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DICE: Annualising Battlefield would “kill the franchise”

Wednesday, 3 August 2011 14:22 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Battlefield series producer Patrick Bach has said that turning Battlefield into a yearly series akin to Call of Duty would effectively kill off the series.

“The business goals for us are not to release a game every year,” Bach told Gamerzines.

“If we were to release another big Battlefield title next year, that would mean that we’d have less than a year to build it, and that would mean that we’d have to have another studio building it for us, which would mean it wouldn’t have that DICE seal of approval, which would mean they’d just have to release a copy of the game we just released.

“EA would never force us to release a game every year. I think that would dilute the vision of the franchise, and you will eventually kill the franchise by doing that.”

When asked if it could rotate development of the series with another developer involved alongside DICE, Bach said it was possible “in theory,” but added “that would be the day.” However, he did admit that it could move towards releasing expansions akin to BFBC2: Vietnam instead of releasing new titles in the series.

“What we noticed with Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was that if you spend enough time on making an expansion pack like Vietnam there’s enough content to make it feel new and fresh. It’s not only a map pack, it’s weapons and vehicles, and it makes the game feel fresh again,” he said.

“I think that’s a more healthy way of expanding on the game experience. It’s not a new game but a twist on your old game, and I think that’s a healthier way of looking at a franchise rather than just trying to cram every single last penny out of it.:

Battlefield 3 launches in October for PS3, 360 and PC. Enter our competition to go to DICE to play the game later this month here.

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49 Comments

  1. G1GAHURTZ

    1999 Codename Eagle
    2002 Battlefield 1942
    2003 Battlefield 1942: The Road to Rome
    2003 Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII
    2004 Battlefield Vietnam
    2005 Battlefield 2
    2005 Battlefield 2: Special Forces
    2005 Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
    2006 Battlefield 2: Euro Forces
    2006 Battlefield 2: Armored Fury
    2006 Battlefield 2142
    2007 Battlefield 2142: Northern Strike
    2008 Battlefield: Bad Company
    2009 Battlefield Heroes
    2009 Battlefield 1943
    2010 Battlefield: Bad Company 2
    2010 Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam
    2010 Battlefield Online
    2011 Battlefield Play4Free
    2011 Battlefield 3

    #1 4 years ago
  2. someguy2

    @1 I think that says it all.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. DSB

    It’s funny that he’d pull out Vietnam as somehow a great effort. The maps were beautiful and the weapons were better, but the maps were also terrible, and the arsenal was very sparse.

    Kudos for adding the Stoner LMG, but the Vietnam war had some pretty interesting weapons besides that.

    Overall I enjoyed it, but it was completely mediocre. It felt rushed and unpolished.

    Also, “EA would never force us to release a game a year” for the lulz. EA Tiburon, EA Canada and EA Blackbox might disagree with that.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. DeVitowned

    @1. Exactly what I was thinking.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. mojo

    nothing to add here realy.
    #1 sums it up nicely.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. StolenGlory

    I think his wording is off. If we’re talking about actual core entries in the series (not expansions, boosters or F2P experiments), than the series has hardly been annualised at all – with the sole exception of Battlefield 3 (and to a lesser extent BF2) which has had an extremely protracted development cycle.

    It’s nowhere near the same as the CoD series (which in typical EA fashion is what I presume he is digging at) in which you are assured to get a new CoD game on the same month, every year with only a week or so variance between dates.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. The_Red

    @1
    Wow, nicely put together. It’s a sad reality but there are a lot of annualized games out there that are really successful and keep getting bigger.

    Heck, even outside EA Sports titles, there are other EA series like NFS which keep getting 2 games a year!

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Erthazus

    @1, nice try Call of Duty troll.

    what you listed are expansions, boosters and especially F2P stuff that DICE didn’t even made.

    It’s the same boosters like Call Of duty escalation packs and etc.

    DICE main dev team made only: Battlefield 1942, Battlefield 2, Battlefield 2142, Battlefield: Bad Company, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3 is their latest installment.
    + Mirrors Edge (and some old games in the past)

    the only mediocre game from that list was Battlefield 2142, everything else are good games or masterpieces. It’s a fact. Each one of them brings something new to the table. From vehicles, massive maps and players (in 1942) —> to the destruction

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Phoenixblight

    Well if there wasn’t consumers are a fan base buying the games they wouldn’t do it. Don’t hate the publisher because there is an obvious demand for it and that demand is totally fine with yearly releases.

