Since the Back to Karkand DLC arrived arrived for Battlefield 3 not long after the game’s retail release, there has been no additional content for the popular shooter. Instead, developers at DICE have focused on updating the game to address player feedback in bugs.

Next month that changes when Battlefield 3: Close Quarters releases to add four new maps, a new game mode and several new weapons. Close Quarters is part one of a three-stage release schedule for Battlefield 3 DLC, with ‘Armored Kill’ adding big maps and new vehicles in the fall and ‘End Game’ adding something we can only speculate upon in the winter. But is that all DICE is planning to add?

Two of the four maps (Donya Fortress & Ziba Tower) coming with ‘Close Quarters’ have been detailed via some incredible gameplay trailers already, but we know this DLC is focusing on smaller, interior maps. The big outdoors stuff comes with ‘Armored Kill’ which plans to add the biggest map the Battlefield franchise has ever seen. We still wonder about ‘End Game’ and what it adds, but we also now wonder if that marks the ‘End’ of support for the game from DICE.

With Electronic Arts somewhat competing with itself this fall by releasing Medal of Honor: Warfighter, we don’t know where they stand on the long-term plans for Battlefield 3. According to the game’s Executive Producer Patrick Bach (who’s temporarily in charge of DICE until Karl-Magnus Troedsson returns), they plan to support Battlefield 3 for 12-18 months.

“We at DICE, we only focus on Battlefield. We make sure that if you’re a Battlefield player, there should be plenty of Battlefield for you to spend your days on. And again, we are focusing on giving you 12-18 months of value for Battlefield 3 and the expansion packs we’re releasing.

So I can’t really say anything about the other tactics about releasing other games because we are DICE, we do Battlefield.”

12-18 months of “value” does not necessarily mean DLC and we still don’t know exactly when the third upcoming DLC pack (End Game) is actually releasing. By “winter” it could be early 2013, and the 12-18 months of “value” could also include game updates and the like. Bach did reiterate that everything could change depending on how the community responds  to the game in the future.

From what we understand about EA’s shooter plans going forward (and not including the Crysis series), they plan to have DICE and Danger Close Games working in tandem to have Medal of Honor and Battlefield games alternating each year, exactly like Activision does with Call of Duty games developed by Treyarch and Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer Games.

What that means, is that the already-confirmed Battlefield 4 could release in the fall of 2013 and that would replace BF3.

Battlefield 3 is current available for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. The Close Quarters DLC arrives one week early for PS3 players.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: VG247