If you're a console or PC gamer (or you've watched primetime TV in the last two months), you know that EA's Battlefield shooter series is kind of a big deal. Battlefield 4 is getting huge amounts of press even in its current beta stage before its release next week. In a New York Times interview, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau (who's also the new head of mobile development) said that the company is working on a version of the extremely popular FPS for smartphones and/or tablets.
We are working on a mobile game of Battlefield that will be high-end and high-performance. It’s our bet that we can successfully pull that off. But we’re embarking on something no one has ever done before — to get these games to inter-operate between platforms. Will it work? It already has in some cases. Will it work for all franchises? Not all franchises will make the transition. Battlefield might be a little harder.
EA has already been pushing hard into mobile gaming on both the casual and "hardcore" fronts, if you can call high-production free-to-play games like Real Racing 3 hardcore. And of course they've been tying in some of their biggest franchises with mobile side-games, like Battlelog, Dead Space, and Mass Effect Infiltrator. It's no surprise that the company has its eyes on a mobile version of its biggest shooter franchise. Also note that "mobile" doesn't necessarily mean "Android," but given EA's library of titles it's almost certain that a mobile version of Battlefield would come to the Play Store eventually. Inter-operability between console and mobile versions would be amazing, but as Gibeau says, it would be tough.
First-person shooters aren't necessarily well-suited to mobile controls - the latest entries in the PC and console world take full advantage of those massive controllers and tricked-out mice, and that's a hard experience to replicate on a touchscreen. But if Gameloft can manage it with the blatantly derivative Modern Combat series, surely EA and its massive bankroll can manage to put something together. A better question might be whether or not a mobile Battlefield game will use the maddening free-to-play models seen in Real Racing 3, Madden 25, and FIFA 14. Every frugal gamer knows that the hyper-competitive nature of multiplayer shooters and in-app purchases can be a nasty combination.