Perhaps the biggest potential obstacle to the video game industry’s biggest acquisition of all time – Microsoft’s proposed takeover of Activision-Blizzard (opens in a new tab)— is Call of Duty, and more specifically the possibility that Microsoft could one day make it console-exclusive, thereby denying it to Sony. Microsoft has repeatedly said it won’t. (opens in a new tab)– at least, not anytime soon – as Sony claims the actual on-paper warranties fall far short (opens in a new tab) public performances.
Amid all the hubbub, there’s one man who wouldn’t mind Microsoft ever deciding to make Call of Duty an exclusive platform: Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts, who said at a recent Goldman Sachs event (transcribed by Looking for Alpha (opens in a new tab)Going through GameSpot (opens in a new tab)) that even the mere possibility of Call of Duty becoming an exclusive is good news for EA’s Battlefield series.
The latest addition to the Battlefield lineup, Battlefield 2042, falls far short of EA’s hopes (opens in a new tab)and although he continued to work on the game and make improvements (opens in a new tab) since then, Wilson has acknowledged that the series has struggled in recent years.
“I don’t think we delivered the last two iterations the way we should have,” Wilson said. “There’s a lot of work we need to do there. But at its core, this is amazing IP. And what we’ve seen in the entertainment world is that great IP is resilient.”
“We’ve seen movies not live up to franchise expectations. Star Wars could be one of those franchises. And then you can see what happens when you get the right creative team involved, how they can completely reinvent and develop a franchise. And I think we have an amazing creative team involved in Battlefield now that has incredible ambitions to own the first-person shooter space.”
Resilience is always a little easier to come by when your closest competitors stumble, and Wilson sees a potential opening for Battlefield amid wrangling over the future of Call of Duty: “In a world where there may be questions on the future of Call of Duty and the platforms that might or might not be on, being platform independent and completely cross-platform with Battlefield, I think that’s a tremendous opportunity,” he said. -he declares.
Of course, an opportunity doesn’t mean much if you’re not able to capitalize on it, but EA has come a long way (opens in a new tab) recently to expand its commitment to the Battlefield series: original developer DICE continues to work on the game’s multiplayer component, while new studio Ridgeline Games will develop an all-new campaign “set in the Battlefield universe” (and separate from Battlefield 2042 ) under the direction of Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto. Ripple Effect Studios, formerly known as DICE LA, is also joining the effort with “an all-new Battlefield experience that will complement and build on the foundations of the series.”