EA DICE is touting Battlefield 4 as a different type of war game, ” Battlefield 4 is our most human, dramatic, and believable game yet” – EA DICE. This sounds an awful lot like what they were saying about Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Warfighter was at the center of controversy because of the lengths in went to to achieve realism. Such as when EA partnered with actual weapons manufactures, or when EA hired actual Navy SEALs as consultants which led to the SEALs being punished. The entire tie-in to the movie Zero Dark Thirty seemed like such a shady move with no taste in an attempt to make a buck for EA.
I digress, Medal of Honor’s image of being realistic was not only filled with controversy but also lost all credibility and ultimately was seen as a joke by many by featuring Linkin Park in their promotional campaign. All these missteps resulted in Medal of Honor selling poorly and to be “taken out of rotation.”
Battlefield 4’s recent reveal is showing some of the same signs. The reveal trailer features the song “Run This Town” featured on Jay-Z’s The Bluprint 3. Twitter was not pleased.
Many people are also thinking that the sequel to Battlefield 3 is being released entirely too soon especially with the recent release of their final DLC piece, Battlefield 3 End Game.
Beyond people’s opinions, the game is also being released in a state of transition for games. The current consoles are on their way out. EA executive vice president said in an interview with Gamesbeat, “current-generation technology can’t really run the new Battlefield in all of its glory.” Firstly, obviously if the game is released on as many platforms as possible then it will sale more. However, if the porting over to older consoles sacrifices the experience then that is a bad image for the game. In this case, EA DICE is betting the sale of their game on the sale of next generation platforms (PS4 and the next Xbox). Although there will be no Wii U version of the game, one must look at the sales of the Wii U. The sales for the system have been disappointing. One can attribute the system’s sales to the limited selection of software available, which is a fair assumption, but there may be more to look into.
Since the last wave of consoles were released, the economy has taken a huge slump. In addition, mobile platforms and mobile games have altered the game landscape. It could be possible that consoles have reached their peak. in terms of sales and popularity with consumers. Do consumers really want a new console? The highest selling games of 2012 were Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Madden NFL 13. Both games are the types of games that the mainstream consumer wants. If the next 2 or 3 Call of Duty and Madden games are released on their current consoles, will they have enough incentive to drop hundreds of dollars on a new system?
This is the danger that Battlefield 4 faces. If there are not enough early adopters on the new generation of consoles, then there will not be enough people to sale a game to for EA DICE. With all the resources going into Battlefield 4 and the catch up they are playing against Activision’s Call of Duty, they better hope consumers really want a new console.