EA cancels Apex Legends Mobile, Battlefield Mobile
Publisher Electronic Arts have decided to cease the development of two mobile games, Apex Legends Mobile and Battlefield Mobile, citing poor sales and a “softer” mobile market as the main reasons for the decision.
According to the official statement, the support for Apex Legends Mobile, the mobile spinoff of the company’s wildly successful battle royale game, will be discontinued on May 1, 2023, at 4 p.m. PST.
However, no announcement regarding Battlefield Mobile’s eventual cancelation has been made, with the studio behind Battlefield Mobile, Industrial Toys, going out of business.
Following the statement, Apex Mobile disabled real money for in-game purchases. The game was also removed from all platforms.
However, Syndicate Gold will still be usable until May 1, so players who have it can keep playing until then. The only platform impacted by this shutdown is the mobile app.
The company wrote in its FAQ post that there would be no refunds for real money purchases, as per the terms of the EA User Agreement.
In a statement, EA explained that despite Apex Mobile’s promising beginnings, the game’s continued existence had failed to live up to players’ expectations. After months of collaboration, EA and its partners mutually chose to conclude support for the game.
EA continued that it had also determined to end work on “the current Battlefield mobile game.” It realized that a change in direction was necessary to realize its vision for the franchise better and satisfy player expectations in light of the industry’s recent developments and its plans to build “a deeply connected Battlefield ecosystem.”
Respawn Entertainment, Apex Legends’ developer, echoed the observation and said that after a promising beginning, the game’s mobile version’s content pipeline started to fall short of expectations in terms of “quality, quantity and cadence.”
Both games may return
During a recent earnings call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson hinted at a bright future for Apex Legends on mobile devices.
Wilson also provided a far more in-depth explanation for why EA had decided to pull the plug on Apex Legends Mobile.
The CEO said that “the verticality of gameplay and team-based play” that define Apex wasn’t as successful a translation to mobile devices as the developers had hoped.
There is a level of immersion and complexity to Apex gameplay in particular which is very much what Apex is about – verticality of gameplay and team-based play – that didn’t translate quite as well to mobile devices as we had hoped. I think we learned a great deal from that.
Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts
He added that the game’s lack of success in keeping casual players around was a significant concern for the future of the Apex Legends experience for players.
Since the game heavily relies on “team play and competitive play,” the size and stability of the player base are crucial to the game’s success.
The 48-year-old businessman also mentioned the problematic mobile market, where ever-evolving player personalities need help establishing a firm foothold. However, he reaffirmed EA’s commitment to returning to Apex on mobile with a new strategy.
According to him, the most popular new releases are those that are an integral part of the larger franchise in terms of gameplay and content. This includes cross-play, cross-progression and a sense of belonging to a single community and gaming experience.
Wilson also said that EA was considering a similar course of action for Battlefield Mobile, indicating that it, too, could make a comeback in the future.
Battlefield, likewise, had been in the works for some time and was making significant strides. However, the EA team figured that it would face similar difficulties due to its design.
He explained that instead of fighting against the market trend, EA had decided to take a step back, relax and start over so that the franchise’s higher-ups could create a genuinely immersive, cross-platform gaming experience based on a reimagined Battlefield.