At the Citi 2011 Tech Conference on Wednesday, Electronic Arts CFO Eric Brown said preorders for the upcoming DICE-developed military first-person shooter Battlefield 3 are tracking ahead of the previous franchise entry.
"The game has come off of a very successful Gamescom [in Germany]," said Brown. "As of two weeks ago it won game of the show."
"To date we have about 1.25 million preorders on Battlefield 3, so it's still well ahead of its predecessor title, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, in regards to preorders in the same number of weeks till launch. So it's doing very well," Brown said.
March's Bad Company 2, also developed by EA-owned DICE, sold 5 million units as of May this year, across PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, according to EA. Battlefield 3 is set to launch in October this year across the same platforms.
Industry watchers also have their eyes on preorders for another major EA title: BioWare Austin-developed Star Wars: The Old Republic. Brown said that EA doesn't have specific preorder numbers for the hotly-anticipated MMORPG, but said the "title demand is tracking consistent with our expectations."
The company still expects the MMO to launch this calender year, but EA's fiscal guidance takes into account a possible slip into first calendar quarter of 2012 (fiscal Q4) if needed, Brown said. "We have a date set internally [for calendar Q4], with a lot of assumptions around it," he said.
"We're not done until we're done. ... We're not going to know with enough certainty to publicly announce a release date," until later this month or sometime in October, said Brown of the MMO.
Brown added that the marketing budget for Battlefield 3 is larger than that of The Old Republic, due to Battlefield 3 being a packaged game that has a shorter expected lifespan than an MMO. "It's going to be a different spend curve," he said.
"We have a pretty extensive campaign planned for Battlefield 3," he said. "We have the advantage of a two-and-a-half week early launch window versus our competitor [Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3], and we intend to use that."