Battlefield looks unlikely to become an annual release in direct competition to Call of Duty.
The reason, according to CFO and executive VP Blake Jorgensen, is principally that such a commitment requires at least two studios to be actively working on the brand. Plus, EA has worked hard to ensure that it can monetise a single Battlefield release across a two-year period.
Battlefield takes us about two years to develop and so you want to make sure that your sharing talent across studios, so you keep core talent of the product and the experience for the consumer there,” he told investors, as reported by Seeking Alpha.
You also want to be really careful that you don’t destroy the franchise along the way.
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.”
For a company like EA which is behest to shareholders, however, this introduces another complication. The success of Battlefield one year leaves a gap in its revenue stream in the same period the following year.
Jorgensen believes that the company has this covered for 2014.
I think for [fiscal] 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,” he added.
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, next year we’ll bring the out 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.”