EA boss says Battlefield 2042 “falls short of expectations”
Things didn’t go well for Battlefield 2042, the latest entry in EA’s long-running military shooter series. It had issues at launch, forcing DICE to fix it in a hurry, and to make matters worse, many Battlefield fans really didn’t care about some of the game’s core design choices. As we noted, when Battlefield 2042 was hit with negative user reviews on Steam immediately after launch, most of the early complaints centered on deliberate design choices that players felt took too much away Traditional battlefield characters. The dissatisfaction spread to EA’s recent decision to delay the release of the first season of Battlefield 2042 until early summer so the developers could improve the core game with fixes and new features.
Unsurprisingly, this unhappiness translated into relatively poor sales. During the quarterly investor conference call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said that “the launch of Battlefield 2042 has not lived up to expectations.” He also acknowledged that while some of its problems stem from the difficulties of working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, Fans just don’t care about some of the changes the developers made to the formula.
“Through our testing and preparation process, we believe the experience is ready to go into the hands of our players,” Wilson said. “We launched with great stability, but as more players experienced the full game, it became clear that there were unanticipated performance issues that we needed to address. Some of the design choices we made with the game also didn’t cause A community that resonates with us all.”
The good news, at least for EA, is that while Battlefield 2042 is a high-profile game, it still occupies a relatively small niche compared to games like Apex Legends and FIFA. share. Electronic Arts Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen said on the conference call that Battlefield’s poor performance had little impact on the company’s overall fortunes.
“As originally forecasted, the Battlefield franchise will account for significantly less than 10 percent of net bookings this year, and well below 5 percent next year,” Jorgensen said. “We’re revising the numbers, but you can see that it has little impact on growth in fiscal 2023.”
“All in all, we just delivered the biggest quarter in company history. FIFA goes from strength to strength. Apex Legends continues to show extraordinary growth. Battlefield disappoints, but our broad portfolio of games and live services shields us from either title.”
Today we’ll be sharing the latest #Battlefield 2042 details, our new player feedback loop, and a status update on Season 1. Learn the full details: https://t.co/6y8368gebO pic.twitter.com/WrueRz2ICmFebruary 1, 2022
Wilson said EA remains “fully committed to realizing the full potential of Battlefield 2042” and pledged to “work closely with our community to develop and improve the core experience.” He also expressed confidence in Battlefield studio DICE’s ability to turn the game around — in the form of a brutal backhand compliment.
“As much as I hate to admit it, DICE is a studio that has been able to do this many times now, and if we join forces, we can really go back and rebuild the core and re-engage the community and the committee. That’s what that studio is very good at things to do,” Wilson said.
“So I think with the combination of DICE with new leadership and a strong vision for the future, we’re going to build the core, we’re going to re-engage the community, and we’re going to show the demand we’re seeing during the rollout time.”
DICE general manager Oskar Gabrielson, who worked on the series long before Battlefield 3, left the company in December, just a few weeks after Battlefield 2042 was released. He is succeeded by former Ubisoft Annecy Studio Director Rebecka Coutaz. Meanwhile, overall responsibility for the Battlefield franchise was passed to Respawn co-founder Vince Zampella.
EA declined to provide specific sales figures for Battlefield 2042 — Jorgensen only said “obviously we sold fewer units than we thought” — and Wilson didn’t mention that the game would be free at some point in the future The possibilities open, he said, are simply that the company “has a bold vision for the series” and that it will continue to work on “new and fun ways to interact with this game.”
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