Swedish Battlefield studio DICE currently has no plans to annualise its popular military shooter series, and parent company Electronic Arts doesn’t appear to be in a rush to do so either. Battlefield 4 executive producer Patrick Bach told VideoGamer: "I think the core Battlefield idea that we're working on at DICE is... we can't build a game at DICE every year.
"We [had] 18 months worth of Battlefield [Premium] 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."
When it was put to him that the series could one day evolve into a continuously updated service offering new campaigns, maps and features, Bach said: "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."
Battlefield's position as EA’s flagship shooter series has only strengthened since the publisher took Medal of Honor “out of the rotation" earlier this year after its poor critical and commercial performance. However, as the company strives to increase its market share in the shooter genre and take Activision’s FPS crown, EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau has told CVG that other titles can step up to take on Call of Duty in non-Battlefield years.
He said of the rivalry between the two series: “Look, we are absolutely going for it. It's a competition and we feel really good about Battlefield 4, and we have an old saying at EA which is 'transition is our friend', and we're going to try to lap them with new technology, new innovation and new capabilities. So do I think we're going to do better than last time? Absolutely.
"The shooter rotation we think about now is Battlefield, Titanfall and Battlefront, and so we like those three brands going forward," Gibeau added. "We're working out how we're going to line that up because that's what you'll see from us. With regards to Medal of Honor, you try things in entertainment and if they don't work you try something else. From our perspective, Battlefield 3 and Battlefield Premium continues to grow."
Battlefield 4 is set for release on October 31, one week before Call of Duty: Ghosts launches on November 5.