Battlefield 2042 gone from EA’s portfolio again as company “takes long view” on troubled franchise
Overnight, EA published the earnings for the fourth quarter of its FY2022, alongside a report on the full year. Though the subject of the eternally troubled Battlefield 2042 did come up in a chat with investors, the game has all but vanished off the publisher’s portfolio.
As it does every quarter, EA put out a succinct look at its financials in the form of colourful slides [PDF]. The Q4 slides list what the company considers “active” games during the quarter on PC and consoles. This basically covers the games that continue to make money for EA over that period.
It includes everything from the sports monsters of FIFA (sorry, EASFC) and Madden, to ongoing live service hits such as Apex Legends, the EA Play subscription service and the latest Battlefield release… Battlefield 5.
The Battlefield series doesn’t really get a lot of lip service in the full report [PDF], either, but it’s quite telling that EA is keen to never bring up Battlefield 2042 unless specifically asked about it.
Unsurprisingly, investors did bring up Battlefield 2042. In a Q&A following the earnings reveal, EA executives were asked to clarify why the publisher has been quiet on franchise news.
“We take a long view here,” said CEO Andrew Wilson.
“This 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.”
Wilson added that EA will continue to invest in the Battlefield series, but it has to first “get to a place where we feel like we’re in the right place with the core experience and with the core game [of 2042].”
To get there, DICE will be “rethinking the development process from the ground up”, and emulating the Vince Zampella/Respawn development model of “get[ting] to the fun as quickly as possible.”
Zampella, of course, took over the Battlefield franchise in a major shake-up at developer DICE following the disastrous launch of Battlefield 2042. The management shuffle saw the departure of studio general manager Oskar Gabrielson.
This is actually the second quarterly report running where EA elected to promote Battlefield 5 and bury 2042, and it’s not entirely without merit. Even from the outside looking in, Battlefield 5 clearly has a much larger community than 2042, making it the series’ most active game by default.
While DICE continues to lethargically move on major Battlefield 2042 overhauls, the game has yet to receive any meaningful new content since its release last November, and players are understandably going back to Battlefield 5 for their fix.