Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson has said the ongoing confusion about the future of Call of Duty, and specifically if it will become an Xbox-only franchise, could help EA’s Battlefield series soar higher.
During a Goldman Sachs speaking event recently, Wilson said Battlefield being a multiplatform game made for Xbox, PlayStation, and PC could help it stand apart if Call of Duty becomes an Xbox-only franchise on console. Even if that doesn’t happen, the general uncertainty around all of it is another edge for Battlefield, Wilson said.
“In a world where there may be questions over the future of Call of Duty and what platforms that might be on or might not be on, being platform agnostic and completely cross-platform with Battlefield, I think is a tremendous opportunity,” he said (via SeekingAlpha).
Microsoft is attempting to purchase Activision Blizzard and all of its franchises, including Call of Duty. Should the deal be approved, Microsoft has pledged to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation–and potentially bring it to Nintendo Switch–for years to come.
PlayStation’s Jim Ryan said Microsoft offered to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for three years beyond the deal Sony had with Activision, and that this deal was “inadequate on many levels.”
For his part, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said Microsoft’s offer to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for what Ryan now said was a period of three years goes “well beyond typical gaming industry agreements.” He added that Call of Duty releases on PlayStation will have “feature and content parity” with the Xbox versions, too.
However, what happens further into the future remains to be seen as it relates to whether or not the Call of Duty series will stay on PlayStation. Another uncertainty is if Call of Duty will continue to release on an annual basis.
Also during the event, Wilson spoke about how the Battlefield series has come up short with its past two mainline games, Battlefield 2042 and Battlefield V. “I don’t think we delivered in the last two iterations of [Battlefield] in the way that we should have,” Wilson admitted.
The executive said there is “a lot of work” that EA needs to do to bring the Battlefield franchise back to its former glory. Ultimately, Wilson said it believes the Battlefield franchise is “extraordinary” and that, despite some recent missteps, “great IP is resilient.”
As an example, Wilson said the Star Wars movie series hasn’t always performed exceptionally but the franchise overall can reinvent and grow over time with the right creative team in place. For Battlefield, Wilson said he believes the right teams are now in place to executive against “unbelievable ambitions” for the future of the franchise.
EA has multiple new Battlefield “experiences” in the works, including a narrative project from Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto’s Ridgeline Games and a new project at Battlefield Portal developer Ripple Effect. DICE will continue to work on Battlefield’s multiplayer, and another Halo veteran, Alex Seropian, is developing Battlefield Mobile through his Industrial Toys studio.
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