4 million views on YouTube.

The previous titles – “Star Wars: Battlefront I” launched in 2015 and “Star Wars: Battlefront II” in 2017 – have sold over 33 million copies combined, EA had said in October.

Jeff Cohen, analyst with Stephens, expects sales of the latest title to hit 8 million units, given the upcoming movie release.

The ninth film in the series, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” will hit the theaters by the end of December. “The Mandalorian”, a web series set in the Star Wars universe, was also launched earlier this week on Disney+.

EA, which had previously canceled four “NBA Live” console titles in its popular basketball series, missed market expectation for 2020 adjusted revenue forecast in October.

“Pushing out NBA 20 also will clearly impact sales,” Elazar Advisor analyst, Chaim Seigel, said.

“Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” is the biggest single-player focused game coming out at the end of the year.

“It has elements of Tomb Raider like environmental puzzles, a God of War style emotional story design and even Batman inspired fluid combat,” Samuel Franklin, founder of gaming recommendation website Games Finder said.

According to Cowen analysts, the sales for latest Star Wars title could grow to 11 million units on consoles, estimating that every incremental million unit will add about 7 cents to earnings per share.

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