EA has begun to discuss its plans for the fiscal year, and it makes for interesting reading - and as you’d imagine opens up the door to intense speculation.
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What Was Discussed?
As part of the company’s earnings call for the third quarter of the current fiscal year, EA reported strong third-quarter earnings - most of which came off the back of usual juggernaut FIFA Ultimate Team, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s critical success, and Apex Legends’ popularity since launch in February.
What was arguably more interesting is what wasn’t mentioned - namely the reboot of Anthem (as reported by Kotaku last year), as well anything Dragon Age or Mass Effect related. Those two are particularly surprising, as (per another Kotaku report), the former is likely well into development, and the former has been teased by BioWare on Twitter as recently as the last week or so.
In fact, another BioWare title, the original Xbox exclusive Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, has also slated for a remake-cum-sequel of sorts courtesy of Cinelinx - but again, wasn’t mentioned in EA’s earnings call.
So, what was said? Well, looking ahead to the Fiscal Year 2021 (which kicks off in April 2020 and runs until March 2021), the publisher confirmed it’ll release eight games from internal studios.
While four are identified as sports titles, we only know of two confirmed ones - FIFA and Madden. We’d imagine NHL will be arriving too, while the company’s oft-troubled NBA Live franchise hasn’t been seen since NBA Live 19 which released in 2018 (the 2019 version was cancelled late in development).
What Games Will EA Produce In The Next Year?
While EA continues to try and break 2K’s hold of the basketball genre, what could those other titles be?
Star Wars Battlefront 3
It stands to reason that after the success of Jedi: Fallen Order a further Star Wars title is likely - and with DICE taking 2019 off from a new title (focusing on adding content to Battlefield V and Battlefront 2 instead) could it be Battlefront 3, just in time for the launch of new consoles? Fallen Order is almost certainly being lined up as the start of a fresh Jedi franchise.
That may not be the case, with EA confirming on the call that DICE will be working on another Battlefield title. The publisher also confirmed a vague change of leadership for the Stockholm-based developer, presumably due to disappointing critical and commercial reception for Battlefield V - but the follow-up won’t come until 2021, according to the same earnings call.
But could Respawn’s former studio head Vince Zampella (now overseeing DICE LA) be working on something like a Titanfall 3? The second game may not have hit the sales milestones EA had expected (launching the week between Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Battlefield 1) but remains a high-water mark of shooters this generation.
Medal Of Honor On Console?
We know that Respawn (fresh from dropping two of 2019’s biggest titles) is preparing to release a Medal of Honor VR title - but could that franchise be due a comeback? Medal of Honor: Warfighter disappointed fans and critics alike, but with Battlefield stumbling could it be due a Rainbow Six: Siege style reinvention, perhaps?
Need For Speed 2020
There’s also likely to be a new Need for Speed title in 2020, with the last game in the franchise Need For Speed Heat restoring some of the prestige of the franchise’s storied history. Rolling out an exciting arcade racer for a new console generation seems a safe bet.
The Sims 5
Then there’s The Sims, with the franchise celebrating its twentieth anniversary (and recently reaching 20 million players). Could The Sims 5 be a 2020 release?
We’d love to see the franchise come to the Switch, but with the earnings call confirming EA’s cautious stance about supporting the Switch (and with the company not offering a great deal more than sub-par ports of FIFA), it seems unlikely. Still, the company is “discussing with Nintendo”, according to EA COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen.
Finally, EA did note that it plans to soft-launch two new mobile games in the coming Fiscal Year.