We've known for a while now that Battlefield 6, or whatever it ends up being called, will be released sometime during this year's holiday season—that's October 1 to December 31—and that it will feature some beefy technical advancements "allowing the team to deliver on a true next-gen vision for the franchise." Today's new tease doesn't go much beyond that, but it does promise that a proper reveal is coming soon.
EA has put together "the biggest Battlefield development team ever" for the new game, DICE general manager Oskar Gabrielson said, including the Stockholm-based DICE and its DICE LA division, Criterion, EA Gothenburg, and Industrial Toys, which is working on a separate mobile Battlefield game expected to be out in 2022.
"We’re in daily playtesting mode right now: polishing, balancing, and making the best possible Battlefield game we can," wrote Gabrielson. "I can tell you it is a bold step. It has everything we love about Battlefield—and takes all of it to the next level. Epic scale. All-out military warfare. Crazy, unexpected moments. Game-changing destruction. Massive battles, packed with more players and mayhem than ever before. All brought to life with the power of next-gen consoles and PCs."
EA has been talking up the size and scope of the next Battlefield for months now—CEO Andrew Wilson promised excitedly in February 2021 that it will have both "never-before-seen scale" and "unprecedented scale"—and it's easy to blow it all off as over-torqued marketing. This will be the first game in the series to take advantage of the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles, though, and EA has teased some impressive tech capabilities for the new game.
The remark about “more players and mayhem than ever before” may also be telling. Previous Battlefield games (since BF1942, I’m told) have capped out at 64 players, which isn’t a terribly big population these days: Fortnite, for instance, supports 100 players per match, while Call of Duty: Warzone can do 150. Given all the prior references to increased "scale," I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the new game boost Battlefield’s capacity to something comparable, which would represent a pretty big change for the series.
Whatever it has in mind, EA demonstrated its commitment to the Battlefield series earlier this year by delaying the new Need for Speed into the next fiscal year, enabling Criterion to join the effort.
Gabrielson said EA will have "a lot to show you in the coming months," possibly beginning in mid-June during this year's all-digital E32, which is set to run June 12-15. We may catch a glimpse sooner than that, however, or at least get some idea of when we will: EA's next quarterly earnings call, which is when executives sometimes talk about such things, is set to take place on May 11.