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Image: EA

Electronic Arts unveiled its next "Battlefield" game Wednesday, as it aims to compete more effectively with Activision’s seemingly unstoppable "Call of Duty."

Why it matters: Multiplayer shooter games, fueled by "Call of Duty," "Fortnite" and more, constitute one of the most lucrative markets in gaming.

Some 500,000 people tuned in at 11am ET to watch EA's debut trailer for "Battlefield 2042."

  • Eschewing a single player campaign or battle royale mode, "2042" will focus on the series' traditional chaotic multiplayer military action, enabling up to 128 players on PC and newer consoles (64 on the old ones) to compete against each other in maps set in Qatar, Egypt, Antarctica, and more.
  • Players control soldiers who fight on foot and in vehicles in a near-future world beset by ecological disaster and societal collapse.
  • But the story is only of limited importance, as games like "Battlefield" largely use it as a backdrop for the sport of their multiplayer competition.
Image: EA

Flashback: Back in 2010, then-CEO John Riccitiello predicted that EA would win its competition against "Call of Duty:" "Over time we can take the lead."

  • But dominant "Call of Duty" has barely wobbled in the 11 years since, as its annual releases continue to thrive (2020's "Call of Duty" was the year's best-selling game in the U.S., according to NPD)
  • Activision even successfully reacted to the rise of "Fortnite" with the "Call of Duty: Warzone" battle royale game that draws some 100 million players.
  • Meanwhile, EA's attempted revival of its "Medal of Honor" shooter series flamed out and the last big release in the franchise, "Battlefield V," missed its 2018 sales target by a million copies.

EA seems to have figured some things out.

  • Abandoning a failed "Battlefield" battle royale, it has instead succeeded in that subcategory with "Apex Legends," which it says has 100 million players.
  • It shifted "Medal of Honor" to a virtual reality side project, and won an Oscar for a movie included with the game.
  • In a move whose consequences won't be known for a while, it just put the "Battlefield" series under the leadership of Byron Beede, a new EA hire who spent the last two years running a different major gaming franchise: "Call of Duty."

What's next: "Battlefield 2042" will be unveiled gradually this summer, with more hype events scheduled for mid-June and late July, leading up to an Oct. 22 release.

Go deeper

A game review, with one less string attached

Screenshot: Marvelous/Grasshopper Manufacture

It’s unclear if the upcoming Nintendo Switch releaseNo More Heroes 3” is good or bad, but an outcry over its review embargo raised a red flag.

Driving the news: A restriction that would have blocked critics from reviewing the game until nine hours after it went on sale was altered last night in a reminder of how fraught the game-reviewing process tends to be.

Former Sen. David Perdue to launch bid for Georgia governor

Photo: Megan Varner/Getty Images

Former Senator David Perdue (R) plans to announce a campaign against Georgia's incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp Monday, according to a source familiar with Perdue's thinking.

Why it matters: Perdue's challenge to his former ally Kemp sets up an unprecedented "scorched earth" battle between Georgia Republicans fueled by former President Donald Trump, in the battleground state. The news was first reported by Politico.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Then-Vice President Joe Biden and former Sen. Bob Dole at an event put on by the World Food Program where he was awarded the first “McGovern-Dole Leadership Award” in December 2013. Photo: Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record.