Battlefield Mobile dev explains why it was cancelled

Battlefield Mobile dev explains why it was cancelled
Industrial Toys | Apple

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Published 

17th May 2023 16:37

It was a nice idea while it lasted, but in yet another gaming edition of "What If?" it doesn't look like Battlefield Mobile was ever meant to be. Now, the title's Lead Developer has spoken out about what went wrong - pointing the blame in a very specific direction.

Since we first got muddy in the trenches of Battlefield 1942 back in 2002, Battlefield has put the goliath that is Activision's Call of Duty in its crosshairs. There can only be one victor, and over the years, there have been plenty of casualties. Not least, our hopes of taking the franchise on the go with Battlefield Mobile

What happened to Battlefield Mobile?

Battlefield Mobile Gameplay
Click to enlarge
Industrial Toys

Hoping to step into the realms of CoD Mobile and the upcoming Warzone Mobile, Battlefield Mobile had been looking pretty solid with playtests in some territories. We were more than a little surprised when it was canned alongside Apex Legends Mobile in early 2023.

The writing was already on the wall as Battlefield Mobile slipped from its proposed late 2022 release date, although things still seemed on track. A team of 120 had been working at Industrial Toys, however, the studio was soon shuttered.

Speaking to Mobilegamer.biz, Lead Developer Alex Seropian explained how the pretty disastrous reception of Battlefield 2042 took down its mobile sibling with it. Considering Seropian was a co-founder of ex-Halo developer Bungie, he's been around the block a few times and seen a few clangers.

It's a sad state of affairs, as Seropian told the site, "All the wind in the universe was in the sails of the SS Battlefield Mobile: the [shooter] genre is growing, it's a great IP, we've got a great team – all this was super good."

Battlefield 2042 is to blame for Battlefield Mobile

Battlefield 2042 parachute
Click to enlarge
DICE

Ultimately, it was Battlefield 2042 that sunk the ship after it was released in October 2021: "In the course of the last year, a few things happened. Battlefield 2042 came out, and the community reaction to 2042 was not good. That cascaded a bunch of introspection."

The war between Epic Games and Apple also played a part, with Seropian adding, "The long and short of it is that it's made user acquisition a lot more expensive. So organics eroded away with 2042's release, and paid distribution got an order of magnitude more expensive because of the IDFA rules."

It's not all Battlefield's fault, with Seropian putting some of the blame on Apex Legends Mobile. He said, "And then Apex came out and I don't know if EA has talked about why they cancelled it, whether it was economics or whatever, but without me saying, you could fill in the blanks, I guess."

Battlefield 2042 poster
Click to enlarge
DICE

Apparently, EA wasn't willing to put the extra resources into Battlefield Mobile, which was another nail in the coffin: "We did our soft launch, which was going well, but it’s like, okay – to get to the finish line we’re gonna need this much time and this much money to get to global."

Promising that Battlefield was a "bespoke experience for mobile" instead of another generic version of slapping "mobile" on a big IP, Seropian suggests we missed out on something big. We'll never know, and while lessons have been learned after 2042, EA is full steam ahead on the next chapter...oh, hooray.

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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