Alex Seropian offered insights into the reasons behind the closure of Battlefield Mobile and revealed how Apple had nearly acquired Bungie.
In February this year, Electronic Arts announced that it ceased the development of Battlefield Mobile citing the evolution of the industry as the reason for this decision. Along with this announcement, it was reported that the choice to halt the development of Battlefield Mobile led to the closure of EA's mobile studio, Industrial Toys, which was responsible for the game.
Founded in 2012 by Alex Seropian, one of the co-founders of Bungie, Industrial Toys specialized in the development of mobile-oriented shooters such as Midnight Star. Following their acquisition by EA, it was unveiled in 2022 that the studio had been entrusted with the development of Battlefield Mobile.
In a recent interview with MobileGamer.biz, Alex Seropian discussed the reasons behind EA's decision to cancel Battlefield Mobile. Additionally, he revealed other intriguing details, such as Apple's attempt to acquire Bungie.
According to Seropian, initially, there was great optimism surrounding the development of Battlefield Mobile, as it was seen as a promising project during the time when the shooter genre was growing and considering that it was based on a popular IP and created by a talented team.
However, the situation changed soon due to various factors. Among them was the launch of Battlefield 2042, which was met with a negative response from the gaming community and prompted a period of introspection within the company.
Moreover, Apple implemented changes to its IDFA rules, resulting in significantly higher costs for user acquisition. This shift led to a decline in organic growth and a substantial increase in expenses for paid distribution.
Additionally, Apex Legends Mobile was launched and, as Seropian claims, the combination of these three factors made it increasingly challenging to persuade EA, the owner of Industrial Toys, to continue investing in Battlefield Mobile.
"We did our soft launch, which was going well, but it’s like okay: to get to the finish line we’re gonna need this much time and this much money to get to global," Seropian said.
He further noted that Industrial Toys' approach to creating games was different from modern industry trends. According to him, in today's gaming landscape, there is a prevalent trend of treating major mobile games based on established IPs as extensions of the franchise. With this approach, game companies aim to create a consistent experience across multiple platforms, treating mobile as just another platform.
In contrast, Industrial Toys took the opposite approach, focusing on developing a unique and tailored experience specifically for mobile devices as it recognized that the way people use mobile devices and engage with games differs from other platforms.
"So all of those things sort of combine and I think that’s why you get that outcome. Nobody wanted that, but you know, the world changes and people react," he said.
Elsewhere in the interview, Seropian discussed how Bungie was at one point nearly acquired by Apple. According to him, Bungie showed Halo to Apple and Steve Jobs. And although Jobs was not known to be a fan of games, he reportedly appreciated Halo's well-designed, engaging, and artistic qualities when he saw it.
Still, despite Apple's interest in acquiring Bungie, Seropian revealed that he and his team had already committed to a deal with Microsoft by that time.
"Because we had shown Halo to not just Apple but many people, we ended up talking to Microsoft. We called Apple and said, hey, you know, Microsoft has made an offer here and we’re probably going to do it because they’re making this game console. And they passed – they’re like, okay, good luck," Seropian shared.
He then recalled that he received a phone call from Apple executive Phil Schiller, while Bungie was in the process of finalizing a deal with Microsoft, with Schiller asking whether the Microsoft deal had been completed yet, suggesting that they should discuss an alternative arrangement.
"I told him that the ink was drying on the Microsoft deal right at this moment," Seropian continued. "And then apparently, afterwards, Steve Jobs called Steve Ballmer to express his displeasure."
You can learn more by reading the full interview with Alex Seropian here. Also, don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.