Another company has helped paint a picture of a future where next gen consoles will end up getting special releases that will make games from the previous generation more suitable for them. During an EA shareholder earning call on May 5, 2020, the topic came up during COO Blake Jorgensen’s talks about the company’s current outlook and future plans. Specifically, he said when people would look at expected earnings, they would account for “games we are launching for the current generation of consoles that can also be upgraded free for the next generation." This sort of language suggests EA games free upgrades for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games that would be playable on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. [Thanks, GamesRadar!]
This would make EA the second company to commit to free upgrades. Microsoft was the first. For a while now, it has been talking about the Xbox Series X Smart Delivery feature, which builds on the general backwards compatibility available on the new console. It will basically enable something of a cross-buy feature that would guarantee anyone who bought an Xbox One version of a game would get a free update to an Xbox Series X version. In addition to Halo Infinite and all first-party games using this, CD Projekt Red has confirmed Cyberpunk 2077 will give Xbox One buyers a free upgrade to the Xbox Series X version.
During the call, COO Jorgensen did not mention any games confirmed to be a part of this EA free upgrade program or any upcoming PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X games at all. It only confirmed both FIFA 21 and Madden 21, the yearly installments in the company’s soccer and football series, will appear in 2020. He also confirmed Nintendo Switch games are on the way. Burnout Paradise Remastered is already on the way to the system.
More announcements could come at EA Play Live on June 11, 2020.