Battlefield reveal confirmed for the spring, ‘way ahead’ of previous development cycles

Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson confirmed during an investors call yesterday that the next Battlefield game will get a full reveal this spring.

While EA declined to reveal the title or setting for the game, Wilson went on to state that it will “mark a return to all-out military warfare” with a renewed focus on the mixture of vehicle and infantry gameplay that the series is traditionally known for. Many have speculated that it will use a modern military setting.

“Featuring maps with unprecedented scale, the next edition of Battlefield takes all the destruction, player agency, vehicle and weapon combat that the franchise is known for and elevate it to another level,” Wilson said. “The team is focused and the game is ahead of our internal milestones.”

Wilson confirmed that the game is still on track to release holiday 2021, and EA CFO Blake Jorgensen stated that developer DICE is “way ahead of where they were in prior product cycles, on track for their earliest feature complete in franchise history.” In other words, DICE should have plenty of time to iron out the bugs before the game releases this holiday season.

The question still remains as to whether the next Battlefield will come to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in a feature-limited form. Wilson stated many times throughout the investors call that the game is taking full advantage of “next-gen” hardware without so much as mentioning the last-gen consoles.

The most interesting moment of the investors call came when someone brought up battle royale. When asked whether Battlefield would use a Call of Duty: Warzone-style approach to “funnel” free-to-play players into the overall Battlefield experience, Wilson said that EA is “looking across all forms of the experience to ensure that this is exactly the game that Battlefield fans want to play and the game that we believe will drive growth in the Battlefield franchise.”

You could look at this statement from Wilson in one of two ways. Either Wilson was hinting that “all forms of the [Battlefield] experience” included a free-to-play battle royale mode, or Wilson was purposefully dodging the question so as not to upset myopic investors who see the video game market as a trend-chasing monolith in which the only successful shooters are free-to-play battle royale games.

Personally, “the game that Battlefield fans want to play” is not a battle royale game, but a robust multiplayer shooter with all-out vehicle and infantry combat. The fact that Wilson and Jorgensen spent so much time in the investors call hyping the success that Apex Legends continues to have could hint that Respawn’s game is the free-to-play battle royale that they’re betting on, especially since it’s coming to Nintendo Switch in the next couple of months.

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