EA Pins Battlefield 5’s Dismal Launch on Late Release Date and Lack of Battle Royale Mode
EA has acknowledged that it made a variety of different errors before launching Battlefield 5 in 2018.
Battlefield 5 launched in November of 2018 and while the finished product was pretty good in its own right, the game itself quickly failed to sell like EA had hoped it would at market. Mere weeks after Battlefield 5 released, it was already seeing many heavy discounts at retailers in the pursuit of selling more units. All in all, it was a rough release for both EA and DICE.
Today, EA has explained a bit more about why it thought that Battlefield 5 struggled out of the gate in its quarterly financial call. Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson touched on BF5 almost immediately in the call and addressed why he thought the game didn’t perform like they thought it would. Wilson cited that the delay of the game from its original October release date to November as one of the biggest causes for why Battlefield suffered. He also stated that failing to release without the game’s promised battle royale mode was a mistake.
“Unfortunately, the later release date meant the game launched deeper into a competitive holiday window where heavy price discounting was a big factor. In addition, we also made the decision to prioritize other features, including a single-player experience, at launch over a battle royale mode,” Wilson said of the Battlefield 5 launch. “As a result of these decisions, we struggled to gain momentum and we did not meet our sales expectations for the quarter.”
Later on in the call, EA also acknowledged that it stumbled out of the gate with the reveal of Battlefield 5 and as a result, they were never able to catch up to the competition such as Call of Duty and Red Dead Redemption.
Despite the mistakes made though, EA continued to state that it believes in the future of Battlefield 5 and envisions it doing well in the long-term. Next month’s addition of the battle royale mode Firestorm was specifically pointed to as a reason why they believe the game will bounce back. “We’re responding to our players in Battlefield 5 by delivering the content they want most into the live service, on a cadence that will fuel the community with fresh new experiences for many months to come,” Wilson said.
Lastly, EA cited the ever-massive Battlefield fanbase and community as yet another reason why they think BF5 will have a long tail. Currently, Battlefield 1 continues to boast a user base of around 4 million players while Battlefield 4 still actively has around 2 million players. EA believes that Battlefield players stick around for a long time, and they expect that to be no different with Battlefield 5.
Honestly, I’m very interested in seeing how Battlefield 5 does as we move forward in 2019. I’m looking forward to seeing how Firestorm plays and what other new features DICE continues to add over time. Whether or not any of these new additions to the game though will help it bounce back from a poor launch though remains to be seen.
Battlefield 5 is out now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.