Developers must keep players interested.
Moving an FPS franchise into a future setting is a cheap way gaining player interest, but should not be considered true innovation, DICE general manager Magnus Troedsson has told Edge.
"If [players] don't see some kind of new, if not revolutionary then at least evolutionary, step of rendering in every game they will start to lose interest," said Troedsson. "And I think that is what's happening. Because a lot of franchises out there don't take this seriously; to actually make sure that we don't just challenge ourselves on the gameplay aspect, or perhaps some other area like distribution method, but also how it [feels], how it looks and how it sounds."
He added: "I think we're going to start seeing people moving away from the modern setting, because every now and again settings or themes start to get stale and then everyone jumps over.
"Y'know, at some point dinosaurs are the hottest thing and everyone is making games with dinosaurs, but there are trends. It used to be WWII, and recently it's been the modern era and people are now moving towards near future.
"But it's a bit cheap to just say, 'Okay, we're going to switch and go back in time or into the future and that will be innovation'. It will definitely drive the franchise forward for whatever game, but it's not true innovation, it's more a thematic change that has a perceived value to the gamers out there."
Troedsson concluded that as a developer "you can only make so many games in one particular era, and then you personally start to get a bit bored with it".
Whether or not Troedsson was actually targeting his comments at Treyarch and Activision isn't clear, but do you agree with his comments about genre in general?
Let's not forget that DICE is the studio which put out Battlefield 2 followed by Battlefield 2142.