Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Features for PC

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Oh, Origin. You do it for a bit of attention, don't you? Like the kid at school that gets picked on for being a bit of a goof, every now and then you trip up in the school playground just to give the other children something else to laugh at.

If Crysis 3 wasn't a big enough leak, Origin now has its sights set on something bigger, spilling the beans on Battlefield 4 - a game which, you know, is probably hidden somewhere deep inside a Swedish vault.

But ignoring EA's gaffe for a moment (an Origin leak, after all, is soon becoming par for the course), it was the reaction to the 'reveal' of Battlefield 4 that took me by surprise.

Flicking through various message boards, forums and article reactions, there is an astonishing amount of people disappointed, upset, or even angry at the existence of Battlefield 4.

There appear to be three key problems with the idea of the next game being Battlefield 4 - but I'm struggling to understand the logic behind any of them.



'It isn't Bad Company 3'

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As much as I'd love to see the return of Marlowe, Sweetwater and the rest of B Company, given the sales gap between Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3, I think it would be rather optimistic to believe that EA would pass up the opportunity to release Battlefield 4 while hype for the core series is still high. Releasing another entry in the less popular Bad Company series could potentially hurt the momentum of the Battlefield brand, and when EA is battling against Call of Duty for shooter dominance, that's the last thing it would want to do.

The core Battlefield series is clearly where the chatter is at the moment, then. It crops up almost every week in our VG Plays, and just look at how many of you have signed up for Premium. Given how hard EA worked on restoring anticipation for its core brand last year, it would be silly to expect them to switch the focus back to the sub-series.

The only key difference between the two is the single-player, and who buys a Battlefield game for that anyway? Granted, multiplayer map design may be slightly different, especially given the new modes introduced in Battlefield 3. But who's to say that the maps which could have appeared in Bad Company 3 won't appear in Battlefield 4?



'I've only just bought Battlefield 3: Premium'

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Dropping £40 on a service only to learn that a sequel is on the way is clearly going to be a disappointment, and I can certainly empathise with anyone who has signed up to Premium only to learn that their content could be redundant within 18 months.

But the assumption that we wouldn't see another Battlefield game for a while because of Premium, or that the revelation of Battlefield 4 'devalues' your Premium content, seems a fairly ignorant argument.

After all, when compared to the service provided by Activision, it still seems to offer the best long term value of the two 'big' shooters. Premium's content will likely offer you two years' worth of entertainment, rather than the 12 month turnaround of Call of Duty: Elite.

The argument here, I guess, is that players won't get quite as much play time out of their content as they had initially thought, given that a new Battlefield game could be released in the months following the final drop.

But given the timings of the DLC releases (the final piece launches in March 2013), Battlefield 3's DLC has clearly been fashioned to transition players onto a new Battlefield game just as the excitement of the final expansion pack starts to wane. And really, didn't we all expect that...?



'It's too soon'

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This one is the most difficult point to argue given that there's no indication of release timings for Battlefield 4. But nonetheless, there appears to be an argument that core Battlefield games deserve more time to breathe than sub-series' like Bad Company or 2142. Battlefield 2, players are arguing, was played by many for years, and Battlefield 3 deserves a similar grace.

At this stage, though - and as I argued earlier - is there all that much to differentiate the Bad Company series and the core one? Let's say the next game had been Bad Company 3. I'd wager that EA would still be targeting a good proportion of players to jump over from Battlefield 3.

And if you're concerned that this means new Battlefield games might start being released on a more regular basis than in years previous, I'd suggest you stop worrying.

EA has been surprisingly forthcoming on its strategy to alternate between Battlefield and Medal of Honor on a bi-annual basis. Only last week, a comment from EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau said that the publisher was avoiding annualising Battlefield to avoid "sequel fatigue", and to "use a sequencing strategy to keep it as fresh and different as possible."

From Gibeau's comments it's logical to deduct that Battlefield 4 won't be released until at least 2013, and likely not until EA's favoured late October slot.

Gibeau's comments are echoed by DICE's Patrick Bach, too, who believes that annualising Battlefield will eventually "kill the franchise".

"We need the time to be able to create the next game that consumers will hopefully like," Bach told me in an interview prior to my time at VideoGamer.

"If we were to release another big Battlefield title [in 2012], 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. Ugh, no."

He continued: "EA would never force [DICE] to release a game every year".

EA may have shot its load early then, albeit accidentally, but its strategy for the future of the Battlefield franchise still seems fairly reasonable.

And, lest we forget, very few people complained when Battlefield 3 launched only 18 months after Bad Company 2...

