EA puts Apex Legends boss in charge of Battlefield as part of internal shakeup

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EA is making a big change to the management of the Battlefield franchise by putting Vince Zampella, the CEO of Titanfall and Apex Legends-maker Respawn Entertainment, in charge of the series, according to a GameSpot article published Thursday.

Alongside Zampella’s new oversight of the franchise, EA plans to build an interconnected Battlefield universe, he told GameSpot. To help support that, EA is creating a new Seattle-based team focused on “injecting more storytelling into the Battlefield universe” headed up by Halo veteran Marcus Lehto, while Ripple Effect, which made Battlefield 2042’s customizable Portal mode, is working on a “new Battlefield experience in the Battlefield 2042 universe.”

The changes arrive shortly after the November 19th worldwide launch of Battlefield 2042, which has been rocky. The multiplayer-only game released with some significant bugs, and EA has released three major updates in an attempt to clean things up. But the Battlefield 2042’s Steam player count has already dropped 70 percent since the launch, which could be a worrying signal that people are already moving on from one of EA’s biggest titles of the year.

Zampella’s new role could indicate that EA wants to inject some of what’s made the free-to-play battle royale shooter Apex Legends so successful into the Battlefield franchise. While Zampella didn’t confirm to GameSpot that Battlefield will be going free-to-play, he did say EA is “exploring every possibility.” And as both Apex Legends and Battlefield are coming to smartphones, perhaps EA is considering similar strategies for expanding each series.

As part of the shakeup, Dice’s GM, Oskar Gabrielson, is departing the company to “pursue a new endeavor outside of EA,” according to GameSpot. “I’ll be here to support the transition over the next few months before I head out on my new adventure,” Gabrielson said on Twitter.

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