Now that Battlefield: Hardline has been delayed until early 2015, the math lines up that the Battlefield franchise might be entering into a 3-year development cycle, similar to the way Activision is approaching Call of Duty.
Asked about whether this 3-year dev cycle for Battlefield is indeed true, EA Studio Executive VP Patrick Soderlund revealed that they are “similarly aligned” to Activision’s plan, while also hinting that another Battlefield game may be in development:
Now, since Battlefield 4, we’ve had some people in Sweden working on expansion packs, but other people are obviously doing other things. So I think what they’re [Activision] doing mimics to some extent how we’re thinking. Obviously, more time, if managed correctly, yields a better product. So I would say that we’re similarly aligned, and that we’re taking a similar approach, but we haven’t articulated exactly what teams are working [on], because that would imply announcing things that we can’t right now.
In order for EA to keep developing these Battlefield games at a quick rate, Soderlund said “the first thing we have to do is get to a spectacular engine,” adding how their Frostbite engine allows them to iterate and improve “so that our teams can work as effectively as possible in our engine environment.”
The second thing we need is teams. We need a bunch of really great development people that can get together and make spectacular games. And then the final thing we need is obviously time. If you look at that as it relates to Battlefield and our shooter segment in particular, Battlefield obviously historically has been made in Stockholm by the [Dice] team. For the reason that you outlined, we did put [Visceral] on it, who is here in San Francisco, and working on [Hardline].
If Battlefield truly has entered into a 3-year development cycle, this means we’d see Battlefield 5 (or whatever they call the next Battlefield after Hardline) in holiday 2016.