Many gamer’s worst fears have just been alleviated. Even though Battlefield Hardline is releasing only one year after Battlefield 4, EA has stated they don’t plan to turn Battlefield into an annualized franchise.
In an interview with Polygon, EA studios senior vice president Patrick Söderlund stated that Hardline isn’t setting the precedent for the Battlefield series schedule moving forward. He said, “It doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to annualize Battlefield and that’s the way it’s going to be forever and ever. I understand that some people may look at it that way but that’s what happened.”
EA also stated they don’t want to annualize every series they currently have, something they frequently receive flak for. EA Sports in particular features a great number of annualized franchises such as FIFA and Madden, both of which are very commercially successful each year despite little improvement on previous versions.
However, it’s safe to say that Battlefield’s biggest contender is Call of Duty, which operates on an annualized cycle between different developers. Considering the massive success Call of Duty has become, it really wouldn’t be surprising to see EA follow suit. Activision also receives heavy flak for releasing Call of Duty titles yearly.
With that said, Call of Duty games typically launch functional. Battlefield 4 became notorious for a horrendous launch, especially on PC. Some issues with Battlefield 4 included poor optimization and netcode. DICE is still fixing the game months after release. Many gamers were unable to play the game for weeks and the title was cited to be clearly unfinished.
EA was blamed for not allowing developer DICE enough time to polish Battlefield 4, which is likely the reason why Hardline’s reception was mixed. It should be noted that Visceral is the main developer behind the game with DICE assisting, which is ensuring that DICE isn’t being overworked. DICE is currently developing Mirror’s Edge, Star Wars: Battlefront and probably Battlefield 5.
Battlefield Hardline is currently in Beta, available to gamers on both the PC and PS4. Battlefield Hardline launching October 21 for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.