EA wants cross-platform play for its big franchises

EA wants to take a leaf from Fortnite's book and open up its "key franchises" to cross-platform play, its vice president of investor relations Chris Evenden has said.

On an earnings call yesterday, Evenden was asked whether he wants to replicate Fortnite's cross-platform success in Battlefield 5, and replied:  "We're looking at key franchises in terms of how we can deliver cross-platform play in a similar way that Fortnite has, especially some of our titles that have a broad and diverse player base. 

"The ability to bring PC to mobile or mobile to console can bring family and friends together, and we think that's an important part of our future development profile. Expect more from us on that front in the future." 

As a PC FIFA player, I'd love to be able to challenge my PS4 friends to matches, so this sounds like a positive step. Sony could well be the roadblock: Todd Howard spoke recently about how the company wasn't keen to support cross-platform play in Fallout 76. To its credit, Sony has said it is "looking at possibilities" for supporting cross-platform play in more games.

Evenden prefaced his answer by saying that, in five years, a "great portion of game experiences will exist in the cloud", which means cross-platform play could be automatic. EA has a direct interest in the space, having recently bought GameFly's cloud gaming tech.

Later in the call, chief operating officer Blake Jorgensen was again asked about Fortnite—specifically whether EA would consider spinning off Battlefield 5's battle royale mode as a free game, or if it would ever release a separate free-to-play battle royale title. "We're interested in experimenting with a free-to-play standalone game that might be in a shooter genre or another genre, but I don't think that's how we're looking at the Battlefield stuff right now," he said.

Thanks, gamesindustry.biz.