Battlefield 3 vs Modern Warfare 3: “You don’t ship an engine, you ship a game,” says Sledgehammer

We like a good fight. So when Sledgehammer Games’ co-founder Glen Scofield had something to say about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s biggest rival, Battlefield 3, we listened. Speaking to AusGamers, Scofield emphasized the importance of delivering a game that can run at 60 frames-per-second on consoles. While he didn’t specifically mention DICE’s Frostbite 2 engine or Battlefield 3, you can read between the lines and connect the dots.

When asked point blank about what he thought of DICE’s Frostbite 2 engine for Battlefield 3 and whether or not it would require Sledgehammer and Infinity Ward to return to the drawing board, Scofield didn’t hold back. “You can go out and name your engine and call it whatever you want, right. You know, I’ve done that before; I’ve seen that trick and the bottom line is this game will run at 60 frames a second. Not sure any of our competitors will,” said Scofield.

According to Scofield, Modern Warfare 3’s 60 FPS is a feature that gives the game a clear advantage over rivals, adding that “I’d be a little scared at this point -- in June -- if I was looking forward to a particular game that wasn’t on the console and running at 60. And I think 60 is our competitive edge and you just don’t throw that away...”

Above: A screenshot from Battlefield 3 gives you an idea of how it will look at zero frames per second

Above: A look at some of the audio engineering tools for Battlefield 3. We assume that Sledgehammer has more. Please note that when it comes to this kind of stuff, I don't know shit about crap

DICE rendering architect Johan Andersson doesn't think Battlefield 3 running at 30 FPS on consoles is anything to be ashamed of. In a post on Twitter,  Andersson explained: “we always do 30 fps on consoles, not possible to fit in vehicles, fx, scale and all players otherwise…” and challenged anyone to “name a single FPS game that runs at 1080p on any of the consoles.”

For Scofield, it’s not just about FPS or the game engine, it’s also about the tools developers build for that engine. “What you do is you build upon it, right? And build and build and build. And we build new tools that make us more efficient. We built brand new tools so that we could put more stuff in. That’s why, you’ll see a level and you’ll come out of the water; so we’ve built all this water. You’ve got New York in the background; you’ve got explosions going on; you’ve got skyscrapers, then you have this huge submarine coming out of the water. We’re able to put so much on the screen because it’s an engine and it’s well-known, it’s very clean and we’re able to easily upgrade it,” he explains.

“So I don’t know what the future holds for the engine. But you don’t ship an engine, you ship a game,” cautioned Scofield. Developed by Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, and Raven Software (for multiplayer), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is scheduled to bring 60 FPS to consoles and PC gamers on November 8. It will be preceded by EA DICE’s Battlefield 3 on October 25. In the meantime, we’d like to put an end to the Great FPS Engine War of 2011, and say that we are very excited about both games.

Jun 29, 2011


  • RicePuddingUK - July 8, 2011 11:24 p.m.

    Who is this Glen Schofield? He comes out of nowhere and says MW3 is ambitious and the best CoD yet...from what I saw this is a mod to MW2, WaW and CoD4 with little or no real technological or graphical innovation. Battlefield 3 may be showing off more about its engine than its story but hey, it's ambitious and truly a piece of innovation
  • MrSinister - July 6, 2011 5:18 p.m.

    What was the last good game that raven craped out? Quake 4 maybe?
  • pocketdrummer - July 3, 2011 2:38 a.m.

    There are several things wrong with this guy's comment. First, you can't criticize someone for boasting about their engine, then turn around and repeatedly boast about your engine running at 60fps. Secondly, 60fps on a console doesn't really matter because you aren't going to be whipping around fast enough to choke the game up and you probably don't support 3D either, so it's pointless... unless you're talking about a PC. But he wasn't... he clearly only cares about the console experience. This man does not wish to move the industry forward. If every dev was like him, we'd be stuck on DX9 era graphics forever. Thankfully, the Dice devs are tired of waiting for the consoles to catch up, and they're supporting a platform that embraces change and innovation. Besides, they're proud of their engine because it allows them to fully express themselves as they see fit. The first Frostbite engine was pretty but difficult to develop for. Frostbite 2 was rewritten to not only push the graphical envelope, but allow for a more streamlined development process. All this comes together to allow the GAME to be what the devs intended to release.
  • maledwarfwarrior - July 2, 2011 10:54 p.m.

