EA may be gearing up a big new cross-platform live service mode for Battlefield that keeps users playing for extended periods of time.
Battlefield 6 is a big deal for EA. The publisher describes the game as a "re-launch for the franchise," and has more teams working on it than ever before--DICE Stockholm, DICE LA, EA Gothenburg, Criterion (vehicles), and practically the whole Frostbite team are contributing. This kind of collaboration sets Battlefield up to be a kind of entry point to a platform of sorts that makes a big multi-year splash. The premium release will be huge, but that's just the beginning. EA's live service aspirations for the title are even bigger and will carry the experience forward for some time.
In its recent FY2021 earnings call, EA executives Andrew Wilson and Blake Jorgensen make interesting remarks around the new Battlefield. There's talk of new business models (which is part of EA's new three-part strategy) and engagement strategies, which is the kind of language Activision used to describe Call of Duty Warzone, the industry's most transformative cross-game ecosystem to date.
Will Battlefield get its own Warzone-like F2P add-on too? EA doesn't confirm anything, but they do give us clues that something big is on the horizon.
"Nothing to announce at the moment on either an annualized Battlefield and/or the nature of the modes on the upcoming Battlefield game. We're going to talk a lot about that on the months to come starting next month with our reveal trailer, which I have had a chance of seeing as a work-in-progress last week and it is incredible...what the team has been able to do in the context of next-generation consoles.
"Epic scale battles, unbelievable player counts and destruction, it's really incredible. It's a very innovative and creative mode for the future of the franchise," EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in the call.
"The other thing you should know is we do have a blueprint, which is how do we start with a AAA premium experience that is truly innovative in its category, how do we build out live service for long-term engagement, and how do think about modalities of play and business models to further extend our reach and penetration of that game on a global basis across platforms, across geographies, across business models.
"We have a very clear long-term growth strategy for our biggest blockbuster franchises. This is the foundation of our business and has seen us grow all major platforms and business models."
"You'll hear a lot more from us in the months ahead but I just would finish by saying we're really excited about Battlefield, everything I've seen about the game is spectacular, and I think it's going to be an amazing re-launch of that franchise this year and lead us into an incredible live service for the future."
EA has already confirmed how Battlefield will fit into two parts of its three-part strategy: The premium release in Holiday 2021, and the upcoming mobile game from Industrial Toys. There's just one part missing: New business models/live services.
EA Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen hints that Battlefield 6 could offer the most substantial long-term play out of any Battlefield game to date.
"We want to give the Battlefield fans many ways to play and let them play for a long time. I think you'll see that in...we'll talk about it in the future, it is an opportunity to extend the Battlefield experience for people, because it is such an engaged community. I'd love to tell you what I said when I saw the trailer, but I can't because it'd be censored.
"I think people are going to be really blown away. And on next-gen consoles it is even more spectacular. It'll be great on either console but it'll be very exciting I think."
EA plans to reveal its new Battlefield game in June with a full-on reveal trailer, followed by steady content drops and updates until the game launches in in the Holiday period.
More on EA's FY2021 earnings call:
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