I’ve been patiently awaiting news that DICE are developing a third Battlefield: Bad Company game, but it seems that my hopes and that of many others might not come to fruition any time soon.
Speaking to OXM, DICE revealed that they’d personally love to craft another Bad Company game, but EA appear to be ambivalent to the idea. According to DICE this is because EA view the numbered Battlefield entries as safer, because Bad Company’s sense of humour makes it harder to sell.
“It is a discussion about niche and mass market, I think,” Creative director Lars Gustavsson told OXM. “If you make your product more niche, you’ll get more happy fans, but that audience will be smaller – some people won’t care, some people will love it.
“When we did the original Bad Company and the sequel, we got a lot of criticism. Why would I play this? It’s not a serious shooter, I don’t care about this. I want a serious shooter with a more hard-boiled angle. And we thought it was fun! We loved it, we thought it was a great game. The narrative was amazing and the characters were amazing.
He’s right. While the actual gameplay in the campaigns of both Bad Company games was lacking, the sense of humour gave the story a sense of identity and uniqueness that has since been lost in both Battlefield 3 and 4’s boring characters and stale plots.
Furthermore the original Bad Company sold around 2.5-million copies, while Bad Company 2 went on to sell just under 7-million. While this is of course lower than the whopping 13+ million that Battlefield 3 sold, the sales of both the Bad Company games doesn’t exactly scream limited appeal to me.
Still, some vague hope remains that Bad Company 3 will eventually surface:
“So it’s not that we’ve buried the crew, so to speak,” continued Lars. “But it is true that for some reason if you want to make a game for the masses, you need to be more neutral when it comes to things like humour, because humour is very personal. Some people love it, some people hate it.”
I would love to say this isn’t the same narrow-minded view that other companies take, but in today’s industry it does seem to be the case. What they really need to understand is that you can still have humour sprinkled throughout an otherwise very serious game, and indeed having a few laughs make the characters involved feel more real as humour has always been a natural defensive and coping mechanism.