    I myself find very little in fps games. I knoiw other people like them, and that's fine, but i find very little to offer. There are no means of planning out in advance your charecter that have enough of an impact on gameplay that arn't cookie cutter builds. have you wondered why every call of duty game has so and so perks? its so you can have as little customization whikle still calling it customisation to make balancing easier. if i could change satistical armor, employ more then the sniper, knifer, shooter, and tank roles, when i wpould be happy. take TF2 for example which i really like, each class has several roles, and items play a huge part in gameplay. Playing a spy? do you want to go invisible deathtrap? get a super watch. want to play traitorous digiuse? get the knife that make you who you kill. or how about the medic? playing with a friend? get a healing cannon with increased power and decreased health so your friend can soak up the lions end of the damage, and you can keep him alive. Playing as the engineer? do you wan tto manualy controle your turrets? or do you fo for a spy killing wrench? even though they lack in some features, they add in great ways of counter balancing it, so im good. I know not every game has talent trees. but if they add in another way of customizing the class, then I am satisfied. Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” Greg Anderson
  • D0CCON - July 1, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    I've played plenty of BF and COD on consoles and can not tell a difference between 30 and 60 fps. However, I do notice how BF3's graphics are superior to MW3's.
  • TheFeAr - July 1, 2011 2:12 p.m.

    @spade103 LOL
  • aFATALmiracle - July 1, 2011 5:07 a.m.

    I'm pretty sure CoD's engine hasn't changed much since then since the mentality is that FPS = better games. My biggest pet peeve playing black ops is that the death animations in MP are so retarded, it makes me want to gag every time i see it. Why can't they use better ragdolls? BF3 is going to be epic because the frostbite 2 engine is way superior to the CoD engine; realistic lighting, better destruction, realistic character movements, and AWESOME SOUND. I'm tired of campers who hide in buildings in CoD and they can just stay there, but in battlefield, you can destroy the wall easily and kill/displace the enemy. TL;DR I think it's nonsense to say your game engine is better because it runs at 60 FPS. Frostbite 2 is going to pwn some booty.
  • zakaweb - June 30, 2011 2:10 p.m.

    If COD is so bad then why do they sell a zillion copies each time. I just like playing devils advocate. Don't tell me that there are a zillion idiots out there and you are the only smart ones.
  • Ninja-Monkey-91 - June 30, 2011 12:11 p.m.

    I think the fact that they're publically taking shots at Battlefield and it's engine says it all really. I don't remember them taking shots like this about Bad Company 2. They're scared.
  • BLOODmuffins - June 30, 2011 8:44 a.m.

    60 FPS doesn't change the fact that Frostbite is a much better engine than what MW3 runs on and that Battlefield 3 will be a much better game. The COD formula is so tried and archaic now; it's just a glorified rail shooter.
  • DrizztP - June 30, 2011 8:24 a.m.

    Woe them is fighting words. Dice = Innovate Sledgehammer = Copy Paste
  • oni - June 30, 2011 8:06 a.m.

    " aren't what makes a game good." Is this really what I'm reading here? From a console gamer? Consoles that have Uncharted series, Halos, Gears of Wars, God of Wars! Do you know how pretty those games look? Make up your mind console gamers (not all but to those make this kind of comment). Do you or do you not want your console to play games as pretty as possible? At one moment you said "Wow, amazing graphics on Resistance 3/ Gears of War 3/ God of War 3". But when a game comes along and looked a hell lot prettier on the PC version, e.g Battlefield 3, most of you immediately said graphics are not important in gaming. Geez. Talk about denial. If wicked graphic is not that important for console gamers, developers might as well make the next Resistance/Uncharted/Gears of War with Angry Bird or Minecraft quality. Then those games will happily run at 200fps on your consoles and you use that to stick it up the PC gamers' asses.
  • MassSaber - June 30, 2011 7:48 a.m.

    At the end of the day people at least those play games a lot are bored of same old stuff I would play BF3 even if it used an updated version of frosbite 1 thats how much faith I have in DICE to improve upon what they've done before. IW has lost what ever creative spark it had when Activision gutted it leaving what was once a perfectly good series nothing more than a corporate Ice Lolly for kotick & Co
  • teekayo - June 30, 2011 6:45 a.m.

    If you like a slower paced tactical type of gameplay BF3 is the game for you @ 30fps.Many others as far as I can tell would much rather prefer to shoot you in the face @ 60fps w/uberperk,unholy killstreak,and all the ballistic mayhem COD has to offer.Thats not gonna change.
  • Kayden - June 30, 2011 6:15 a.m.

