EA boss explains canning Apex Legends and Battlefield, hints at future “re-imaginings”


EA CEO Andrew Wilson has explained why Apex Legends Mobile and Battlefield Mobile were closed while also suggesting that each could be “re-imagined” as a cross-platform title in the future.

As we reported on Monday, Apex Legends Mobile’s revenue had plummeted since the start of the year, there was a delay to the next content season and the player base had been increasingly vocal about bugs, cheaters and a lack of content.

Yesterday, EA announced it was closing the game, alongside Battlefield Mobile and the latter game’s developer Industrial Toys.

As transcribed by Motley Fool, EA CEO Wilson told investors last night that the issues with Apex Legends Mobile were threefold:

“One is there is a level of immersion and complexity to Apex gameplay in particular, which is very much about what Apex is about, verticality of gameplay and team-based play, that didn’t translate quite as well to mobile devices as we had hoped,” he said.

“Second is the game really engaged the core deeply, and it actually attracted a lot of new users, which we think speaks volumes for the future success potential of the franchise. It didn’t retain the more casual user at the rate that we needed it to. And in a game that relies a lot on team play and competitive play, liquidity of the overall player base is really, really important.”

“Third, the mobile market continues to be challenging, and we certainly saw that – we launched into what was a softer mobile market and with some changing and evolving player personalities.”

Wilson also suggested that EA could “re-imagine” Apex Legends for mobile at some point, but integrate it better into the console and PC title next time.

“As we look at the mobile market, the biggest new launches that are seeing the most success are the ones that are deeply connected to the broader franchise, where there’s not always cross-play, but there’s certainly cross-progression and a feeling that they’re part of a single unified community and a single unified game experience. And so, as we think about that for the future, that will be very, very important as we re-imagine Apex Mobile.”

Before it was cancelled, Battlefield Mobile was in soft launch in five countries on Android devices.

Wilson also explained the decision to can Battlefield Mobile before it got out of soft launch. “We anticipated that while Battlefield had also been in development for some time and was making good progress, given the construct of that game it also was probably going to run into some of the same challenges [as Apex],” he told investors.

“And rather than continue to push against that, we wanted to come back, take a breath, reset, and really think about the broader franchise strategy and allow the leadership to build a true cross-platform immersive game experience around a reimagined Battlefield in the future.”

Later, he said that EA would probably “invest less in new start-up stand-alone titles” in the future, instead thinking about its franchises as cross-platform entities.

On EA’s $2.1bn acquisition of Glu, COO Laura Miele added that its teams are now “fully integrated into EA and EA’s mobile teams,” but offered little in the way of updates on the performance of its games, which include Design Home, Covet Fashion and MLB Tap Sports Baseball.

Apex Legends Mobile had grossed $40m lifetime revenue since its launch in May 2022, we reported earlier this week. Battlefield Mobile was in soft launch in five countries, but a global launch window was never confirmed.

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