EA boss optimistic about Battlefield as uncertainties loom over COD
There have been rumors that Activision’s upcoming titles after Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.0, will be limited to Xbox and PC as Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Activision-Blizzard. Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson said that the uncertainties surrounding Activision’s hit series would benefit EA’s flagship installment, Battlefield.
Speaking at a Goldman Sachs event recently, Wilson said that being a multiplatform series would set Battlefield apart from its shooter rival series. While COD remains exclusive to Xbox and PC, Battlefield could still tap into the PlayStation market.
Wilson added that Microsoft’s intention to acquire Activision-Blizzard and its franchises marked “a tremendous opportunity” for the Battlefield series to grow, regardless of whether the deal would come to fruition or not.
“In a world where there may be questions over the future of Call of Duty and what platforms that might be on or might not be on, being platform agnostic and completely cross-platform with Battlefield, I think is a tremendous opportunity,” he said.
Decline of Battlefield series
EA’s most recent Battlefield releases—Battlefield 2042 and Battlefield V—were projected to be the less successful titles of the series. The company has repeatedly refused to release sales figures for both titles. They were reportedly far from equaling Battlefield 3’s sales success of 15 million units sold within only a year after its 2011 launch.
According to Steam Charts, Battlefield 2042’s average and peak players in August 2022 are 4,969 and 16,856, respectively. These numbers were a huge drop compared to its November release date count of 51,299 average and 100,590 peak players.
There were many factors contributing to this issue. Two of the biggest reason were unfulfilled expectations and buggy releases. The final product of Battlefield 2042 failed to live up to the hype set by its precursors.
While Battlefield V was also a failure compared to other titles in the series, 2042 had the worst reception among fans. Earlier in February, a fan kick-started a refund petition for 2042 and called out EA for false advertising of the game. With a declining player base, 2042’s in-game matchmaking is also now plagued by bots.
“EA’s release of Battlefield 2042 was a mockery of every customer who purchased this video game for $70 (USD) due to EA’s false advertising. Battlefield 2042 has cost consumers millions of dollars in damages and upset thousands of customers worldwide,” the petition reads.
The petition also called out EA for “bullying” fans by releasing unfinished games. “The gaming community should not tolerate this abuse and bullying from multi-billion dollar corporations who make unfinished games and false advertisements,” it continues.
The Battlefield series has been overshadowed by COD ever since the launch of Modern Warfare and Warzone in 2019 and 2020, respectively. There have been no rumors of a new Battlefield title, while EA is working to improve the playing experience of Battlefield 2042, something the company has been struggling with.
“I don’t think we delivered in the last two iterations of that in the way that we should have. There’s a lot of work that we’ve got to do there. But at its very core, this is an extraordinary IP. And what we’ve seen in the world of entertainment is, great IP is resilient,” he said.