EA has committed itself to sticking with Battlefield – and the beleagured Battlefield 2042 in particular – albeit with a new development process rethought “from the ground up”.
Speaking to investors last night, EA boss Andrew Wilson said the publisher was taking “the long view” when it came to the franchise, and that it would remain a big part of EA for the forseeable future.
Wilson praised former Respawn boss Vince Zampella in his new expanded role in which he also oversees some Battlefield development, and also promised EA would continue to “grow” Battlefield 2042 – after righting its ship first.
“We take the long view here,” Wilson said. “[Battlefield] 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.
“We’ve got incredible leadership over that team now, they’re rethinking the development process from the ground up, and really using 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 and 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.”
Last month, EA trumpeted more than 400 fixes and improvements in one big patch, while another finally added voice chat. But is it all too late? Last month also saw the game’s Steam concurrent player number fall below 1000 for the first time.
In February, Wilson was more straightforward with investors in admitting Battlefield 2042 had flopped – or specifically that it “did not meet expectations”, blaming two years of remote working, and unforseen technical issues when the game had been released into the wild.
“Some of the design choices we made with the game also did not resonate with everyone in our community,” Wilson said at the time. “We are fully committed to realising the full potential of this game and fully committed to our Battlefield fans. We have already implemented a series of major updates to the game, and there is more to be done.”
EA has now delayed the launch of Battlefield 2042’s first season to sometime this summer.
A recent report suggested the next Battlefield game was already now in pre-production, with various changes implemented in 2042 now reversed.