Battlefield Going Biannual Again, But Live Service and Free-to-Play are Part of the Plan
When Battlefield 2042 launches in October, it will be the first new entry in the series in nearly three years, which begs the question – is that the new normal? Given the rising cost of game development and the industry’s move toward long-tail live-service games, is the old every-two-years Battlefield schedule out the window? Well, not necessarily.
During EA’s most recent earnings call, CEO Andrew Wilson was asked whether an every-other-year schedule would return for Battlefield, and he said it would. That said, EA is also looking at Battlefield as a more complex live service, with new “free-to-enter” options, and more…
Do we think Battlefield will return to an every-other-year launch? I would say -- I think that is our orientation. But more importantly, I think you should think about Battlefield as a service. What we announced, what we're doing for the launch of this game is really revolutionizing and reinventing what all our epic scale warfare is in the context of gameplay. In addition to that, you’ve heard us announce Battlefield Portal, which really starts to lean into user-generated content and will drive deep long-term engagement in the game. And while we've announced Hazard Zone, we haven't disclosed a lot about what's going on there, and you'll hear more about that in the coming months,
This really forms the foundation for what we believe the future of a live service around Battlefield is, which over time will include a mobile launch, will include some free-to-enter components and really change the nature of what happens from launch to launch. So that while -- and every other year launch probably makes sense as we think about it today -- we're really focused on 365-day engagement in the franchise at a platform level across any device that consumers may want to play on.
So, in other words, EA is looking at Call of Duty, with its lucrative combination of free-to-play Warzone, regular premium CoD releases, and mobile, and saying “we want us some of that.” It will be interesting to see how all the pieces will work together, but it’s clear a more multifaceted (and profitable) Battlefield live service is being constructed.
Battlefield 2042 launches on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, and PS5 on October 22.
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