After calling the next Battlefield “another tremendous live service,” EA CEO threatens to put ads in AAA games

After calling the next Battlefield “another tremendous live service,” EA CEO threatens to put ads in AAA games
By: Posted: May 12, 2024

Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson made a string of controversial statements in the company’s most recent earnings call, with potential in-game ads and comments about the next Battlefield raising some eyebrows. 

Battlefield might not be the Call of Duty rival that it once was following a string of divisive releases, but Wilson was eager to hype up the next entry in the large-scale, levelutionized series. “I’ve just spent a whole bunch of time with the collective Battlefield team,” says Wilson, funnily calling the next game “another tremendous live service.” 

Battlefield hasn’t embraced the live service snuff as heavily as Call of Duty or Destiny has, but the seasonal updates and battle passes certainly make the last few shooters qualify. Though, after coming off of Battlefield 5 and Battlefield 2042’s troubled launches, I don’t know if the series has ever had “another tremendous live service” to brag about, whatever that might mean nowadays.

Regardless, Wilson still boasts that “the largest Battlefield team in franchise history” will “build a Battlefield universe across connected multiplayer and single-player experiences.” The Dead Space remake developers EA Motive were just put to work on Battlefield – leaving the cult horror series in limbo – while the studio set up to focus on single-player Battlefield experiences was shut down

Whatever the next Battlefield looks like, it’s not in the publisher’s plans for this fiscal year ending March 2025. An EA Original game and an IP they own – potentially Dragon Age: Dreadwolf – are coming soon, though. 

What was perhaps more controversial was Wilson’s comments about implementing advertisements into traditional, AAA games. “Advertising has an opportunity to be a meaningful driver of growth for us,” he continued, “…we have teams internally in the company right now looking at how we do very thoughtful implementations inside of our game experiences.”

2020’s UFC 4 included full-screen ads for the Amazon Prime TV show The Boys, a decision that had to be walked back after huge fan backlash. Several other EA games have also experimented with ads in the past, such as 2004’s Need For Speed: Underground 2, where the company painted ads on the side of in-game billboards. Getting blasted with unwanted roadside ads is part of the driving experience, so I’d take that over literal in-game pop-ups. 

Wilson also claimed that developers have a “real hunger” for AI to be implemented into game development. 

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