EA is, perhaps, most well-known for its auspicious FPS franchise, Battlefield. Released back in 2002, Battlefield 1942 was the first mainstream game that revolutionized the FPS genre and the gaming mentality by, not only favouring individualism but also simultaneously encouraging coordination. Since then, EA has continued to expand the franchise into both single-player and multiplayer game forms. In a recent post-earnings call with investors to cover EA’s results for Q1 of FY2022, Andrew Wilson, the CEO of EA, as reported by VG247, about the future of the franchise and their upcoming projects, particularly the company’s ambition to release a new game every 2 years. He also mentioned that Battlefield might go free-to-play in the future and that EA intends to extend the franchise to other territories, such as mobile.
“I think that is our orientation but more importantly. I think you should think about Battlefield as a service,” he answered when asked whether EA intends to release a Battlefield game every other year as it did previously. “You know, 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, we’ve announced Battlefield Portal, which really starts to lean into user-generated content and will drive deep, long-term engagement in the game.”
Additionally, he also talked about the other mystery game mode coming to Battlefield 2042, Hazard Zone, as he called it. “And while we’ve announced Hazard Zone, to date we haven’t disclosed a lot about what’s going on there, and you’ll hear more about that in the coming months,” he said. Hence, we can expect to hear more about this upcoming game mode soon!
Intriguingly, he also talked about his view of extending Battlefield to other territories where the franchise hasn’t previously touched, such as mobile, and a free-to-play experience. “You should understand that this really forms the foundation of what we believe the future of 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,” he said. “So that while an every other year launch probably makes sense if 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.”
Now, this isn’t the first time that EA has hinted at a free-to-play experience for Battlefield. Ahead of the release of Battlefield 2042, EA sent out player surveys to understand what the community wants from the company. These player surveys asked them about the Battle Pass and, more particularly, the free-to-play component. Hence, it’s safe to say that EA is almost certainly working on a free-to-play Battlefield experience and the franchise might actually go free-to-play in the future.
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