Realistically, you haven’t heard of Swedish developer ESN. The firm hasn’t ever created a blockbuster game, it doesn’t have any unheralded indie gems on the way, and its employees seem to all be pretty normal people. However, if you’ve spent any time with EA’s Battlefield 3 since its release in October of last year then you’re undoubtedly familiar with the firm’s work. ESN is the company that created “Battlelog,” the online stats-tracking system that is deeply interwoven into the fabric of Battlefield 3. Every shot you fire, every kill you make and every goal you capture is picked up and sorted by Battlelog into a comprehensive, almost overly information-packed set of screens that keep intricate details of all of your in-game exploits.
It’s exactly the kind of numbers-heavy info that hardcore gamers love, and as a result ESN has attracted strong interest from Battlefield publisher EA — strong enough that the mega publisher has decided to officially acquire ESN, bringing the relatively small company into EA’s massive family of studios.
“The ESN team is extremely happy to announce that we now are a part of the Electronic Arts family,” reads a statement on ESN’s official website.
Those of you curious as to what the studio will be doing under its new home at EA will be happy to hear that ESN will continue doing what it does best: Building industry-leading stats-tracking services to support the DICE-developed Battlefield series. “During the past few years we have been working closely together with EA and DICE to build Battlelog for Battlefield 3,” the message adds. “We couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity and the team is looking forward to focus all of its energy on DICE, Battlelog and the Battlefield series.”
That said, we’d be quite surprised if EA didn’t eventually also seek to leverage this new acquisition even further. The company has more than a handful of very successful franchises that heavily rely on online multiplayer, so it only makes sense that the publisher would inevitably task ESN with building Battlelog analogues for series like Dead Space 3, Madden, et alia. Obviously the current iteration of Battlelog, what with its gunfire-centric stats database, wouldn’t be a great fit for, say, the next FIFA title, but with a bit of tweaking EA and ESN could build a massive, cross-franchise stat-tracking tool that collates player activities over any and all EA titles. The publisher has been pushing for something like this for a while with its arguably successful universal EA Sports accounts, and we’d have to assume that ESN joining the company can only help it reach that goal.
As for how this might affect you, the consumer, in all honesty it probably won’t have much impact on your life. At best EA’s future games will be able to give you more accurate accounts of your gaming prowess at some point in the near future, and at worst the Battlefield series will continue receiving the finest Battlelog experience ESN is capable of creating. Either way it’s a win-win situation for you.