    @1

    You should remove those F2P games and Expansion doesn’t count those are just additional content for the original game. F2P games are not made by DICE and they are super cheap to make 50-100k in development 6-12 months development time and those games can instantly get 20X the profit within a month after release.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. DSB

    Lol @ Erthazus.

    I think even theevilaires would be offended by the level of fanboyism shown above.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. David Sarkisjan

    #1 Eh …

    2002 Battlefield 1942 (foundation – Refractor 1)
    2005 Battlefield 2 (iteration – Refractor 2)
    2006 Battlefield 2142 (expansion – Refractor 2)
    2008 Battlefield: Bad Company (iteration – Frostbite 1.0)
    2009 Battlefield 1943 (remake – Frostbite 1.5)
    2010 Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (sequel – Frostbite 1.5)
    2011 Battlefield 3 (iteration – Frostbite 2)

    3 years between each bigger iteration of the franchise.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Xuchilbara

    @8 – I could not agree more, listing expansions and trying to count them as “annualising” a game is just plain retarded.

    #1 needs to freshen up on what he has listed there as an actual release, and not try to list small F2P or downloadable xpacks as a full release.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Fin

    @11

    Fair point, bro, I can cherry-pick data too. I mean look at Call of Duty:

    2003 Call of Duty
    2005 Call of Duty 2
    2007 Call of Duty 4
    2009 MW2

    2 years between each bigger iteration of the franchise.

    Even if you clip out the remakes, it’s obvious BF is a yearly franchise (six of the last seven years have had a non-expansion BF release). Anyone believe we won’t see a BC3 next year?

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Gekidami

    @11
    Counting must not be your strong point, the only 3 year stretch there is between BF1942 & BF2, and thats only because you -for some reason- decided not to include Vietnam which was a stand alone game. So no, there isnt “3 years between each bigger iteration of the franchise” the max is 2 and the majority has been annual.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. G1GAHURTZ

    @13:

    Even if you clip out the remakes, it’s obvious BF is a yearly franchise (six of the last seven years have had a non-expansion BF release).

    This is exactly the point, which Bach is clearly trying to fool us all into believing isn’t true when he says:

    “EA would never force us to release a game every year. I think that would dilute the vision of the franchise, and you will eventually kill the franchise by doing that.”

    Whether DICE make the versions or not, EA have been pimping the BF franchise to death for years now.

    So his far fetched fantasy where the BF brand is somehow given a special status that other franchises can’t afford is an utter lie.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Maximum Payne

    @13 We will se MoH in 2012 which is confirmed.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Fin

    I actually prefer games being annual.
    Release each year == more games == more fun.

    It’s an issue when it’s a single dev team churning out a game every year, but when dev cycles are two years and it’s a different studio/team releasing each year, what’s the problem?

    #17 4 years ago
  18. G1GAHURTZ

    Indeed.

    Think of it another way…

    If you asked anyone if they could have a new version of their favourite game in 12 months or 24, what do you think they’d prefer?

    ‘Err… No thanks… I’d prefer to look at screenshots and watch teasers for a couple of years instead of actually playing a better game than the one I’ve already played to death.’

    Yeah, right.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Phoenixblight

    @18

    Thats wild generalization I can almost guarantee every single person I have met have always said MW 2 was better than Blackops and before that they said Modern warfare was better than all the current ones.

    With yearly releases, hell 2 year releases you are getting more of the same with less innovation. Sure they innovate but it so minuscule that it doesn’t matter.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Erthazus

    A lot of you guys forgetting, that DICE team is huge. It’s 300 people.
    there are basically 2 teams that makes spinnoffs and Real sequels + one concept team.
    + they make a lot of stuff for other EA games.

    @DSB, Oh stop it. You just don’t like Battlefield games, there is no fanboyism and everytime you are trying to criticise Battlefield games it’s always like that: “Herp derp.. i don’t like my guns feel and blah blah blah.”
    I’m just saying how it is. DICE never dissapointed in their real installments except for bugs in which these big games always had since the first BF game and will continue to have. Battlefield 2 is still patching even to this day.

