Currently, the extremely popular Call of Duty franchise is the king of the First Person Shooter genre. Not only is the title synonymous with online multiplayer, but it also carries with it mass-market appeal. No longer interested in playing second fiddle to Activision’s juggernaut, EA CEO John Riccitiello has revealed the publisher’s plan to dethrone Call of Duty and it starts with a title called Battlefield 3.
Realistically, Riccitiello believes that the best way to outsell a Call of Duty title is simply to make a better game. He lays out his perfect scenario saying:
“If I had to pick the story I’d like to play out next year is we ship a 90 [Metacritic] and they ship an 85. Activision has an awful lot of momentum without heir brand, no doubt. What I’ve witnessed a couple of times in the games industry is the way you unseat a market leader is you make a better game a couple of times in a row. “
Something that Battlefield 3 does have over its competition is its engine. Frostbite 2.0, with its realistic destruction physics, is paving the way for a new FPS experience seen most recently with Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Though while the engine is great, it’s only a small component of what needs to be a very rich experience. There are other elements, mainly single player related, that EA and DICE would need to work on in order to make a reasonable go at challenging the crown.
As it stands right now, with Black Ops selling in record numbers, EA has their work cut out for them if they want to challenge the king. With the confusion over when the next Call of Duty might be shipping and who is developing it, 2011 might be the perfect year for EA to make their move. Whether Battlefield is the right title to spearhead said move is yet to be determined. Either way, it’s hard not to admire a company for wanting to challenge the king.
Do you see Battlefield 3 unseating Call of Duty as the premiere FPS experience? Is there another title, perhaps from another publisher, that has a better chance of taking the crown?