Even if Microsoft’s unprecedented $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes through, Call of Duty is unlikely to leave PlayStation platforms anytime soon. We know that Sony has an ongoing contract with the publisher that will be honored, and Xbox has committed to at least three additional years of multi-format support in an attempt to appease regulators.
However, EA Andrew Wilson isn’t losing too much sleep over the future of the series on PS5 and PS4 – in fact, he sees a huge opportunity for his company’s first-person shooter franchise, Battlefield. While the previous version Battlefield 2042 has a terrible reputation and failed to retain players, the Australian executive was keen to reiterate that the future of the series will remain on PlayStation.
“In a world where there can be questions about the future of Call of Duty and what platforms it might or might not be, being platform agnostic and fully cross-platform with Battlefield, I think it’s a tremendous opportunity,” he said. during a recent Goldman Sachs event, as reported by Seeking Alpha.
Obviously, if Call of Duty stops being released on PlayStation platforms, it will leave a huge audience looking for something else to play. While it’s true that some players will simply leave Sony’s ecosystem and game elsewhere, others will look for an alternative — and that’s where Wilson thinks his company can capitalize.
Of course, before it can start thinking about invading Call of Duty territory, Battlefield needs to get back on track. Speaking candidly, Wilson admitted that the previous two forays into the property fell short of expectations. “I don’t think we’ve delivered in the last two iterations of [Battlefield] the way we should,” he said of Battlefield 2042 and Battlefield V. He added that his company has “a lot of work” to do to get the series back on track, but that the right teams are now at their place realizes the show’s “incredible ambitions” going forward.
To be honest, it will take a really good Battlefield game to dismantle Call of Duty, but it is true that if the latter leaves PlayStation there will be opportunities for other publishers. No doubt abandoning an audience as large as Sony’s will leave room for others to fill – but in its current state, Battlefield still has a long way to go before it becomes the most likely contender.