Epic’s hugely popular battle royale game Fortnite is good for gaming because, with its low barrier to entry–it’s free–and its mass appeal, it may help bring more people into gaming overall. That’s according to Electronic Arts, whose executives recently commented on the phenomenon during an earnings call.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson said Fortnite is helping “expand the audience” for gaming, which in turn theoretically helps EA with the holiday shopping season coming up. “Our expectation is that as they continue to expand the audience, that provides tremendous opportunity for us going into the holiday season, particularly as we think about launching Madden and FIFA and Battlefield into what is a growing player audience,” he said during the earnings call.
EA CFO Blake Jorgensen, meanwhile, said Fortnite has had some kind of impact on EA by virtue of people only having so many hours in the day to play games. If Fortnite is driving a ton of play time and interest, that could hurt EA and other publishers (Activision has also said it’s been impacted).
“Without a doubt, [Fortnite has] been a phenomenon in the industry, and I’m sure it’s taken up people’s time. We have a hard time pointing to exactly where that’s impacted our business, but I am sure it is taking up people’s time across the industry,” Jorgensen said. “But we also know that, that means more and more people are brought in to play games and will enjoy games in the future, in particular, first-person shooter games down the road.”
Intriguingly, EA has said it might make its own free-to-play standalone battle royale game, though it might not be released anytime soon. On the more immediate horizon, EA’s Battlefield V will have a battle royale mode.