DICE has downplayed suggestions that the Battlefield series could become annualised, telling VideoGamer.com that it "can't build a game every year".
"I think the core Battlefield idea that we're working on at DICE is... We can't build a game at DICE every year," Battlefield 4 executive producer Patrick Bach said during Gamescom last week when asked whether a new Battlefield title could launch in 2014 to fill the gap left by Medal of Honor.
"You saw with Battlefield 3, for instance, it's not that there's not an urge for more Battlefield. You mentioned Premium – we [had] 18 months worth of Battlefield and people want more things during that time. Now it's been almost two years and people feel like they are continuously playing – we still have huge amounts of players playing Battlefield 3. So I think in general, people apparently want Battlefield all year round."
EA announced that it was taking Medal of Honor out of its shooter rotation earlier in the year, leaving October/November 2014 wide open for a new title. But neither Respawn's upcoming shooter Titanfall or DICE's reboot of Star Wars: Battlefront are due to launch during the period, instead launching during spring 2014 and summer 2015 respectively.
But rather than continue to release standalone titles, could Battlefield eventually turn into a platform that the developer continues to expand with additional maps and campaigns?
"Maybe it [could]," Bach says. "You're touching upon something that we've actually started noticing as well. Battlefield is almost turning into a first-person shooter/vehicular combat platform where people want more things but put into the same core mechanic.
"So I don't know. Maybe it's a really smart thing to do; maybe it's the completely wrong thing to do. We can see that some games are actually doing it already, like MMOs. You have some free-to-play games [that] continue on the same platform. So I think it's more about the audience and getting all the ducks in a row, so to speak.
"Doing things like we're doing after Battlefield 4, you couldn't do that within [Battlefield 3]. It's not the same game. Some of it might feel and look the same, but if you look under the hood – which people don't do, but if you would do that – there are so many things that have changed. Just the fact that the customisation layer is so much deeper, is based on a complete rewrite of the core handling of assets from the ground-up. Which of course, is something you could build on for the future, but also something that in our crazy hands, we'd probably come up with new things that are incompatible with what we're doing today.
"We're trying to push the boundaries, we're not trying to, like, 'Oh, Battlefield will sell itself. Let's make something half-ass.' So it's a challenge."
Battlefield 4 launches on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on November 1, with Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions expected to follow at launch.