If a video game company isn’t in the business of developing a mobile-ready version of its flagship, whether now or forever, chances are it’s missing out on a monumental chunk of the receiving market. Most gamers these days want to play their console favorites on the go. And those that can’t afford consoles would want access to the same sort of games all the same. The smartphone industry is as profitable as it is snowballing, and game companies would be obtuse not to take advantage. So where is Battlefield mobile? So far, other developers have delivered. Call of Duty, PUBG, Fortnite, Apex Legends — on mobile — you name it, it’s been made. Even visual novels and platformers, previously exclusive on independent handhelds, have found a home in smartphones and tablets. Battlefield is one of the few shooters still behind on the trade, and it’s never been clear why. But, water under the bridge. Electronic Arts (EA) finally dropped the bomb and announced a Battlefield mobile game is underway.
EA Digital Illusions CE AB (EA DICE) is the company’s regional subsidiary in Sweden, and has been producing Battlefield — along with Mirror’s Edge and Star Wars Battlefront — since 2002. The Stockholm-based developer has been ironing out Battlefield mobile prototypes of the popular video game franchise for years, and has enlisted the help of California mobile games publisher Industrial Toys in finally completing the title.
Industrial Toys is based in Pasadena, California and was purchased by EA in 2018 after the success of iOS-exclusive first-person shooter games Midnight Star and Midnight Star: Renegade, both created by Industrial Toys. The Battlefield mobile release will be a standalone game completely different from their upcoming main entry, and is being constructed from scratch to ensure a smooth transition to smartphone use. Oskar Gabrielson, general manager of DICE, describes the game on EA’s official company blog: “[It’s] designed specifically for the mobile platform. It’s being built from the ground up by iToys to make Battlefield-on-the-go a reality and you can expect a fully-fledged, skill-based experience.” The mobile version promises to “bring all-out warfare” in textbook Battlefield fashion “to smartphones and tablets” no later than 2022. It’s currently in testing.
Battlefield 1942 was the first entry in the Battlefield series and was set in all major, well, battlefields in World War 2. It came out in 2002. The game was considered thematically and technologically ahead of its time and praised by critics and shooter fans alike for its high-stakes action gameplay, multiplayer capacity, and realistic depiction of war. Battlefield started out around the same time as Call of Duty, with the first game in the franchise hitting shelves only a year later. Both properties were set in World War 2 and equally vied for the same market.
While Electronic Arts may be ahead in some areas, they’re behind COD with their release of Battlefield mobile. Activision has been developing Call of Duty games for mobile since 2009, beginning with GLU Mobile’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Force Recon. This was promptly followed by Call of Duty: Zombies, Call of Duty: Strike Team, and Call of Duty: Heroes, release 2009, 2013, and 2014, respectively. With Battlefield’s biggest competitor recently coming forward with Call of Duty: Mobile — the game’s first legitimate mobile experience — it’s high time EA DICE follows suit.