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Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson told investors earlier this week that they should "think of Battlefield as a service". What exactly this means for the franchise as a whole remains fairly up in the air, but Wilson was pretty clear on one thing: The iconic FPS series is shifting towards a free-to-play future.
Battlefield 2042, which comes out in August, will mark the start of a new chapter for Battlefield - with some big changes already on the horizon. While EA has yet to officially confirm post-launch plans for the new game, proven Battlefield leaker Tom Henderson recently claimed that developer DICE will release seasonal content like new maps, modes, characters, and weapons. All of this will be available for free, he suggests.
Take a look at Battlefield 2042 in action below!
It seems as if this post-launch plan fits in with what Wilson told investors; specifically that EA is looking at Battlefield 2042 differently from previous games and has invested in new ways to keep players engaged after launch.
"I think you should think about Battlefield as a service," Wilson explained during the investors call. "What we're doing for the launch of this game is really revolutionizing and reinventing what all our epic scale warfare is in the context of gameplay. In addition to that, you've heard us announce Battlefield Portal, which really starts to lean into user-generated content and will drive deep long-term engagement in the game."
Wilson added that Battlefield as a franchise will explore a number of new areas, including the previously announced mobile game and free-to-play.
"You should understand that this really forms the foundation for what we believe the future of a live service around Battlefield is, which over time will include a mobile launch, will include some free to enter components and really change the nature of what happens from launch to launch," Wilson said.
"So that while an every other year launch probably makes sense as we think about it today, we're really focused on 365-day engagement in the franchise at a platform level across any device that consumers may want to play on."
Given the level of success EA has already found with the free-to-play Apex Legends, it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see the publisher explore similar options with one of its biggest franchises going forward. How exactly it intends to implement free-to-play mechanics remains to be seen. There could be free standalone modes in Battlefield 2042, an entirely new free-to-play game separate from the upcoming shooter, or something entirely different. Watch this space.