With its latest bellwether first-person shooter, 2011′s Battlefield 3, selling well into 2012 (and likely 2013); its proprietary Battlefield game engine, Frostbite 2, quickly being affiliated across Electronic Arts for titles like Dragon Age III: Inquisition and Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel; and its next confirmed project, Battlefield 4, staring down the Fall 2013 release landscape with blockbuster malice, it’s safe to say that Swedish developer DICE shares a very… intrinsic relationship with the Battlefield franchise.
It’s a singular association the studio would like to break — starting, quite possibly, with Mirror’s Edge 2.
Speaking to OXM, EA Games VP Patrick Soderlund acknowledged that certain members of DICE are currently tackling projects outside of the Battlefield franchise. Reticent to name games, Soderlund simply stressed the importance of creating a flexible atmosphere, one where employees don’t feel trapped in a “Battlefield factory:”
“… not all of [the DICE guys] are working on Battlefield things, and that’s intentional, because we don’t want to become a Battlefield factory.
“The minute we start saying ‘you’re going to make a Battlefield game for the rest of your life’, they’re going to go some place else. So for them to make great Battlefield games there need to be other things for them to do as well.”
If we’re to believe another industry executive close to EA and the Battlefield franchise, that “other thing” is Mirror’s Edge 2.
Ben Cousins — a former general manger of EA Easy and executive producer for Battlefield 1943, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Battlefield Heroes and Battlefield Play4Free — wasted no time in responding to Soderlund via Twitter by pinpointing the oft-rumored title. According to Cousins, Mirror’s Edge 2 is already in the works at Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment — and you’re a nobody in the Stockholm development scene if you haven’t heard.
It is general knowledge in the Stockholm dev scene that Mirror's Edge 2 is in production at DICE http://t.co/ck5DGqP3
— Ben Cousins (@BenjaminCousins) November 21, 2012
It’s rare that we see such candidness from a rather prominent industry figure — a few Twitter responses critical towards Cousins, who now heads Ngmoco Sweden, indeed invoke the sanctity of tacit insider wisdom. But while Mirror’s Edge 2 development may not be general knowledge outside the Swedish capital’s dev scene, it’s certainly general perception.
Take the words of so many others at Electronic Arts and DICE: EA Labels President Frank Gibeau tested the limits of what “unconfirmed” meant during E3 2011, saying that the company was “actively looking at how to bring [Mirror's Edge] back.” We’ve heard this year, from DICE’s Patrick Bach, that the studio has always kept the free-running platformer on the table and would never dream of killing it off. Developer resumes have even leaked online, with DICE and ex-EA employees citing work on Mirror’s Edge 2 alongside other unannounced titles like Battlefield: Bad Company 3.
2008′s original Mirror’s Edge sold over 2 million copies worldwide, and with everyone involved — developers, executives, fans — pining for a sequel, Mirror’s Edge 2 seems all but inevitable. Nothing has evidenced which platforms the game might be headed for yet, but with Mirror’s Edge already seen as a visual marvel in its first iteration, a Frostbite 2-built followup would be an outstanding way for DICE to kick-start the next generation.
Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.