EA CEO says they've learned 'valuable lessons', so the next Battlefield is going to be 'another tremendous live service'

battlefield 2042 season 4
(Image credit: DICE)

EA has hosted an earnings call for its Q4 2024 financial results which, broadly speaking, were just below where the publisher thought they would be. The company reported $1.66 billion in revenue, handsome but somewhat lower than its expectation of $1.8 billion, and so the mood music in both the prepared remarks and the accompanying shareholder call was all about what wonders EA has ready to hit over the next few years to make a whole lot more money. 

The positives are what you'd expect, with a strong showing from EA Sports generally and the rebrand of the FIFA series as EA Sports FC a success with long-term benefits. EA CEO Andew Wilson here promised an "incredible pipeline of new experiences, starting with College Football in FY25, positioning us for accelerated growth in FY26 and beyond."

One of the big questions however, even for shareholders, is just what's going on with Battlefield. EA's one time competitor to Call of Duty has felt way off the pace in the FPS genre for many years now, and even rudderless: a perception not helped by the recent shuttering of an entire studio dedicated to Battlefield singleplayer experiences. Developer DICE has also announced that Battlefield 2042's current season will be its last and, while that game's in a much better state than it launched in, the obvious question is what's next.

EA last month announced that Motive, developer of the Dead Space remake, was joining the wider Battlefield development team, which includes DICE, Criterion, and Ripple Effect. This is "the largest Battlefield team in franchise history" according to Andrew Wilson, which will "build a Battlefield universe across connected multiplayer and single-player experiences."

You can kind of tell where this is going. Wilson says Battlefield 2042 players apparently "made it clear that they wanted an even deeper experience" and that "a few weeks ago, I was visiting with the teams and I couldn't be more excited about what they showed and what we were able to play."

Later on the earnings call Wilson slightly expanded on this with an amusing encapsulation of what they're going for. "I've just spent a whole bunch of time with the collective Battlefield team," says Wilson, "playing what they're building, and it is going to be another tremendous live service."

This is no surprise: previous Battlefield titles arguably qualify as live service, even if they haven't quite gone full Destiny, and the contemporary FPS market is built on the trappings of battle passes and seasonal content. In 2021 EA handed leadership of the Battlefield series to Respawn founder Vince Zampella, who remains in charge, and the publisher is clearly committing an enormous amount of resources to whatever's next. But calling the game or games "another tremendous live service” sure is a funny way to put it.

Elsewhere in the results, EA said it would release two as-yet unannounced games in the current fiscal year (before March 31, 2025). One is a third party title that'll be published under the EA Originals label, while the other is an EA-owned IP and wasn't even allowed on the slide under a working title. The speculation has inevitably fixated on the latter as possibly being Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, but I'll believe it when I see it. 

As for the next Battlefield, don't expect to see it anytime soon. No release window has even been hinted at and, in an investor call earlier this year, EA CFO Stuart Canfield said a new Battlefield isn't in EA's plans for its 2025 fiscal year. That does mean it could see a release in the latter half of 2025, but even that feels optimistic. The only certainty is that you'll be able to buy five different editions alongside pre-launch access.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."