Battlefield Mobile Dev On Why The Game And Its Studio Shut Down
Halo veteran Alex Seropian was making a Battlefield game for mobile, but it was abruptly canceled--here's why.
Electronic Arts had big plans for Battlefield Mobile, but the game--and its developer--were shuttered in 2022, leaving many scratching their heads as to why EA would make that call. The game was in development at Industrial Toys, a studio founded by Bungie veteran Alex Seropian and acquired by EA in 2018. Seropian told MobileGamer.biz that at the start of development on Battlefield Mobile, things were looking "super good" due to the shooter genre growing on mobile, the strength of the Battlefield franchise, and the caliber of the team.
However, the tepid reception to Battlefield 2042's launch in 2021 combined with Apple's changes to its "identifier for advertisers" (IDFA) system, and other factors, contributed to EA making the call to close up shop.
The community reaction to Battlefield 2042, which was not good, led to a "bunch of introspection" about the future of the Battlefield series, Seropian said. As for the IDFA changes, in essence, it made user acquisition "a lot more expensive," Seropian explained.
"So organics eroded away with 2042's release, and paid distribution got an order of magnitude more expensive because of the IDFA rules," he said.
EA also canceled Apex Legends Mobile, another title that many believed could be a big success and help expand the brand beyond console/PC in a way that Call of Duty Mobile did. Seropian said people can "fill in the blanks" and make some educated guesses as to why EA pulled back from Apex Legends Mobile, too.
"I don't know if EA has talked about why they canceled it, whether it was economics or whatever, but without me saying, you could fill in the blanks, I guess," he said.
Battlefield Mobile's soft launch in a number of territories apparently performed well, but Seropian's team needed more time and money to get the game ready for a global rollout. Battlefield Mobile was also not planned to be a "connected" experience with other versions of Battlefield in a way that skins for a game like Fornite, for example, also move with players across devices. Battlefield Mobile was going to be a "bespoke experience for mobile," with the gameplay tailored to a mobile experience.
The challenges of Battlefield 2042, Apple's IDFA rule changes, the team needing more time and money, and the bespoke nature of Battlefield Mobile all contributed to EA eventually calling it quits, Seropian said.
EA isn't abandoning the Battlefield series, though. Battlefield 2042 is in a much better state these days and the game continues to get new updates. Looking further out, EA has outlined a strategy for a Battlefield connected universe that includes multiple titles from multiple teams. And it's not just about multiplayer, either, as Halo veteran Marcus Lehto's team at Ridgeline Games is making a Battlefield single-player campaign.