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EA’s CEO thinks an Xbox-only Call of Duty is a good thing — for the Battlefield series

Andrew Wilson also admits the last game dropped the ball.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision means there’s a very real possibility of the Call of Duty series becoming an Xbox exclusive. Although Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said he intends to keep the series on PlayStation, Sony’s own Jim Ryan publicly fired back to say such an arrangement will only last for a few more years.

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Now, EA CEO Andrew Wilson has weighed in on the debacle, and he believes that Call of Duty becoming an Xbox-only franchise would actually be a good thing — albeit because it would benefit EA and its own Battlefield series.

“In a world where there are questions as to the future of Call of Duty and what platforms that might be on and might not be on, being platform-agnostic and completely cross-platform with Battlefield I think is a tremendous opportunity,” said Wilson during a Goldman Sachs conference, transcribed by Axios’ Stephen Totilo.

What Wilson is saying is that Call of Duty being locked to one specific platform would be advantageous to Battlefield. The series releasing across both Xbox and PlayStation means it can reach a much wider audience and thus potentially rival Call of Duty in sales. As another series of military-themed first-person shooters, Battlefield can be considered the main source of competition for Call of Duty, although the latter is undoubtedly more popular than the former given how much of a sales success it’s been.

So far, it seems Sony is the only company to be publicly against Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, which is hardly surprising. However, it’s important to remember that the deal hasn’t been finalized yet and still needs approval from multiple regulatory bodies. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, for example, thinks the buy-out could violate anti-competition laws and is thus scrutinizing it further.

Wilson also took time to acknowledge that EA dropped the ball when it came to more recent entries in the Battlefield series. He never says it by name, but he’s no doubt mainly referring to Battlefield 2042, which has failed to resonate with players and has been routinely criticized since its launch.

“I don’t think we delivered in the last two iterations of that in the way that we should have. There’s a lot of work we’ve got to do there. But at its very core, it’s an extraordinary IP. And what we’ve seen in the world of entertainment is [that] great IP is resilient,” he said.

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Michael Beckwith
Michael Beckwith is a freelance writer who's been covering games professionally since 2014. He has contributed to websites such as Game Rant and TechRaptor. He is an avid Nintendo fan, with his favorite game being Xenoblade Chronicles.