    There is no other game that can pull such a massive landscape, vehicles and now destruction, classes and do it right at the same time. Yeah, some people don’t like that or that… and there is always discussion about it.
    Also, Battlefield games in most cases set a standard. That was with Battlefield 1942, Battlefield 2, Bad Company 2 and now third is going to continue expanding Bad Company’s 2 destructibility mechanic even further.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Fin

    @19

    “Thats wild generalization”

    and then, just one space later

    “I can almost guarantee every single person I have met”

    Does nobody read things after they type them?

    Two years is the standard dev time in the industry these days. Three if it’s delayed/is a big game. Any more, it’s basically Rockstar and Valve that can get away with it.

    @20

    So you’re saying DICE is like three teams? So if you put Infinity Ward and Treyarch together, would you get a team the size of DICE?

    “there is no fanboyism”

    HARHARHAR

    “everytime you are trying to criticise Battlefield games it’s always like that: “Herp derp.. i don’t like my guns feel and blah blah blah.”

    That’s odd, that’s exactly how you talk about CoD games? (replace “guns” for “shitty sub-hd graphics”).

    “Also, Battlefield games in most cases set a standard.”

    Yeah, it’s not like CoD set a standard for set pieces or multiplayer.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. freedoms_stain

    You can’t really equate the Battlefield releases to CoD releases. How many Battlefield titles have been major releases that blanket covered PC, xbox, PS, Wii and other platforms such as Handhelds? Well, None actually. How many CoD titles have been blanket releases? All of them.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Phoenixblight

    @21 Yes I do. Giga is saying that the game gets better when that is not exactly the case with COD.

    “Two years is the standard dev time in the industry these days. Three if it’s delayed/is a big game. Any more, it’s basically Rockstar and Valve that can get away with it.”

    You think I don’t know this? But at least everyone else except Activision actually innovates within that timeframe.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Unlimax

    Who Cares about Dates or Annualising Do you know what Activision done to this Generation .. Nevermind just do a Favorite and GTFO Activision Fanboys .. By the way stop posting things like “U MAD” or stuff like that its just ruin the Internet Community like HELL !

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Lounds

    @Erth
    What was wrong with 2142, I loved that game appart from the occasional laggy server, the game was brilliant.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. G1GAHURTZ

    @PB:

    Whether the new versions turn out to be better or not isn’t the point, though.

    The point is that the demand for something shiny and new is always going to be there as long as each release is of a similar quality, which is the most important point from a publisher’s perspective.

    As long as that demand remains, they’re going to be churning out as many different DVD’s with the brand name on it as they’re able to produce until people vote with their wallet’s that it’s time for something new.

    Acti do it. Guitar Hero is obvious proof of that.

    But EA do it too. No doubt about it.

    _____

    Edit:

    Giga is saying that the game gets better when that is not exactly the case with COD.

    That’s not what I was saying at all. I hope I explained that clearly above.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Fin

    @23

    You missed my point.
    “I can almost guarantee every single person I have met” is a “wild generalisation”.

    Everyone else innovates? Have you seen an EA sports game recently? Nintendo games? Halo? Killzone? Gears of War? Forza?
    There isn’t much innovation in the mainstream industry, but the games are still fun, so I’m not bothered.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. DSB

    @22 I think that’s pretty selective memory. It took them less than a year to port Battlefield 2.

    The only platform missing for Bad Company 2 was the Wii, and quite arguably that would never have been worth the cost of modifying their more advanced engine, especially looking at sales.

    I don’t think it’s rational to be pointing at things like release cycles or franchise management if you’re somehow looking for an argument that one’s better than the other. The obvious truth is that Activision and EA are two peas in a pod when it comes to worshipping money, and I think it screams hypocrisy when they roll this guy out to bait the internet whiners, in spite of that.

    @20 Butt is hurt, I guess.

    “the only mediocre game from that list was Battlefield 2142, everything else are good games or masterpieces. It’s a fact.”

    I’m just gonna leave it at that, it’s hardly worth responding to blind fanboys with completely imaginary arguments ;)

    #28 4 years ago
  29. Phoenixblight

    @26

    I never said that Activision was horrible with it or EA was far better at it. In fact my first post for this thread was exactly what you said as long as there is demand for it, Publishers will do it. There is no right or wrong about it, its just simply business.

    @27
    “Have you seen an EA sports game recently” Thats a series based on actual games not much need for innovation there. That is just feeding to a loyal fanbase.

