EA’s financial call for Q2 FY20 brought some interesting insights about EA’s plans for Battlefield, Apex Legends, The Sims, and sports titles.
Before diving into what EA has planned for their biggest franchises and what we can expect from current games, it’s fair to congratulate them on a successful quarter. EA has recorded year-over-year growth across the board, financially and number of players.
When it comes to games, Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA, noted that the games as a service model has shown great promise and that they will continue to focus on it.
The first big piece of news is that NBA Live 2020 is canceled. Instead of annual releases, EA and their partners want to focus on NBA Live as an ongoing service. Not much was said, but more details were promised for next year.
While we’re at the topic of sports games, it was mentioned that at least one more sports game will be added to the annual release schedule. Presumably to cover for the fact that NBA Live will no longer be an annual release.
The Sims 4 also saw an increase in players and the franchise hit the $5 billion milestone in lifetime sales. It’s safe to say that this was influenced by the continued support and the number of DLCs expanding the gameplay. In line with Wilson's remark on focusing on GaaS, The Sims 4 will continue to receive updates, expansions and content packs to keep players engaged.
Moving away from simulators, it’s time for shooters. The next Battlefield (Battlefield 6?) will not release next year. It will release during EA’s 2022 fiscal year which lasts from April 2021 through March 2022. Keeping in mind the usual October/November release window for the franchise, we will probably see a new Battlefield game in late 2021. Although, continued support for Battlefield V is planned.
Instead of Battlefield, the focus for next year will be Apex Legends, which has grown past 70 million players. EA is serious about Respawn Entertainment’s battle royale and the team working on it has been expanded and more resources will be allocated to it in the future.
Besides promises of more frequent updates and a lot of new content, a number of expansions are planned. The most obvious being plans to make Apex Legends available on mobile devices, and “new platforms”. The “new platforms” remark might be hinting towards a Nintendo Switch port that many fans have asked for.
There are also plans towards expanding to “new geographies”, which one could only guess means China.
The final piece of information about Apex Legends is an Apex competitive gaming program, which will be announced and talked about more at a later date.
When it comes to plans for game launches during FY21, there’s the already mentioned (at least one) new sports title, Medal of Honor VR, and a few still unannounced games.
Two, still unannounced, games will be coming from third-party developers while EA focuses on some older franchises. Multiple remasters of fan favorite are expected, but the only one we know of so far is a Command and Conquer game.
That’s about it for the Q2 FY20 financial call, obviously without all of the numbers involved.
What do you think, which games will get remasters next year? I personally hope to see a remaster of Battlefield 2.