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Battlefield: Bad Company’s humour made it too niche, reckons DICE

Friday, 22nd November 2013 12:25 GMT By Dave Cook

Battlefield: Bad Company is still being requested by fans, but DICE has cautioned that the previous instalments were perhaps too niche. Why? Because they were too funny to be taken seriously by gamers.

Speaking with OXM, creative director Lars Gustavsson said that the humour in previous Bad Company games made them too personal, and not mainstream enough.

He explained, “It is a discussion about niche and mass market, I think. If you make your product more niche, you’ll get more happy fans, but that audience will be smaller – some people won’t care, some people will love it.

“When we did the original Bad Company and the sequel, we got a lot of criticism. Why would I play this? It’s not a serious shooter, I don’t care about this. I want a serious shooter with a more hard-boiled angle. And we thought it was fun! We loved it, we thought it was a great game. The narrative was amazing and the characters were amazing.

“So it’s not that we’ve buried the crew, so to speak. But it is true that for some reason if you want to make a game for the masses, you need to be more neutral when it comes to things like humour, because humour is very personal. Some people love it, some people hate it.”

When asked if the comedic example set by Nathan Drake in Uncharted might be the way to go, creative director Patrick Bach added, “He’s not really funny. He’s serious, but he’s kind of ironic. I’m happy for franchises that can do that. I think Bad Company was perhaps part of that group. I love franchises that don’t take themselves too seriously.

“I think that games in general can be anything. Sometimes you get the feeling that the community and the press only think there’s one type of game, the ultimate game, and for me it’s becoming more and more diverse, much like the movie industry, which I think is a good comparison.

“When you started out it was quite serious, because it was an expensive business to make a movie, so you’d [effectively] have this stage drama that you’d film, but then you start to add comedy to it and make money off that, and turn it into a genre, and now you have all types of genres, where it isn’t just based on comedy, drama, documentary, or whatever – it’s also how you consume those movies.”

Well personally, I’m not a fan of how po-faced Battlefield has become, but then again I’m probably in the Bad Company minority fan club.

What’s your view?

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23 Comments

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  1. SplatteredHouse

    ““I think that games in general can be anything. ”

    IF you really believe that, Mr. DICE, then what’s holding you back from demonstrating it as fact?

    #1 8 months ago
  2. AmiralPatate

    Let’s be clear, my favorite will always be 2142. That being said, in what sets BC2 apart from the other shooters, humour is definitely high up in the list. It’s basically what makes the campaign enjoyable.

    #2 8 months ago
  3. freedoms_stain

    Common opinion of Bad Company series in my experience:

    -Good multiplayer
    -average to middling campaign worth playing only for the humour.

    #3 8 months ago
  4. ran93r

    I didn’t enjoy the BC2 SP campaign all that much, I did finish it though which I guess is something when you consider the majority of people buy Battlefield for the multiplayer. BC2 did some really nice things and I’m not sure why they are even moaning about humour when none of it shows in multiplayer, you know, the main selling point of the game.

    It’s probably about time that they ditched the single player campaign entirely.
    BF3 – Dull, didn’t finish.
    BF4 – Finished as I wanted the weapon unlocks, not been back for collectables.

    To be clear: I don’t consider Bad Company to be a standalone franchise when they add on the multiplayer that is pretty much the Battlefield experience. If it were an outstanding single player story with no multiplayer, I would be happy with that and then it can stand on it’s own.

    #4 8 months ago
  5. silkvg247

    I only ever played MP in BFBC2. Should I try SP then?

    #5 8 months ago
  6. DuckNation

    you know i never remember this game being that funny maybe i should give it a replay

    #6 8 months ago
  7. Max Payne

    @5 Better than Bf3/bf4

    #7 8 months ago
  8. DrDamn

    SP Campaign in BFBC1 was best of the recent BFs by a long way. The humour and characters were good but it was a very good campaign with decent freedom of approach given to the player – that is what made it better!

    #8 8 months ago
  9. freedoms_stain

    BC1 had better humour imo.

    BC2 you could tell they were trying to CoDify the SP, it was way more serious (the plot in BC1 is a comedic roll from one ridiculous situation to another which is heavily centered on gold, BC2 is about some sort of WMD) and entirely linear, whereas BC1′s campaign was sort of set on a large multiplayer-like map and you had relatively free roam over how you got from A to B (not true free roam, but better than, this is a road, go along this road and invisible walls stop you from leaving a la games like CoD and BC2).