    “Halo? Killzone? Gears of War? ” Have you actually played those games? There are changes in them. I am not going to list them because that is not something for me to do but every single one of those games have done something different or added something to their own series.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. DSB

    @29 Or not so loyal. They’ve lost people on most of the games they’ve put out over the last 10 years. I think they were up to 10 million sales on Madden back in the 90′s.

    Back in the 90′s they might actually change the engine in a significant way between iterations, but these days it’s all too obvious that they’re just repackaging the same thing we got last year, with a bit of patching.

    And they’re really not endearing themselves to the Madden audience with all their measures to try and win back every lost penny with the ingame advertising and micro-transactions.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. freedoms_stain

    @28, que? BF2 was never released on any system other than PC, BF2: Modern Combat was a completely different game released on Consoles only.

    The only Battlefield games to cover the core platforms have been BC2 and BF3, the rest have either been PC only or Console only, and none have appeared on handhelds or Wii except for BC2 which I believe has an iPhone version.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. GwynbleiddiuM

    @1 A failed attempt to show how pathetic and desperate CoD fans are when it comes to Battlefield. Since when EXPANSIONs and DLC/Booster packs are considered titles and an attempt to annualising a franchise? Their just expansions, and booster packs. Those F2P titles are also out of this circle cuz 1st DICE didn’t make them, second those are casual titles for casual players. Let’s count Modifications too:

    Battlefield Project Reality
    Surreal
    21st Century Warfare
    Forgotten Hope
    Forgotten Hope 2
    Battlefield 1918
    Mercenaries
    Nations at War
    Operation Peacekeeper
    Battlefield 2 Nights
    Point of Existence
    tactical War
    The Sir mod
    Codename Eagle Legends
    Close Quarters Battles
    Brickfield
    Battleracer
    Battlefield Pirates
    Battlefield 2 Realism
    Desert Conflict
    Eve of Destruction
    Fallen Times
    US Intervention
    Squad Hard Justice
    Stargate La Releve
    Stargate BFM
    Shattered faith
    Rising Conflicts
    Rise of Kobol
    Infantry
    Frontlines
    Allied Intent
    Action Battlefield
    Battlefield 1861
    Battlefield 1918
    Desert Combat Extended
    Desert Combat Realism
    Merciless Creations BattleGroup 42
    rise of Hades
    First Strike
    Battlefield Ninjas

    #32 4 years ago
  33. G1GAHURTZ

    @PB:

    I know that you didn’t, but Bach did in the original story, above.

    He’s saying that EA would never kill the BF “vision” by “diluting” the franchise. Taking a sly dig at Acti in the process.

    That’s simply not true.

    EA are just as bad at diluting franchises as anyone else.

    #33 4 years ago
  34. Fin

    @29

    Er, are you saying Halo/Killzone/Gears innovates more than Call of Duty? That really is blind fanboyism (or dislike of CoD, whatever).

    @32

    Bro, it’d help if you could put the year each mod came out, so we can point out how BF is an annualised franchise.

    @33

    Yup, everything’s about the money.
    If EA can make twice the amount of money by releasing BF every year instead of every two, that’s what they’re going to do.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. G1GAHURTZ

    @32:

    Read my other comments, then reply again when you understand what we’re actually talking about.

    #35 4 years ago
  36. Phoenixblight

    @30

    If EA wasn’t making a profit from every sport game released do you really think that they would continue with yearly releases? Obviously there is a demand for it and they are making a profit from it. No one does that to just constantly dig them self into a hole especially with game costing millions of dollars to develop.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. DSB

    @31 Sorry, I didn’t realize that. It was pretty common practice to just slap on a subtitle and port games to consoles back then.

    Like I said though, it’s pretty obvious why you don’t have a Wii version for BC2. Obviously they’ve crammed it onto everything they could.

    @36 See, I don’t recall mentioning profits with a word. Just that they’ve managed to halve the userbase they used to have, in spite of having a monopoly on all the licences, except NBA. FIFA is the only one that’s actually growing.

    People aren’t stupid enough to pay for repackaged games, which is why EA is forced to close down old servers. There’s little to nothing lost between playing NHL 9 to NHL 11. It’s essentially the same game.

    #37 4 years ago
  38. Gekidami

    @32
    Taking out the add-ons doesnt really change much, theres still been a BF game released every year for the last 4 years, and before that the max amount of time was 2 years.

