EA is making some big changes to its leadership teams in an effort to ensure growth for the Battlefield franchise with a more connected universe, per reporting from GameSpot. The biggest shakeup sees Respawn Entertainment and Ripple Effect head Vince Zampella taking over as the boss for the entire Battlefield franchise. Meanwhile, Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto is stepping in to build a Seattle-based development team, with the goal of putting more story in the series’s universe. At the same time, DICE general manager Oskar Gabrielson is departing EA at the end of the year. Former Ubisoft studio director Rebecka Coutaz will fill his role.
These changes follow the launch of Battlefield 2042 last month, which brought a multiplayer-only title to fans with somewhat mixed results. However, Battlefield franchise leadership changes aren’t the only moves being made by EA, as Ripple Effect is “developing a new Battlefield experience in the Battlefield 2042 universe.” It will also continue to support that game’s Portal Mode while working together with DICE and Lehto’s currently unnamed studio to expand the Battlefield 2042 universe.
There are many uncertainties about this new direction for the franchise, but Byron Beede, a former Call of Duty lead who recently joined EA, said that the Seattle studio’s narrative-driven work will be seen in “later seasons” of Battlefield 2042 across a “variety of experiences.”
“While he and his team in the Seattle area are just getting started on building the Battlefield world of tomorrow, their work will shape later seasons for 2042 and beyond,” Beede said. “This new studio will act as the driver for narrative in tight collaboration with DICE and Ripple Effect Studios to help build great player experiences in the Battlefield universe.”
EA COO Laura Miele doubled down on the publisher’s commitment to Battlefield despite the somewhat rocky launch of Battlefield 2042: “We believe in 2042 as it is the cornerstone for the future as we begin work to expand the universe. As a whole, we’re all-in on Battlefield. It is one of the most important and valuable franchises in the industry. Collectively, we are out to unlock its enormous potential.”
Speaking of that “universe,” Zampella clarified what exactly that term means for Battlefield fans going forward. He explained that Battlefield 2042 will “evolve and grow” while EA explores new experiences and business models. The result will be interconnected stories, characters, and experiences, while Zampella also aims to position player creativity as one of the franchise’s key pillars.
“We intend to build a Battlefield universe, one with multiple projects that are interconnected with the player at the center,” Zampella said. “We plan to grow Battlefield and meet players where they play through various experiences and business models, including our upcoming Battlefield Mobile coming in 2022 from Alex Seropian and Industrial Toys.”
The waters of Battlefield’s future are a bit murky, but it’s safe to say Zampella, Lehto, and everyone else at EA and DICE are invested in the future of the franchise. Stay tuned for more details and updates as a roadmap becomes clearer.