Microsoft's Call of Duty acquisition could be great for Battlefield

Tom West - September 21st 2022

Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard has drawn the attention of the entire games industry, and EA's boss looks to be in full support of the deal, saying that it could be a "tremendous opportunity" for Battlefield.

During a recent financial event organised by Goldman Sachs (thanks, Eurogamer and Seeking Alpha), EA boss Andrew Wilson spoke about Microsoft's $70 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, which has seen the likes of PlayStation's Jim Ryan voice concerns about Call of Duty becoming Xbox exclusive. Wilson, though, believes the potential exclusivity could offer EA's Battlefield series a "tremendous opportunity," due to it being "platform agnostic."

Battlefield's platform agnostic nature could be a boon in wake of Microsoft's Activision deal

While Microsoft and Xbox boss Phil Spencer are committed to saying that Call of Duty, one of the biggest game franchises in the world, would remain on PlayStation consoles for the near future, the deal is being scrutinised by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and EU regulators.

PlayStation says that the deal would have "major negative implications for gamers," while Xbox says that it "makes zero business sense for Microsoft to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation." EA's Andrew Wilson believes it could be a lucrative opportunity for the company's Battlefield franchise, though.

"In a world where there may be questions over the future of Call of Duty and what platforms that might be on or might not be on," Wilson said. "Being platform agnostic and completely cross-platform with Battlefield, I think is a tremendous opportunity."

Of course, that "tremendous opportunity" hangs on the fact that EA can turn the franchise around, which Wilson also spoke about: "I don't think we delivered in the last two iterations of that in the way that we should have," Wilson said. "There's a lot of work that we've got to do there. But at its very core, this extraordinary IP. And what we've seen in the world of entertainment is great IP is resilient.

"We've seen movies not live up to the expectations of franchises. Star Wars might be one such franchise, and then you can see what happens when you get the right creative team involved, how they can completely reinvent and grow a franchise. And I think we have an extraordinary creative team involved in Battlefield now who have unbelievable ambitions to own the first puts and shoot space, particularly as it feels to creation."

EA and Battlefield developer DICE have said that Battlefield 2042 is the studio's "only focus" as it strives to become a first-person shooter powerhouse" in the next three years. With that in mind, earlier this month EA announced that Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto had joined the company to work on a new Battlefield campaign for the next series entry.

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