    2002 Battlefield 1942
    2004 Battlefield Vietnam
    2005 Battlefield 2
    2005 Battlefield 2 Modern Combat
    2006 Battlefield 2142
    2008 Battlefield: Bad Company
    2009 Battlefield 1943
    2010 Battlefield: Bad Company 2
    2011 Battlefield 3

    I dont quite get why the F2P ones shouldnt count, seems like you’re just trying to soften the blow, honestly. They’re still games released by EA using the BF franchise so still BF games. But whatever.

    #38 4 years ago
  39. Christopher Jack

    Some people care too much, for starters, you just can’t compare a full retail release with an expansion >_> #1 <__> #13 <_<.
    This fanboyism about video game franchises is even more pathetic than the console/pc fanboyism, why do you feel the need to defend your investment when you can't lose anything?

    #39 4 years ago
  40. freedoms_stain

    @37, it’s koo. BF2:MC fans are constantly complaining that it’s the “forgotten” BF title.

    I never played it, but for a console title it had a lot of good features.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVfwN5frRZY

    Check out that video by a xbox player called XxApacheBirdMan, one of the highest ranked pilots on BC2 xbox, he’s doing a rundown of the evolution of Battlefield on consoles, starting with Modern Combat.

    #40 4 years ago
  41. jeremycafe

    Erthazus

    Your defense is that because DICE only made so many of the titles, it is less of a milk? How is this ANY different than call of duty? Last time I checked Infinity Ward didnt make every title released with the name call of duty.

    You are the clear fan boy here, you have proven it over and over again in ever topic you comment in. You have your perfect image of what YOU like and everything else is trash. It amazes me how in one topic you can down right talk complete utter trash, then turn and defend something with the SAME exact features as if its new shit.

    Fanboy for life, bro.

    #41 4 years ago
  42. Fin

    @41

    Nailed it!

    #42 4 years ago
  43. albo88

    @1 “If we were to release another big Battlefield title next year, that would mean that we’d have less than a year to build it, and that would mean that we’d have to have another studio building it for us, which would mean it wouldn’t have that DICE seal of approval, which would mean they’d just have to release a copy of the game we just released.

    you dont get he point here
    yeah is true that we have a battlefield game almost every year as it is true that the game has evoked

    #43 4 years ago
  44. YoungZer0

    Just a reminder:

    http://www.gametrailers.com/users/Erthazus/gamepad/?action=viewblog&id=475831

    #44 4 years ago
  45. Crab of Thunder

    Even if they aren’t full games or whatnot, I think Giga’s list proves that in the last 10 years or so, we’ve had plenty of Battlefield thrown at us to give it an almost annualised feel.

    It’s just a bit stealthier. :P

    #45 4 years ago
  46. DSB

    Not to mention the fact that they charged more than half the price of the original game for ‘em.

    I loved Battlefield 2, but I thought that was a pretty serious ripoff.

    #46 4 years ago
  47. Chockster

    Jeez. I hope you lot come back here in 10 years time, read these comments and be thoroughly fucking ashamed.

    #47 4 years ago
  48. ceiling cat

    Looks like serious public relation kung fu.

    ———
    My blog about game design theory
    http://baserespawn.blogspot.com/

    #48 4 years ago
  49. Shonak

    I side with all these against-DICE guys. As usually DSB is right as usual when it comes to BF, and all the other guys already said mostly everything that has to be said. I just wanna say, I agree with you guys. Just because CoD titles come out every year from one of two studios doesn’t make it worse than BF. I played these F2P games, they were not good at all. However, they wern’t from DICE. But still, the license is used. Infinity Ward never wanted that Treyarch or other devs work on CoD either. Publishers make the decisions.

    On another note: I really hate that constant CoD-bashing. I really used to play BF1942 a lot back in days and liked BC2 (despite all the game-gltiches and medic/sniper-overflow), but it’s getting boring, these constant comments against CoD from EA/DICE, I feel like they are behaving like Sony/MS, and I don’t feel like buying that game when it comes out. Meh, I probably still get BF3 Day #1, but DICE and EA could just shut the fuck up for once. A bunch of crybabies, seriously now. And btw: I play more BF than CoD, although I really like CoD4 a lot. But after that it just went downhill. CoD4 had just everything right. If MW3 gets even close to CoD4 brilliancy than everything is forvigen, Activision. Okay, I really went off-topic here, just had to get out.

    #49 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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