The Battlefield series is about to undergo some big changes, as old hands leave and new people are put in charge of it.
Unlike Call Of Duty, Battlefield doesn’t churn out new releases every year. Fans of the series usually have to wait a few years in between games, before a brand new one comes out. But from the sound of things, that could be set to change.
According to GameSpot, EA has new aspirations for Battlefield. Namely, a wider Battlefield universe consisting of connected games from multiple studios across North America and Europe.
DICE, which has been the primary developer for Battlefield since the first game in 2002, isn’t being replaced. But EA states that Ripple Effect (which assisted development on Battlefield 2042) and a new development team in Seattle will begin contributing to the series.
Not only that, but Battlefield has a new boss: Vince Zampella, who leads both Respawn Entertainment and Ripple Effect, which was formerly called DICE LA.
‘We will continue to evolve and grow Battlefield 2042, and we’ll explore new kinds of experiences and business models along the way that we can add to that foundation to provide an awesome array of experiences for our players,’ Zampella told GameSpot.
‘In this universe, the world is interconnected with shared characters and narrative. This universe is also built with our community as we harness the power of Portal and user generated content that puts creativity in the hands of our players.’
There’s definitely some irony in Zampella running Battlefield, considering he was once CEO at Call Of Duty developer Infinity Ward and one of the people foremost responsible for the creation of Call Of Duty; a series which most fans do not want Battlefield to emulate.
Halo designer Marcus Lehto, who EA hired in October (following the release of Lehto’s last game Disintegration and the shuttering of his studio V1 Interactive), will be heading the new Seattle team, which is said to be focusing more on storytelling and character development.
In fact, Byron Beede, another former Call Of Duty veteran who serves as Battlefield’s general manager and senior vice president, says Lehto’s team will be expanding the story of Battlefield 2042 across a ‘variety of experiences,’ possibly to make up for the game’s lack of a campaign mode.
‘While he and his team in the Seattle area are just getting started on building the Battlefield world of tomorrow, their work will shape later seasons for 2042 and beyond. This new studio will act as the driver for narrative in tight collaboration with DICE and Ripple Effect Studios to help build great player experiences in the Battlefield universe’, says Beede.
Another notable shift is the departure of Oskar Gabrielson, general manager at DICE. He is leaving the studio at the end of the year, and he has yet to explain what he will be doing next. His replacement will be Rebecka Coutaz, who used to work as managing director at Ubisoft Annecy.
This is a lot to digest and, despite Battlefield 2042’s tumultuous launch, it suggests that EA is betting heavily on the series’ future. So far, the only Battlefield game confirmed to be in development is a mobile game from Industrial Toys releasing in 2022.
However, it has been rumoured that another Battlefield is already in development at DICE and that it was chosen in favour of a third Star Wars: Battlefront game.
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