Battlefield 2042 was positioned as one of EA's biggest games - outside of FIFA - in 2021; expected to be a major highlight for the company's Q3 of its fiscal year. Well, now the results of that period are out, and it's not looking good.
As part of its Q3 FY2022 earnings call - the three months ended December 31 - EA shed some light on the sales of Battlefield 2042, as well as many of its other heavy-hitters. The publisher actually made no mention of DICE's shooter in its earnings highlights or press release. It wasn't until the actual call that EA executives confirmed what everyone had suspected.
"We did have a challenge in Q3 as the launch of Battlefield 2042 did not meet expectations," said Wilson. CFO Blake Jorgensen outright called sales of the game "disappointing", saying that it was "a tough Battlefield launch." Neither offered actual sales figures against the 12 million target EA had set for the quarter.
"Developing this game with our teams working from home for nearly two years ultimately proved to be challenging. Through our processes for testing and preparation, we believed the experience was ready to be put into our players’ hands," Wilson added.
Wilson called some of the performance issues players ran into at launch "unanticipated", adding that some of the design decisions made during development "did not resonate with everyone in our community." Nevertheless, the company will continue to work on Battlefield 2042, with more major updates in the works.
Wilson also addressed the recent announcement that the first season of content is being delayed until the summer, though his statement only echoed what DICE told fans. The delay, however, caused EA to downgrade its net booking expectations for the full fiscal year by $100 million.
"We’re committed to turning Battlefield around and building a sustainable live service, even if some of the actions we’re taking, like moving the first Season into FY 2023, impact net bookings in the short-term," Jorgensen explained.
EA spent some of the call assuring investors that the rest of its portfolio is more than making up for Battlefield 2042's fumbles, and downplaying the effects of the game's failure on its growth, both this fiscal year and next.
Despite Battlefield 2042's flop, EA actually had the biggest quarter in its history. More specifically, net bookings and overall profitability were up, largely off the back of FIFA, Madden, and Apex Legends, as well as their associated microtransaction sales.