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Battlefield is not dead insists EA as it hints at free-to-play Warzone rival

Battlefield is not dead insists EA as it hints at free-to-play Warzone rival
Battlefield 4 – EA’s not abandoning the franchise any time soon (pic: EA)

Things may look bad for Battlefield at the moment, but EA is confident enough to call it a ‘meaningful part’ of their business strategy.

The past couple of years have not exactly been kind to EA’s Battlefield series. Battlefield 2042’s launch in 2021 quickly earned the ire of many a disgruntled fan for its lack of content, many bugs, and unpopular gameplay changes that weren’t revamped until more than half a year later .

EA would later cancel its Battlefield mobile game (shutting down its developer along with it) and, in more of a blow to fans, announced plans to delist three older titles , with one of them due to become completely unplayable in December.

It’s easy to be disillusioned with the future of the series but EA CEO Andrew Wilson insists that Battlefield is not dead yet, describing it as a very important part of the company’s plans.

Like many other game companies this month, EA recently ran through its financial results for the 2023 fiscal year and touched upon plans for the 2024 fiscal year.

While the company’s release schedule makes no mention of any new Battlefield games, Wilson namedropped it multiple times during a Q&A session with investors.

As transcribed by GamesRadar , he also talked about ‘[bringing] Battlefield back in an entirely new way in the future.’

This suggests that, rather than put the series on the backburner and focus its efforts elsewhere, Wilson would rather use the lessons learned from Battlefield 2042’s failings to revamp the franchise.

He didn’t go so far as to address any future projects, not even the new campaign game that’ll provide the single-player content Battlefield 2042 was lacking, but he has ‘extraordinary confidence in [the leadership team] and extraordinary confidence in the progress they’re making against the future of that franchise.’

As a reminder, EA put Respawn’s Vince Zampella in charge of the Battlefield series back in December 2021 , which is a tad ironic since he was once CEO of Infinity Ward, creator of Call Of Duty.

Battlefield 2042 – EA has yet to shut down support for Battlefield 2042 so it’s clearly got just enough of a player base to survive (pic: EA) (Credits: Electronic Arts)

What sort of projects the team has in mind remains unclear but Wilson calls Battlefield a ‘meaningful part’ of EA’s future and its business strategy of ‘building games and experiences that attract and entertain massive online communities across platforms, across business models, across geographies.’

His comments seem to point to EA taking a proper crack at a free-to-play Battlefield game. It was rumoured that Battlefield 2042 would go that route to try and recover from its disappointing sales but that obviously never happened.

The free-to-play model has also proved profitable for EA’s Apex Legends, which Zampella was initially in charge of, and it’s easy to imagine them trying to pull off the same trick twice. Plus, if EA plays its cards right, it could give Call Of Duty’s free-to-player offerings some much needed competition.

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Elsewhere, Wilson broached the topic of Microsoft’s buy out of Activision , something he previously admitted to being in favour of if only so Call Of Duty will become an Xbox exclusive and push people into playing Battlefield instead.

With the deal potentially in jeopardy thanks to UK regulators , Wilson now thinks (as transcribed by GamesRadar ) it really doesn’t matter whether it goes through or not, saying, ‘I think we’re indifferent as to whether [the Microsoft Activision sale] goes through or not.

‘We feel like we have an incredible strategy. We feel like we have an incredible opportunity, and whether it goes through or not, we’ll continue to be the number one publisher on the Microsoft platform.’

That isn’t bravado either. An April report revealed EA to be the top publisher for monthly active users on both Xbox and PlayStation consoles from September 2022 through January 2023, trumping Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard.

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MORE : Battlefield 2042 ‘not inherently a bad idea’ say series boss

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MORE : The Battlefield franchise is deader than dead – Reader’s Feature

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