Battlefield 2042 is using the ‘Vince Zampella-slash-Respawn model’ now, EA CEO says

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Electronic Arts said in its Q3 investors call back in February that the much-maligned military shooter Battlefield 2042 did not meet the company’s expectations. CEO Andrew Wilson cited both technical problems and design choices as the reasons the game “did not resonate with everyone in our community,” although luckily for EA the ongoing success of games like Apex Legends and FIFA meant that Battlefield’s relative failure would have little impact on the company’s overall fortunes.

Despite all of that, Wilson said in today’s Q4 call that EA isn’t giving up on the game, or the series as a whole. “We take a long view here,” he said in response to a question about EA’s relative silence on Battlefield 2042 over the past several weeks. “This is one of the great franchises in our industry, built by one of the great teams in our industry, and our expectation is that it will continue to grow and be a really important part of our portfolio for many many years to come.”

Wilson’s optimism seems to stem largely from the involvement of Vince Zampella, the co-founder of Infinity Ward and Respawn Entertainment, who was given overall creative control of the Battlefield series in December 2021. Battlefield developer EA DICE is also under new management: Studio general manager Oskar Gabrielson announced his departure on the same day that Zampella took the Battlefield reins; he was replaced by Rebecka Coutaz, formerly of Ubisoft Annecy.

“We’ve got incredible leadership over at that team now, they’re rethinking the development process from the ground up, and really using kind of the Vince Zampella-slash-Respawn model of ‘get to the fun as quickly as possible,” Wilson said. “They’ve been doing thousands of updates for the community, working on quality of life, and really getting the core game right.

“I think there’s still more work for us to do there and the team is committed to doing that work for the community, and beyond that, once we get to a place where we feel like we’re in the right place with the core experience, and with the core game, then you should expect us to invest and grow beyond where the game is at today.”

The most recent update to Battlefield 2042, released in mid-April, added voice chat and made roughly 400 tweaks, fixes, and balance changes. The next major update is expected to arrive sometime this month, but the game’s planned first season, which in February was delayed from spring to summer so EA could focus on making “extensive fixes,” still does not have a start date.