The release of a second major Battlefield title one year after the last one doesn’t mean that EA is moving to an annual release schedule for the franchise, according to EA Studios executive vice president Patrick Söderlund.
Söderlund explained that Battlefield: Hardline is simply a chance to let developers work on a game that they want to create. “Karl-Magnus [Troedsson], who runs DICE studios, and Steve Papoutsis, who runs Visceral, basically met in Barcelona almost three years ago and they came to me and said ‘Hey, we have an idea,'” he told Polygon.
“Actually, the idea of a cops and robbers type Battlefield game has been with us — me and the DICE team — for more than ten years. There are early prototypes from, like, 2000 or 2001 of a game that we called back then Urban Combat. This has been lingering and we’ve been wanting to do something like this.”
However, there was one condition set by EA before it would allow Visceral to make a full Battlefield game: “Make sure that Visceral builds an expansion pack before they do this so they understand what it takes to make a Battlefield game.”
“It doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to annualize Battlefield and that’s the way it’s going to be forever and ever,” Söderlund added. “I understand that some people may look at it that way but that’s what happened.
“The EA that I’m trying to help build isn’t an EA that needs to annualize everything.”