Cross-platform play has been a hot topic as of late. The Xbox One, Switch, and PC have all been slowly talking to each other more and more while, despite some play with the PC, the PS4 has been catching flak for being an isolationist. EA has been eyeing this debate and stated in a recent earnings call that they are looking into trying to implement cross-platform play in the “near future” as well as hoping it will be a given in the next three to five years.
In a report by GamesIndustry.biz, VP of investor relations Chris Evenden talked about the strategy, eyeing Fortnite in the process. EA has taken note of its cross-platform play and how easy it is to transfer your account to other platforms (unless your account is on the PS4, then it currently can’t move to the Xbox One or Switch). He said that he hoped a “great portion of game experiences will exist in the cloud” in the next three to five years, which could be why they purchased GameFly’s cloud gaming subsidiary service in May. That sort of ubiquity would make cross-platform play a given at that point.
But this sort of interconnectivity might not that be that far away for EA. Evenden explained that they are currently looking at their stable of franchises and thinking about how to emulate Fornite‘s open business model.
“We’re looking at key franchises in terms of how we can deliver cross-platform play in a similar way that Fortnite has, especially some of our titles that have a broad and diverse player base,” said Evenden. “The ability to bring PC to mobile or mobile to console can bring family and friends together, and we think that’s an important part of our future development profile. Expect more from us on that front in the future.”
Fortnite was also on their minds in another way too. When COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen was asked if Battlefield 5‘s battle royale mode would be spun into a separate possible free-to-play game, he said that they were “interested in experimenting with a free-to-play standalone game” but he didn’t think “that’s how [they’re] looking at the Battlefield stuff right now.”