EA have announced they’re building a “Battlefield universe“- with major shake-ups at DICE, a new head of the franchise, and more.
Speaking to Gamespot [1, 2] EA plans to expand the Battlefield series. However, the latest game has been noted as having a troubled launch. Battlefield 2042 has reportedly been criticized for lacking features from prior games and bugs. These also include the “unable to load persistence data” bug that prevented users from playing.
Battlefield 2042 currently has lukewarm reviews from critics and scathing user reviews at this time of writing [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Our own review also noted issues with hackers, spotty hit-detection, and the infamy of EA servers.
In spite of all this (or perhaps because of it), EA have announced they will be creating a “Battlefield universe.” This will span multiple games and “offerings,” and will see multiple studios from North America and Europe involved in various project.s
On top of this, DICE General Manager Oskar Gabrielson will be leaving the company at the end of the year. Rebecka Coutaz, former Ubisoft Annecy Studio Director, will be taking over, along with the management team consisting of the following:
- Lars Gustavsson, Creative Director
- Daniel Berlin, Game Designer
- Andreas Morell, Producer
- Conor Lenihan, Head of Tech
- Roger Collum, Studio Development
- Ryan McArthur, Producer
- Elisabet Gretarsdottir, Head of Strategy & Biz Dev
- Calle Wahlfors, Head of Studio Operations
Respawn Entertainment‘s Vince Zampella will now be the head of the Battlefield franchise. In addition, Halo co-creator Maruc Lehto (founder of the now defunct V1 Interactive) will be building a new development team in Seattle. Their project will be “focused on injecting more storytelling into the Battlefield universe.”
Ripple Effect, the developer behind Battlefield 2042‘s custom games portal, will also be developing a new “experience” within the Battlefield 2042 universe. The portal allows players to pull weapons, gear, and gameplay mechanics from prior Battlefield games, so Ripple Effect may have a lot to work with. In addition, Ripple Effect will continue to support the portal.
In the “immediate future” DICE, Ripple Effect, and the new Seattle studio will all work together to expand and improve Battlefield 2042. Other games and experiences will act as an extension on this, but also “to a degree” the new Battlefield universe. While no other details on this project were revealed at this time, there were some hints as to when we’ll see them.
Byron Beede is a former Call of Duty developer who was hired by EA earlier in 2021, to handle Battlefield‘s long-term strategy and business decisions. Beedle states that while Lehto “and his team in the Seattle area are just getting started on building the Battlefield world of tomorrow, their work will shape later seasons for 2042 and beyond.”
“This new studio will act as the driver for narrative in tight collaboration with DICE and Ripple Effect Studios to help build great player experiences in the Battlefield universe.”
Zampella stated that EA are planning to “grow significantly” in terms of how many developers will be working on Battlefield titles; and is calling on other developers to look at EA’s open positions. He also praise the new universe as “rich with opportunity, both from a storytelling perspective and as a universe where our teams can create innovative gameplay experiences. Truly, anything is possible.”
EA chief operating officer Laura Miele also offered high praise for Zampella.
“He creates culture-defining entertainment that resonants beyond games. We are bringing one of the most influential and talented individuals in entertainment to a franchise that is ready to be unleashed into the modern era of gaming. It’s an extraordinary inflection point in game history. His ability to lead studios and bring developers together so they can create world-class experiences is unmatched. I believe the structure, process, and vision he brings will enable Battlefield to excel like never before. No one knows shooters and live services better than Vince.”
EA CEO Andrew Wilson also stated that a free-to-play Battlefield game may eventually be developed. Nonetheless, EA are “exploring every possibility” to grow the franchise. Beede states that aside from the long-term plan, the initial focus is supporting Battlefield 2042, and expanding what its live-service offers.
“From that foundation our teams will create new experiences that expand the Battlefield universe,” Beede stated. “So I wouldn’t say there is a cadence or deadline, we need to do what is right for our players and our game.”