EA’s boss says the company is ‘taking the long view’ with Battlefield 2042
Andrew Wilson also provides an update on EA’s release plans for Battlefield Mobile
Electronic Arts’ CEO has said the company remains committed to Battlefield 2042 for the long-term.
During the publisher’s quarterly earnings call on Tuesday, it was put to EA execs that the game’s most recent major update hadn’t led to a resurgence for the title, which has underperformed since its delayed release in November 2021.
On April 11, the Steam version of Battlefield 2042 had an average concurrent player count of 1,963 over the previous 30 days, according to SteamCharts. In the 30 days since, that total rose to 2,220.
While not insignificant, it marks slow growth for that version of the shooter, which received its big 4.0 update on April 19, featuring over 400 fixes and improvements, plus the introduction of voice chat.
Asked if EA’s commitment to investing in the game had changed following players’ response to the update, boss Andrew Wilson said it hadn’t.
“No, and again, we take the long view here,” he responded (transcribed by VGC). “This is one of the great franchises of our industry, built by one of the great teams in the industry, and our expectations are it’s going to continue to grow and be a really important part of our portfolio for many, many years to come.”
In December, EA announced its intention to create a “connected Battlefield universe” alongside widespread changes to the franchise’s development structure.
As part of these plans, DICE general manager Oscar Gabrielson left EA altogether, while Respawn and Infinity Ward co-founder Vince Zampella took on a new role as the overseer of the entire Battlefield franchise.
Halo designer Marcus Lehto is also leading a new Seattle studio whose aim is to add more meaningful narrative to the Battlefield series.
“We’ve got incredible leadership of that team now,” Wilson said on Tuesday. “They’re rethinking the development process from the ground up, and really using kind of the Vince Zampella/Respawn model of ‘get to the fun as quickly as possible’.
“They’ve been doing thousands of updates for the community, working on quality of life, and really getting the core game right. I think there’s still more work for us to do there and the team is committed to doing that work for the community.
“Beyond that, once we get to a place where we feel like we’re in the right place with the core experience, and with the core game, then you should expect us to invest and grow beyond where the game is at today.”
Wilson’s comments echo those he made during EA’s previous earnings call in February. At the time, he backed developer DICE to overcome Battlefield 2042’s disappointing launch and re-engage its fanbase, claiming: “I believe that we’re going to see this game do really well over the course of time.”
Earlier that day DICE had delayed the release of Battlefield 2042 Season 1 until the summer of 2022 so that it could focus on bringing the base game up to scratch.
During today’s earnings call, Wilson also provided an update on EA’s release plans for Battlefield Mobile.
The company hasn’t included any projected earnings from the game in its guidance for the current fiscal year ending on March 31, 2023, but Wilson didn’t rule out the title launching during this period.
“Right now, I think we’re looking at going into further testing at the end of May, and then subject to the metrics and the data and the engagement that we see, we might look towards the end of this year, beginning of next year, for a global launch, but remembering, mobile all really comes down to the tuning and the balancing once we go into that closed beta phase.”
He added: “We want to give ourselves the opportunity to ensure the game has all the soft launch and closed beta that it needs in order to tune and balance, but having played the game, I can tell you that I think we’re excited for the potential.”