Could Battlefield Be Heading For An Annual Release Schedule? EA Answers

Are annual releases a good thing? Is that even a meaningful question when you consider the diversity of experiences that gaming provides?

In EA’s Q2 investor call the question was asked, could Battlefield become an annual franchise? The question was no doubt spurred by Medal of Honor’s poor showing in 2012, with Warfighter being almost universally panned, and in equal measure, Activision’s immense success with Call of Duty.

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Frank Gibeau, EA Labels President answered with the following:

We’re focused on building the next Battlefield experience right now, and our goal is to make a high-quality experience that grows the business. If we do that on an annual basis, that’s not something that we’ve announced or are openly discussing at this point. We’re really just focused on the next Battlefield.

So a rather vague and frankly predictable response, but of course the most important people in this equation, the gamers, have yet to be asked.

In truth we’re not likely to be asked, although that shouldn’t stop us voicing our opinions. In reality, the question of annual releases should be asked on a game-by-game basis. In my opinion a lot depends on how the game is played, a story driven experience like Uncharted could suffer from fatigue quite quickly, but not all games are the same.

Like it or not, Battlefield is all about the multiplayer, so much so early games in the series didn’t feature a campaign at all. In the case of games like this, games that people return to consistently week after week for months, if not years at a time, is a change every 12 months overkill or in fact just common sense?

The core fanbase when it comes to these kind of games wouldn’t simply stop playing them 13 months after release, so what’s the harm in offering something new, or at least updated?

Of course there is the small matter of innovation and whether such a thing can even exist under such circumstances, but at the end of the day, how many Call of Duty players do you hear complaining about the prospect of a new game? If there’s demand, publishers will supply.

What do you think about annual releases, what franchises should and shouldn’t have them? Battlefield players, would you like to see a new game every year?

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15 Comments

  1. New Bad company, but a return to the original Bad company’s aesthetic, please. I would take the humor of that series over another on-rails jet sequence any day…

  2. Yeah as long as its the bad company series as i dint enjoy battlefield 3 online at all mainly because im shockingly s*** at it where as the bad company series i like to think i hold my own lol

  3. If I could choose, I’d like to see a BF release every other year, and then a smaller, cheaper, download-only multiplayer title like BF 1943 (or a small Bad Company game with a single player) to fill in the gap.
    It’s clear to see Danger Close can’t maintain the high standard that DICE have with the BF series, I think it would damage the IP if EA were to let Danger Close add the BF name tag to their games in between DICE’s releases in an arrangement similar to IW/Treyarch.

  4. Only thing Battlefield related I want to see from these guys is a new Bad Company. Even more-so after the feeling of disappointment with Battlefield 3.

  5. No, no, NO! God no!! Take your time with Battlefield! I love the Battlefield series, and the last thing it needs is to be rushed out every year with basically the same game all over again like a certain, other FPS which i will refuse to mention.

    • Couldn’t agree more – does anyone really think the fact that Call of Duty games are out every year results in amazing quality, interesting games?

      • I’d say Treyarch’s games are quality & interesting… but Infinity Ward had momentum with MW & MW2 multiplayer which overshadowed a lot of what Treyarch got right.

  6. Certainly not in honesty, I personally see no benefit either, not for the gamer & not the devs who’ll be under massive pressure all year to get the job done. I know CoD is yearly now (& I wish it wasn’t!) but there’s 4 or 5(?) dev teams working on this. With Premium & the CQ & Armoured Kill DLC, BF3 has kept up its momentum & there’s still 2 more to go!

  7. In a word: no.

    CoD works (for lack of a better word) because although broadly similar each release has its own feel as a result of the different teams developing it, IW games are a noticeably different experience to Treyarchs (although they do seem to be converging)

    The same applies to EA’s stable, MoH is different enough from BF, and Bad Company also has its own distinctive feel despite being from the same developers. Having those broadly similar but different experiences allows you to keep fans of particular series happy by providing what they want on a reasonably regular schedule, whilst keeping things fresh for those of us that are more series agnostic and like to mix it up a little.

    I think that’s something that escaped reviewers of Warfighter – it doesn’t have to be the same or “better” than BF or CoD, it’s ok to be different and just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there that will. Unfortunately EA exec’s only understand metacritic scores and sales numbers, two factors bad reviews have the huge impact on, so I wouldn’t be surprised if MoH is given another break, or dropped altogether , either of which IMHO would be a huge mistake, just like moving to a yearly BF.

  8. Nope, even if the sole reason was the fact that the multiplayer in battlefield has so much more content than you could get bored of in a year, if they release a new one annually, then I won’t have enough time to fully enjoy each game before moving on to the next one

  9. I’m still puzzled at the low scores on MoH, been watching a few guys who are playing Warfighter on PC (FRANKIEonPC etc) and they seem to be loving it yet most are saying it is absolute pish!? Is it because of the SP being rather rubbish and short or is it the MP or is it just both?

    I was toying with buying the game only for the MP anyway.

    Oh and annual releases is something i’m dead against! Just look at MW3 and how close it’s last pack was to the forthcoming BO2, give your games time to breathe!!

    • The SP is about as average a game as any I’ve played this year.

      Review coming.

      • What are your thoughts on SP for the first game? I found that rather good, the end was quite moving too.

      • I thought the first (or at least, the previous) one was better.

      • N1 Alex look forward to that! I didn’t mind the first game tbh, i know it got trashed but i enjoyed the sp and mp.

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