There is plenty of room in our gaming lives for more Battlefield 3, more Bad Company and many more military first-person shooters from EA, the giant game publisher's number two boss told Kotaku this week.
"I think the genre is big enough, and they're different experiences," chief operating officer Peter Moore said during a brief sit-down interview in New York City.
A day earlier, EA reps had sent Kotaku an invitation to an event in San Francisco that was emblazoned with a logo for Medal of Honor, an EA franchise last seen in late 2010. That probably means a new Medal of Honor hits this fall.
Moore wouldn't confirm the title's existence, but elaborated in general terms. "Without commenting on what we're going to do," he drew a distinction between " the big battlefield — no pun intended — environments we do in Battlefield" and "what we've done in the past for a game like Medal of Honor, which is a little bit more squad-based, close combat." They're not the same, he said. "I think there are subgenres within the FPS that we can make a difference in."
And what of the Battlefield: Bad Company series of games that spun off from Battlefield primarily on consoles, back when Battlefield was more computer-centric? I think Moore thought I said Battlefield Heroes, because he said: "I think so," Moore said. "If you look at the different business models now around free-to-play and microtransactions… Bad Company had that sense of humour that people enjoyed. It was completely opposite of Battlefield 3, but I think the Battlefield franchise, it's pretty elastic. … I think there's still room for that." (But what of Bad Company? After realising Moore probably had been talking about Heroes I followed up with an EA rep who confirmed that was the case. About Bad Company, the spokesperson e-mailed, "Obviously no announcements to make on this, but we see Battlefield Bad Company as a very viable component of the Battlefield universe moving forward."
EA may be ready to bring Medal of Honor to centre stage again this year, but they're also trying to keep Battlefield 3 relevant. Moore admires rival Activision's Call of Duty: Elite optional subscription service that lets gamers pay $US50 to get early, discounted access to nine months of downloadable expansions to November 2011's Modern Warfare 3.
"To Activision's credit, what they did with Elite — certainly when you speak to retailers who were selling the cards, and you speak to gamers who think it's a great deal — they've done a phenomenal job in marketing digital content going forward," Moore said. "Certainly we've got a digital content flow yet to be announced on that. We will look at different business models that will make a good value for the consumer."
In other words, "We continue to look at how we keep the disc in the drive, as we say."
Battlefield 3 now has over 11 million players, Moore said. "As you might imagine this isn't going to be the last FPS you're ever going to see from EA. How do you continue to bridge that? You've got a large audience that's loving the game. It's a great multiplayer game.
He started to recall his days as one of the top executives in Microsoft's Halo-loving Xbox division. "How do you continue, as I did in the old days with Halo [to keep it fresh?] You need to add map packs or whatever it is.
"And as you can imagine, we're working on that."