    #9 8 months ago
  10. Malmer

    Humour is too niche? Well that was bullshit.

    #10 8 months ago
  11. Creteck

    9@ Totally agree. I was so disappointed by BC2, because of the linear structure. The freedom was gone :(
    Bad Company 1 felt sort of like Crysis 1 in terms of freedom, and exploring. I finished the BC1 campaign at least 6 times, since i only had that game on PS3 and no online connection…And it was fun all the times, this is how you create a great FPS singleplayer campaign not like COD and the latest BF games. they have no, replay ability.

    #11 8 months ago
  12. GameStunts

    I LITERALLY don’t know who the heck this guy is talking about.

    I played Bad Company on Xbox360 and I wanted it for the humor.

    I was bitterly disappointed in Bad Company 2 when they seemed to make it more serious. The whole fun of Bad Company was the crazy pursuit of that gold, and this utterly useless but loveable company of misfits.

    This is totally out of left field and just sounds like justification for them to make Bad Company 3 (if they every make it) dead serious without any humour.

    Any time I talk to friends who like the Bad Company series, they say the humor was the best part, and I’ve never once heard anyone saying that they didn’t like it for the humour.

    Portal and Portal 2 are meant to be in the same universe as Half Life. Half life is very serious and dooms day sci-fi oriented, and Portal is downright silly at points, but nobody questions that they’re from the same universe. There’s no reason Bad Company can’t be funny, and Battlefield can be the ‘serious’ one.

    Damnit now I’m going to have to go back and play Bad Company on Xbox again… Got to find it first!

    Oh yeah, and just to add, I wont ever be buying another DICE game on release after Battlefield 4′s terrible crashy buggy state. I feel cheated out of my money, wish I hadn’t paid all that money for Premium, when I’m already so sickened by the release state I’m unlikely to go back to it.

    #12 8 months ago
  13. Ireland Michael

    I think what most people fail to realise is that the average gamer isn’t the average consumer.

    Most people don’t put half as much thought into this stuff – and that’s okay. Not everyone has to be an avid gamer. But at the end of the day, marketing to the lowest common denominator will always improve your sales, and the humorous take is an obvious barrier to that.

    Its got guns.
    It’s got explosions.
    It’s got action.
    It’s got stunning graphics.
    There you go, game sold.

    #13 8 months ago
  14. AmiralPatate

    @13
    You can have guns, explosions, action, graphics and still have humour.

    #14 8 months ago
  15. EonBlue

    Why can’t they both be rolled into one? the campaigns’ for BF are terrible, on the next release why not have a Bad Company campaign and the BF multiplayer?

    #15 8 months ago
  16. wrklnt

    the core of battlefield always was doing silly stuff, having a nice round of conquest assault/double assault was just a bonus

    bad company was introducing a singleplayer to a franciese that only knew bot skimirsh on multiplayer maps and it found fans probably because it was not the straight up brown military authentic dictatorship liberator

    bf3 did not even let my fly the damn jet, not that it would have been much fun, but they did not even give me a choice of piloting it or not

    #16 8 months ago
  17. AmiralPatate

    @16
    Previous Battlefields were no “authentic dictatorship liberator” simulators either.

    #17 8 months ago
  18. wrklnt

    not referring to previous battlefields (hinted in the bot skimirsh part of that sentence)

    #18 8 months ago
  19. Asgaro

    I do NOT get it.
    Every Battlefield game has sold more than the previous game.
    How can they extract from the sales that humour somehow sells less?

    Can anyone explain the data mining process they did here?
    Or are they wizards?

    #19 8 months ago
  20. manamana

    “It is a discussion about niche and mass market, EA thinks” there fixed it for you, Mr. Gustavsson. Broaden your audience doesn’t make your games any better, thats a fact.

    #20 8 months ago
  21. El_MUERkO

    THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS!

    #21 8 months ago
  22. BrahManDude

    Bad Company was still better plus the yelling in BF4 multiplayer from the soldiers still remind me of Bad Company

    #22 8 months ago
  23. monkees19

    They must be crazy. That is the reason I bought the BC series. I hated BF3. The campaign was horrible and I don’t play shooters for multiplayer unless it’s local/with friends only. I don’t have the time to listen to people complain about other players and just flat out be jerks to total strangers. I’ll be off the servers so others can be. I’m unselfish like that.

    Anyway, point is I won’t be buying another Battlefield game until they bring back Bad Company.

    #23 8 months ago