    This is how I see it. I can make a game such as MW3 run at 60+ fps in close quarters on their engine or even Frostbite 2 it wouldn't be difficult. It's close quarters, no vehicles and there isn't very large maps so scale goes right out the window with MW3. They are saying 60+ fps is more important NO IT ISN'T, it's about delivering the best experience for the type of game YOU are developing. Dice is making a much different game it isn't MW3 it is not anything listed above, it is grander and on a much larger scale so SOMETHING must be sacrificed to make this happen in a realistic way for console gamers. At least they are being up front and telling what gamers to expect and not cutting the games res in half and stretching it to make it look like 720p like some other games in recent history. If they sacrifice 30fps when the human eye can only 24 fps then who cares? You will not be able to move the game pad fast enough to see a difference and if you're talking about lag then your fishing for something completely different. There is nothing wrong with 30fps for consoles with what they are able to accomplish, now if you don't mind I will enjoy DX11 with hopefully 60 fps at 5760x1080 resolution with BF3 on my PC, when it comes out thank you very much. In case your wondering i7 950 oc to 4ghz and 2 580 SLI WC OC to 850MHZ, I think it should be able to handle BF3 at 60fps, but we wont know till it's here. (c;
  • ObliqueZombie - June 30, 2011 4:54 a.m.

    I had no idea that running at 60fps justifies an unoriginal, unchanging formula for 5 years running now. Nor did I realize that when I buy games, I look at the frame rate as comparison. Because that's obviously a "competitive edge." And sure, I can have more shit happening on screen at once, but never ONCE have I had lag problems in Bad Company 2. Scofield is reaaallly fishing for something good to say about Call of Duty's standing in the current gaming demographic. And if he's taking such jabs at Battlefield 3, which ran perfectly in their demo WITH an updated engine destroying 15-story buildings, he's just a timid little kid acting all tough around his friends, thinking he'll be better (in this case, make a better game) from it.
  • practicallyhitler - June 30, 2011 4:49 a.m.

    Yeah, pretty sure I'll be playing both of these come fall. Though I will probably just rent COD for the campaign, since I prefer the BF multiplayer. But that's just me.
  • Hellhog - June 30, 2011 4:45 a.m.

    What an ass, I'm sick of fast action paced always at the climax shooters (aka CoD). When the game is all fast action or always big moment. It kills the point of a story with a rising arc. Or in the case of shooters, I don't want some rising story arc. I want something I can play with friends co-op, thats challenging, requires strategy, and bears more plausability than expected. I miss games like the Conflict series. I'm sick of CoD. CoD4 was good, but BlOps and MW2 were all just cliche brining what everyone liked about CoD4 and throwing them together into a giant action charlie foxtrot instead of some well paced game. I'm looking forward to BF3 and what it is capable of. Unfortunately I cant do shooters well on PC so this will be a 360 buy for me. But seeing what Crysis 2 with CryEngine 3 did on 360, I'll be excited to see what Frostbite 2 can do. Screw CoD and their engine, I rented BlOps and can say, I was sorely dissapointed by the story, same graphics as all pevious CoDs and doesnt help that within 2 hours, I already had my "perfect class" unlocked and was usually number 1 or number 2 in the match. Got sick of that fast. I don't even understand the 60fps comment. I play StarCraft II at 20-50fps depending on what is going on, at no point does my experience change because of the framerate. I can say, that increasing my resolution from 1280x800 to 1440x900 and increasing the physics from off to med was definitely a huge improvement to me, even if during heavy action the game dips below 30fps. Impressive Graphics @ 30fps > Okay graphics @ 60fps. CoD4 had the wow factor but after that, I was no longer impessed. [/rant] I'm sick of developers making ass hole comments. This is enough of comment for me to not even rent MW3. The Angry Birds dev already made a stupid snide comment a month ago that was enough for me to never buy a game from their studio, and to think Angry Birds just released on Windows Phone 7 but nope, not even going to download the trial.
  • batouyukinawa - June 30, 2011 4:26 a.m.

    I've played fps's for a while now, and I'm sorry to say both don't peak my interest. Just another bang bang shoot shoot game with no diversity. I'm tired of the same crap in fps. It's as if fps means it must have many explosions and zero depth. I for one have had my eye on Deus Ex Human Revolution. If I were a real fps fan boy, I would be paying attention to that game. I've even witnessed the early beta leak at my friends house, and it's probably one of those most inventive well designed games I've seen since maybe Half-Life. Where these to contenders battle it out in the MP market. Deus Ex 3 sheds new light on the genre. I have zero interest in either title, sorry. Same old, same old once again. I play games to experience a new world not to experience real actual combat that many are risking their life for. Man up and join the military and experience the real thing if you like killing people so much.
  • winner2 - June 30, 2011 3:30 a.m.

    @AttroPheed: Lol I like the 1984 reference, very appropiate

Showing 1-20 of 58 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000