Speaking at the UBS conference, EA chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen responded to a question posed by UBS analyst Eric J. Sheridan: will Battlefield become an annual franchise and what are the pros and cons of such a decision?
“The challenges are you’ve got to most likely do it out of two studios because it’s hard, it’s a two year project, Battlefield takes us about two years to develop and so you want to make sure that you’re sharing talent across studios, so you keep core talent of the product and the experience for the consumer there. You also want to be really careful that you don’t destroy the franchise along the way. You got to make it exciting and different, but at the same time you want to make sure you maintain a great franchise,” said Jorgensen.
“And Battlefield is a product that doesn’t just sell once; it sells for 24 months associated with not just Battlefield, but all the additional Battlefield premium activities that the consumer wants. So you’ve got to be careful that you don’t destroy some of that tale that is on the Battlefield product. But we’re clearly interested in continuing to grow that business and it’s been a great franchise for us and there would be more to come as we talk about it,” said Jorgensen.
“I think for 2015 one of the concerns people have is that if Battlefield does well this year, you’ve dug a hole for next year, how do you fill that hole, we’ve got a new fighting game UFC coming out. We’ve got a magnificent Dragon Age that’s in development that should be a big hit for us next year.”
“Obviously, we’ll bring out next year Respawn’s Titanfall product that will start selling at the tail end of this year, will also sell well into next year, and obviously all of the Gen4 title benefits will start to build-up as we see more and more people get on new boxes. And so, we’re excited and we think that will be a great 2015 and 2016 when we’ll start to see the emergence of possibly the Star Wars titles along with the Star Wars movies that will start to come out in late calendar 2015 or fiscal 2016,” said Jorgensen.
So in true executive fashion, he answered the question in a really interesting way without clearly answering it. Reading between the lines, it sounds like EA hasn’t decided on an annual Battlefield release just yet, but have contemplated the logistics.
What do you think? Would Battlefield benefit or suffer from an annual release?