Battlefield studio DICE disappointed many fans when the recently-revealed Hardline didn’t turn out to be Bad Company 3, but that doesn’t mean the team’s forgotten about the spinoff franchise. In a frank interview with Eurogamer, DICE boss Karl-Magnus Troedsson acknowledged that the developers are well aware of the demand for a new Bad Company game, but are hesitant to go forward with one until they understand exactly what it is about the series that fans love so much.
Battlefield: Bad Company, released in 2008, was the first shooter from DICE to feature a full single-player campaign. It was widely praised for its humor and innovative destructible environments, and the focused multiplayer’s squad-based mechanics were considered one of the best online experiences at the time for PlayStation 3 and Xbxo 360. Bad Company 2 was an even larger critical and commercial success in 2010, setting what many consider to be the high water mark for Battlefield’s multiplayer.
In today’s annual franchise-driven AAA market, it seems like an obvious move to continue such a beloved series, but when DICE asked fans what they love in particular about Bad Company, everyone gave different answers.
“Some people say they found the multiplayer controls faster and more direct,” Troedsson explained. “Some people liked the single-player and the characters and the humor. People love different things about it. It’s starting to almost get to that place where, if we were to make a sequel to Bad Company, what would than even imply?
“It’s scary to go back and try to remake an old fan favorite when actually no-one can really put their finger on what it is people love. Bringing back the characters and creating a great single-player out of that, sure, I can understand that. But some people say this: the Bad Company 2 multiplayer is the best you’ve ever done. Okay, why is that? It’s hard for people to articulate what that is, which is actually hard for us. It would be hard to remake something like that.”
This puts the developer in a sort of damned if you do, damned if you don’t conundrum. By not making Bad Company 3, DICE remains open to an endless barrage of complaints. If the team does go ahead and make the game without a clear direction, they risk incurring further wrath for ruining a fan favorite by not living up to the potentially impossible expectations.
Fans hoping for an official word will have to settle for a cryptic “well you’ll have to wait and see” comment from Troedsson. Take comfort in knowing that the studio is definitely still invested in the series.