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EA has published its earnings and projects for the second fiscal quarter of 2020, teeing up its long term plans in the process. Of particular interest was news on the next Battlefield title, and we could have quite the wait on our hands. Seemingly learning a few lessons from the trials and tribulations of both Battlefield V and Battlefield 1, DICE and EA are granting the next Battlefield title significantly more time in development.
Within his statement, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said the next Battlefield game is set to launch in ‘FY22’, or fiscal year 2022. This runs from April 2021 through to March 2022, so we’re probably looking at a launch in holiday 2021, a full two years from now.
“Targeting new innovation that will be enabled by next-gen platforms and a growing install base on the new consoles, our next Battlefield game is set for FY22,” said Wilson.
Reading between the lines, we’d hazard a guess the launch of the next-gen consoles in 2020 presents EA with too small a user base to target for a mainline Battlefield. DICE would either need to go cross-gen, as it did with Battlefield 4, or the franchise sits it out a year and wholeheartedly takes advantage of next-gen console performance.
We would expect the next Battlefield title to either be Battlefield 6 or the long-rumoured Battlefield: Bad Company 3.
In the meantime, DICE and EA will continue to support Battlefield V right through until at least FY2021. “Our Battlefield franchise and its community are also a major focus for us, and we’ll add new content and new ways to play Battlefield V in FY21,” continued Wilson. We’re seeing the evidence of it this week with the arrival of the free Pacific expansion tomorrow.
BFV’s War in the Pacific chapter will include three new maps (Pacific Storm, Wake Island, Iwo Jima), the Japanese and US factions, new weapons, vehicles, and more. It’s actually looking like a pretty tasty update for BF1942 fans and plenty of gameplay has emerged from it this week ahead of tomorrow’s launch.
We wouldn’t take any of this as a sign that Battlefield V is, or is going to become, a roaring success though. Rather, Electronic Arts now views Respawn’s Apex Legends as its premier FPS franchise. Apex Legends has passed a milestone of 70 million players across PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and its upcoming launch on Steam will assuredly see player numbers boom.