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EA Is Delaying "Battlefield 2042," but Maybe That's a Good Thing

By Jon Quast, Jason Hall, and Jose Najarro – Oct 6, 2021 at 10:00AM

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It's important for the company to get it right when it comes to a game in this important franchise.

Video game developer Electronic Arts (EA -2.31%) owns many popular franchises, including Battlefield. With franchises like these, video game developers can leverage an existing fan base with new games in the series. However, fans of Battlefield will have to wait a little longer because EA is delaying Battlefield 2042.

In this video clip from Motley Fool Backstage Pass, recorded on Sept. 16, Fool contributors Jose Najarro and Jason Hall talk about how it can be good to delay the release of a product sometimes. Moreover, Jose shares two investing lessons he learned from a product that he wished had been delayed like Battlefield 2042.

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Jason Hall: Jose, this is one I think that you brought to us, EA, Electronic Arts, the big video game company stock fell a couple of days ago, maybe yesterday -- I think it's down about 6% or 7% -- since rumors came out that Battlefield 2042 is going to be delayed, it's getting delayed. It's one of their big franchises too, so it's a pretty important game for them.

But let's have fun. Let's have a little fun with us and do something different. I don't think anybody is happy for EA and definitely a lot of its fans are not happy about this. But what's a company that had a product that you really wish that product had gotten delayed? Jose, you go first here.

Jose Najarro: Yeah. First let me jump into that. I thought it was pretty interesting to see how this rumor really moved the stock price.

Hall: It moved it a lot. It moved it like 6% down.

Najarro: Yeah. It was down 6% and they just confirmed the rumors later last evening, earlier last evening.

Hall: After market close yesterday.

Najarro: Yeah. I was surprised after hours, the stock price did move up, but once it opened back up, I'm not sure if market volatility, it still maintained that same loss of yesterday. It seems like investors really did believe those rumors. But it was pretty interesting. I was looking in the social platforms and it was like people were looking at things like some retail stores were taking off the original release date that triggered some people to, "Hey, maybe there might be a delay" and something like this.

Honestly, I used to be a gamer. I'm not much of a gamer anymore. But if they are moving this game due to just the game not being fully finished, I think it was a smart move. Earlier last year there was this huge game controversy with Cyberpunk. It's made by a European company and the stock price, the game came out super early with so many glitches and to this day, I think they're still releasing updates.

That's definitely not the way you want to go, especially like you mentioned, Battlefield, I believe is their number six main title. I think number one, it's definitely FIFA. Number two, I think it's like Sims and then some more sports but Battlefield is definitely up there for them.

This is actually a pretty fun question on, "what product do you wish a company had delay?" I'm actually going to go with Microsoft. I'm not sure if you guys are familiar in like early 2006 and I have a cool picture of it, or it was in the mid-2000s they released and let me share my screen just so you guys can see how awesome this product looked like. They released what was called the Zune and it was their MP3 player. This was the HD version. I think this was their third-generation, but it was pretty much a competitor to the [Apple] iPod.

I actually owned it and I enjoyed it a lot. I thought their interface was well. I actually prefer the Zune software compared to iTunes. But this product actually showed me two great things about the market. The first thing is showed me is that just because I like a product, doesn't mean the rest of the market's going to like the product and the second thing, I'm blanking out. [laughs]

Hall: I'm going to steal these screen share real quick because there is a popular culture reference to this too that a lot of folks that might not remember when Zune came out. You've seen it in a movie and this is actually a screen capture from the movie and it's the line that was read in the movie. This is from Guardians of the Galaxy, because Star Lord had the cassette player, had the tape deck playing his mom's music. That was his thing. He was so blown away when they, what's the guy with the blue head? He gave him a Zune. He was blown away that it had 300 songs on it. This guy is flying around a spaceship with aliens, with amazing technology and is excited because this thing that's as big as a brick can hold 300 songs and that's just hilarious in 2021.

Najarro: That's actually funny. I have to rewatch the movie to see that little part there that's pretty funny. Now I actually remembered the second part of-

Hall: The second, you're right. The second one.

Najarro: The next big thing doesn't necessarily have to be a new product. It's like Zune, I thought it was going to be the next new product, the next new thing in iPod. But the next new iPod was just the iPod itself. Sometimes the big player is already the next big thing in forms of investments. Two great things I learned from this product right here.

Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Jose Najarro owns shares of Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple and Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends Electronic Arts and recommends the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Electronic Arts Stock Quote
Electronic Arts
EA
$127.41 (-2.31%) $-3.01
Microsoft Stock Quote
Microsoft
MSFT
$245.12 (-2.03%) $-5.08
Apple Stock Quote
Apple
AAPL
$142.91 (-2.54%) $-3.72

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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