Electronic Arts said in its third quarter that investors called in February that the much-maligned military sniper Battlefield 2042 Did not meet company expectations. CEO Andrew Wilson cited technical issues and design choices as the reasons the game “didn’t resonate with everyone in our community”, though luckily for EA the continued success of games like Apex Legends and FIFA meant that Battlefield’s relative failure would have little impact on the company’s overall fortunes.
Despite all that, Wilson said in today’s Q4 call that EA isn’t giving up on the game or the series as a whole. “We take the long view here,” he said in response to a question about EA’s relative silence on Battlefield 2042 in recent weeks. “This is one of the great franchises in our industry, built by one of the great teams in our industry, and we expect it to continue to grow and be a really important part of our portfolio for many, many years to come.”
Wilson’s optimism seems to stem in large part from the involvement of Vince Zampella, co-founder of Infinity Ward and Respawn Entertainment, who received overall creative control of the Battlefield series in December 2021. Battlefield developer EA DICE is also under new management: the studio’s general manager, Oskar Gabrielson, announced his departure the same day that Zampella took over the reins of Battlefield; he was replaced by Rebecka Coutaz, formerly of Ubisoft Annecy.
“We have incredible leadership on this team right now, they’re rethinking the development process from the ground up and really using the Vince Zampella-slash-Respawn model of ‘getting to the fun ASAP’.” said Wilson. “They’re doing thousands of updates for the community, working on quality of life and really getting the main game right.
“I think there’s still more work for us to do there and the team is committed to doing that work for the community and beyond that, when we get to a place where we feel like we’re in the right place with the core experience, and with the core game, you should expect us to invest and grow beyond where the game is today.”
The most recently to update for Battlefield 2042, released in mid-April, added voice chat and made around 400 tweaks, fixes, and balance changes. The next major update should arrive sometime this month, but the game’s planned first season, which in February was late from spring to summer so EA can focus on making “extensive fixes”, it doesn’t yet have a start date.