Battlefield 2042 is the latest in a long string of messy launches for Swedish developer DICE, and it seems EA’s patience is finally at an end. According to a new article from GameSpot, a major shakeup to the way Battlefield games are made is underway. Vince Zampella will now serve as boss of the Battlefield franchise (while still leading Respawn) and Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto is starting a new Seattle-based studio that will focus on adding more story content to future Battlefield games.
While it’s not outright stated, it seems like this shakeup represents a demotion of sorts for DICE. While they’ll likely still handle technical aspects of future Battlefield games, it sounds like most of the creative power is being taken out of their hands. Perhaps tellingly, DICE GM Oskar Gabrielson has announced he’s leaving the company. He’ll be replaced by Rebecka Coutaz, who previously served as studio director of Ubisoft Annecy (developer of Steep and Riders Republic).
While the current goal is to get Battlefield 2042 on its feet following its rocky launch, the larger goal is to create a “connected Battlefield universe.” An ever-evolving Battlefield 2042 will likely remain at the center of this universe, with other games supplementing it (Battlefield Portal developer Ripple Effect Studios is already getting to work on some sort of “new experience”). Here’s what Zampella had to say about the proposed Battlefield universe…
We will continue to evolve and grow Battlefield 2042, and we'll explore new kinds of experiences and business models along the way that we can add to that foundation to provide an awesome array of experiences for our players. In this universe, the world is interconnected with shared characters and narrative. This universe is also built with our community as we harness the power of Portal and user-generated content that puts creativity in the hands of our players.
It’s hard to know what to think about all of this, but kudos to EA for realizing changes needed to be made. I’m always in favor of more story content in these kind of big AAA games, and there’s no questioning Vince Zampella’s track record, so I’m feeling somewhat optimistic about these changes.
Battlefield 2042 is available now on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, and PS5. The game’s latest patch, which offers a wide array of fixes and QoL changes, was released yesterday.