EA CEO Andrew Wilson has admitted that it's going to take "a lot of work" to restore players' faith in Battlefield after a disappointing launch for the latest iteration of the franchise. Nevertheless, Wilson has also expressed confidence that the game's "extraordinary" team will be able to achieve this.
What has Andrew Wilson said about Battlefield?
Per Axios reporter Stephen Totilo on Twitter, Wilson addressed concerns about Battlefield at a Goldman Sachs conference last week. Wilson admitted that EA didn't "[deliver] in the last two iterations of [Battlefield] in the way that we should have", and that there's "a lot of work" to do on the franchise in order to restore it to its former reputation.
Despite this acknowledgement, Wilson also says he's confident the franchise can recover. He points to Star Wars as an example of a franchise that was "completely reinvent[ed]" by devoted creatives after a lackluster period. Presumably, he's referring to the prequel trilogy, although given that the sequel trilogy also has its detractors, it's not entirely clear.
Wilson says he believes the creative team currently working on Battlefield 2042 is "extraordinary", and reaffirms EA's commitment to the game and the franchise in general. He also says that confusion surrounding future Call of Duty PlayStation releases could be a "tremendous opportunity" for Battlefield if the franchise remains "platform-agnostic and completely cross-platform".
EA is gradually trying to claw back its reputation
For a long time, EA was regarded as the worst of the worst when it came to gaming companies. Predatory or dismissive monetization strategies in games like The Sims 4 (which is going free-to-play soon) and Star Wars Battlefront II, as well as debacles like the SimCity always-online fiasco, cemented EA as a company that didn't care about its player base in many people's minds.
Now, however, EA seems to be on a mission to change that. In a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, EA general manager Samantha Ryan, who's in charge of studios like BioWare and Motive, detailed how things are changing at EA. According to Ryan, the company wants to emphasize projects by "passionate developers", who she believes make "better games".
Changes to the aforementioned Sims 4, like increased community involvement and a refusal to kowtow to homophobic Russian laws, have also increased goodwill towards EA in recent years. However, it's probably fair to say there's a lot of work to be done on this front.
The aforementioned Battlefield 2042 debacle hurt EA and DICE significantly, and franchises like FIFA and Madden still come under heavy fire from fans for what they perceive to be predatory microtransaction implementation. EA doesn't seem quite as happy to meet players halfway on this issue. Although EA might not be the most hated gaming company anymore for many, the disconnect between what fans want and what the company provides is still tangible in many areas, it seems.