Battlefield leadership ‘rethinking the development process,’ still committed to 2042
The new leadership team in charge of the Battlefield franchise is “rethinking the development process,” but Electronic Arts is still committed to 2042, according to comments from CEO Andrew Wilson.
Wilson recently stated during EA’s Q4 2022 earnings call that Battlefield’s new leadership team, which includes Respawn boss Vince Zampella and new DICE GM Rebecka Coutaz, is taking a new approach to how it makes a Battlefield game.
“They’re rethinking the development process from the ground up and really using kind of the Vince Zampella/Respawn model of get to the fun as quickly as possible,” Wilson said. Battlefield developer DICE’s former GM, Oskar Gabrielson, announced his departure in December 2021 after 13 years at the studio.
Wilson also took the opportunity to restate EA’s commitment to the franchise: “[Battlefield] is one of the great franchises in our industry, built by one of the great teams in our industry. And our expectation is that we’ll continue to grow and be a really important part of our portfolio for many, many years to come.”
EA previously announced that Zampella was taking over the Battlefield franchise when it announced the “Battlefield universe,” which includes new experiences in development at Battlefield Portal studio Ripple Effect, formerly DICE LA, and another at a new Seattle studio that Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto is leading.
Why Wilson needs to keep reiterating to developers that it’s not giving up on a storied franchise like Battlefield is because its most recent title, Battlefield 2042, is still struggling to retain players. However, Wilson told investors that DICE has “been doing thousands of updates for the community working on quality of life and really getting the core 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.”
However, EA still plans to support 2042‘s ongoing development, and that investors should “expect us to invest and grow beyond where the game is at today.” EA is obligated to support at least one full year’s worth of seasonal updates for 2042, given that it already sold season passes as part of the game’s Gold and Ultimate editions.
That being said, it’s still unclear exactly what content players can expect to come from those seasonal updates. DICE delayed Season 1 to early summer, but still hasn’t announced an actual release date for the game’s first major content update nearly six months after the game launched.
That’s not to say that DICE is working hard to right the ship. Last month, the developer released an update for the game that included over 400 bug fixes and changes, and “almost everyone” at DICE is still working on 2042, according to game designer Frederik Drabert.
Battlefield 2042 is available on Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Michael Goroff has written and edited for EGM since 2017. You can follow him on Twitter @gogogoroff.