With Battlefield 3 looking better and better by the day, the resident champion Call of Duty is looking like it will have a hard time standing up to its competition. Battlefield 3's gameplay looks amazing, and is focusing on bringing a new standard in multiplayer. While the face-off between the two franchises is known across the industry, DICE has now come out to say that they're going to win, beacuse they're willing to take the risks that their competitors aren't.
The gaming industry is a pretty polite place for the most part. Sure, sometimes Activision's CEO Bobby Kotick will occasionally throw out some fighting words, and get some thrown right back, but generally the bigger and more powerful a developer or publisher gets, the more debates they tend to steer clear of.
We're not complaining, since most studio heads are correct to assume that they would rather keep the attention of their fans on buying their product, not picking sides in a battle within a genre. Yet over the past few years, it's become somewhat accepted to take shots at the king of shooters, Call of Duty.
As the next-biggest publisher in the industry, Electronic Arts takes it on themselves to keep Activision in check by constantly naming their next biggest shooter as the one contender able to beat CoD at its own game. They did it first with Medal of Honor, and again with Battlefield 3 when MoH failed to succeed.
You can't blame them, since the various studios making Call of Duty games seem content to churn out game after game without changing up the formula in any ways that might threaten sales. Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling went so far as to say that the reason Modern Warfare 3 won't be using a new game engine is because the move would be 'counter-productive.' Those seem like troubling words to those of us who favor innovation over the status quo, but EA remained quiet.
DICE isn't pulling any punches, and isn't keeping their opinions on the current shooter genre to themselves. General Manager Karl Magnus Troedsson had previously accused BF3's competition of treading water, and in the latest issue of OPM went one step farther, throwing down the gauntlet:
"Our competitors are getting lazy...They're using the same engine, the same recipe for building a game. At some point you need to take that leap. I haven't seen them take that leap since a long time ago. We are doing that now. They had better watch out. We are coming for them.
"Our competitors keep building very, very high tempo games. We want to tell a story with more drama curves. It's not about pumping round after round for six hours"
If that isn't a shot at the constant adrenaline-fueled campaign of Call of Duty: Black Ops, we don't know what is. On the bright side, DICE has already made it clear that the graphics of Battlefield 3 will impress console owners, so now we have confirmation that a compelling story and well-crafted campaign is a priority as well.
With major time being given to a brand new Frostbite 2 engine, a sophisticated PC multiplayer system, and a next-gen experience on consoles, DICE has their hands full. Given the recent news that Homefront will have to sell two million copies to be profitable, we have to wonder how much money is being sunk into Battlefield 3's development.
We'll find out if DICE can check the checks being written by their GM when Battlefield 3 is released for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC this fall.