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

Sledgehammer Games’ co-founder gets fired up over MW3’s 60 frames-per-second

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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