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EA open to cross-platform playability for Battlefield, other key franchises

Publisher also eyeing Fortnite's success as a model for future free-to-play mobile releases

During EA's Q1 earnings call today, the executives on the call were peppered with multiple questions about how EA's models for online games such as Battlefield V might resemble Fortnite's. Though EA largely held the line on Battlefield V's promised battle royale mode being just another game mode, EA nonetheless seems to be eyeing Fortnite's success as a model for other aspects of its service.

During the call, CEO Andrew Wilson was asked how EA was looking at the success of Fortnite's cross-platform playability for games such as Battlefield V--a bit of a loaded question after the recent debacle of Sony preventing cross-platform carryover to the Nintendo Switch for PS4 users. Wilson prefaced his answer with a hope that in 3-5 years, a "great portion of game experiences will exist in the cloud," thus making cross-platform carryover a given. That answer jives well with EA's recent acquisition of Gamefly's cloud gaming technology.

Wilson went on to say that the company was, in the near future, open to cross-platform playability. "We're looking at key franchises in terms of how we should deliver cross-platform play in a similar way that Fortnite has, especially some of our titles that have a broad and diverse player base," he said. "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."

Another nod to Fortnite came up when COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen was asked if Battlefield V's battle royale mode would be separated out as a possible free-to-play mode ala Fortnite. Jorgensen emphasized that battle royale would be a game mode like any other, but hinted at the possibility of a comparable EA release in the future. Though EA certainly isn't hurting for free-to-play mobile titles, Jorgensen's statement was specifically in response to a question about a free-to-play battle royale similar to Fortnite's mode.

"We're interested in experimenting with a free-to-play standalone game that might be in a shooter genre or another genre," he said, "but I don't think that's how we're looking at the Battlefield stuff right now."

Update: A previous version of this article erroneously attributed CEO Andrew Wilson's words to VP of investor relations Chris Evenden. The quotes have been fixed and correctly attributed above.

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