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13 Comments

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Whitewolf's Avatar

Whitewolf

i dont get why people are upset about the hole bf4 business its not guna be out till late 2013 (christmas time) if not later and just because its 'leaked' doesn't mean its being released asap.

making bc3 would hurt there wallet quite a bit to be honest compared 2 bf4.
Posted 09:30 on 19 July 2012
mikejosh1978's Avatar

mikejosh1978

I know sales wise BFBC2 mite not of been the cream of the crop but i would say 70% of my buddy list would like BC3 and prefer the MP side of 2 than the current BF3 mess.The weapons , maps & servers issues since launch have put most off from getting any further EA shooter MoH included. BF3 lacks the fun element that the development game BC has in bundles. BF3 is like Nick Clegg , takes itself to seriously and fails to deliver a anything solid thats entertaining enough to keep supporting.
£40 DLC bundles are far from the value we had with BFBC2 and as i dislike the way vehicles play in BF3 who thought a pack based around that was a good idea?
EA just want a share of parents money that Activision have got a firm grip on but the kids know what they get from CoD & with EA its a mixed bag that most would rather leave than drop their pocket money / wages on.
Posted 14:29 on 18 July 2012
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

i personally preffered bad company 2 to bf3 the menu the maps all a lot better but with the sales better and more people subscribing to premium then i dont see why not but i "thought" EA were better than that to an extent, not to go and do a year cycle i think the gaming community preffered Bad company inbetween bf4 due to it being a bit of fresh air compared to how serious undertones its now got, but at the end of the day its all about the money which is a shame
Posted 00:15 on 18 July 2012
altaranga's Avatar

altaranga

This "leak" was so planned.
Posted 23:05 on 17 July 2012
DoucheVader's Avatar

DoucheVader

Battlefield Bad Company 3 should be the next iteration. It's still a Battlefield game and the series is picking up steam on the consoles so it would sell well.
Posted 17:32 on 17 July 2012
dazzadavie's Avatar

dazzadavie@ VG_Dave

That the other thing, they now have an engine in which that can stick with into the next gen. BC and BC2 where a development of that engine and now not needed? Having that engine means they can cut that dev time while knowing all the tips and tricks of there own engine.

And this time next year it will be about the MoH BETA with pre-orders of Battlefield 4
Posted 15:31 on 17 July 2012
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

I'm surprised EA didn't go for Battlefield 2114 as a title, then they could get away with 2115, 2116, 2117 and so on each year without anyone working out that it's just a tiny incremental update every 12 months rather than a sequel.
Posted 14:42 on 17 July 2012
VG_Dave's Avatar

VG_Dave@ mcr35353

I don't think anyone believes that Battlefield 3 was made in 18 months. In fact, quite the opposite. It's well known that Battlefield 3 was in development for a very long time. A large part of that would have been engine development, of course.

However, as one team came off Bad Company 2, as well as helping to ramp up development on BF3, it's likely that some also began pre-production on Battlefield 4. For all we know, Battlefield 4 could have already been in development for quite some time...
Posted 14:37 on 17 July 2012
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH

I think one big argument, for why some people are upset, is that there are a lot people out there who like battlefield because, it isn't COD. COD has become this mammoth of a franchise that is eating the market and when Battlefield 3 was announced, people saw it as being a different calibre of shooter. And people assumed that unlike COD which has a two year development cycle, the a game in main battlefield series was something that came out once in a generation and could be enjoyed as something to oppose COD for years to come.

But now Battlefield 4 has been leaked, people are starting seeing a pattern from EA that is very similar to Activitsions. An IW COD game comes out one year, and then a fairly different Treyarch COD game comes out the next and rotates. A MoH game comes out one then a Battlefield game comes out the next. Both have two year development cycles. To some battlefield fans, comparing thsi series to COD in anyway is blasphemy, but similarities in terms of release strategy and development time are starting to show and some people don't like that.
Posted 14:33 on 17 July 2012
mcr35353's Avatar

mcr35353

On the plus side, if I'm reading right and the BETA only comes out Autumn 2013, I'm hopeful of a post-2013 launch...
Posted 14:26 on 17 July 2012
mcr35353's Avatar

mcr35353

Wow. If you honestly think Battlefield 3 was made in the 18 months after Bad Company 2 you are utterly deluded. THAT is why everyone is most concerned about Battlefield 4 coming so soon. You can't possibly go from a 3/4 year development cycle to an 18/24 month one and maintain quality and innovation. A next gen/2014 release would be far better from (I'd imagine) the point of view of the majority of people currently playing Battlefield 3.
Posted 14:20 on 17 July 2012
dazzadavie's Avatar

dazzadavie

I think your last point is the biggest upset. Core Battlefield games have had a long time between development but then it was a PC only title. Bad Company was Battlefield for consoles (forget BF2 Modern Combat) and became a good gap filler, but now they have a core Battlefield game on console with a great following. Of course they would look to getting a new core game out, in todays gaming its logic. Doesn't mean we have to be happy about it.

Still be a day one pick up for me :D
Posted 13:02 on 17 July 2012
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

My argument against is that EA are pouring resources into a game I have zero interest in when they could be doing something more interesting, like creating a WoW-beater for the NextBox.
Posted 12:54 on 17 July 2012

Game Stats

Release Date: 05/03/2010
Developer: D.I.C.E
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: First Person Shooter
No. Players: 1-24
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 356 38
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