During a recent appearance at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology Conference, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson expressed his belief that the company's Battlefield franchise could somehow benefit from the platform confusion that's surrounding the future of Call of Duty in the wake of the Microsoft/Activision Blizzard deal. Here's his full quote (via Seeking Alpha), where Wilson also admits the failures of the last couple of franchise releases.
When we think about Battlefield, I think Battlefield is one of the great first-person shooter franchises. It was built on creation. And if this thing if you have to go to YouTube and look up only in Battlefield moments, you see that people are creating these incredible things inside of the Battlefield franchise that for the longest time has well over 50 million players.
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 extraordinary IP. And what we've seen in the world of entertainment is great IP is resilient. And we've seen movies not live up to the expectations of franchises. Star Wars might be one such franchise. And then you can see what happens when you get the right creative team involved, how they can completely reinvent and grow a franchise. And I think we have an extraordinary creative team involved in Battlefield now who have unbelievable ambitions to own the first puts and shoot space, particularly as it feels to creation.
And 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.
Honestly, though, it sounds more like wishful thinking than anything concrete. First of all, we don't even know if the deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will end up being approved. Both the UK and EU regulators have already requested additional time to review it, for one thing.
If it does get through, Microsoft promised through its Head of Gaming Phil Spencer that Call of Duty will stay on other platforms (chiefly PlayStation consoles) for at least several more years beyond current contracts. Besides, Battlefield needs to get its groove back before it can fantasize about taking advantage of any potential Call of Duty issues that could come from the aforementioned acquisition.
DICE is still updating Battlefield 2042, but the game is still a long road from making a serious comeback in the hearts of fans. Meanwhile, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (which is completely platform agnostic and cross-platform) just had a very strong showcase event and a promising beta on PlayStation platforms.