Retailers are braced for a blockbuster end to 2013 now that Battlefield 4 has joined the fray.
Leading specialists and supermarkets have told MCV that they have huge expectations for the new shooter, following the long-tail success of Battlefield 3. The original title shifted well over 1.5m units in the UK.
"It's an understatement to say that fans are excited about Battlefield 4; the franchise has built up a really passionate and dedicated following over the past decade and the Battlefield 4 release will be a key date in the gaming calendar," said GAME category director Charlotte Knight.
“EA always keeps its flagship shooter fresh and relevant and we can expect new gameplay features and improved graphics. Its predecessor, Battlefield 3, was particularly well-received by critics and the gaming community alike, so we can't wait to see what the next installment brings."
HMV's Sian Clarke added: "The Battlefield franchise has already come a long way since its first incarnation and has a huge, loyal and very avid fanbase. It is also probably the only real contender to challenge the lure of Call of Duty."
The game launches in a two month period that includes some of the biggest games ever released, including Call of Duty, FIFA 14, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Grand Theft Auto V.
“Having seen the gameplay released today, it has confirmed that Battlefield 4 is breaking boundaries,” said Tesco buyer Jonathan Ferdenzi.
“I’m glad to see that they are focusing a lot of time on the single player campaign, which I think has been slightly lacking in recent FPS shooters.
“In a blockbuster line-up of games this year, this will certainly challenge to be one of 2013’s biggest and best.”
ShopTo boss Igor Cipolletta added: “Battlefield 4 could eventually be one of our biggest titles ever. Battlefield 3 still holds the pride of place as the biggest day one purchase in ShopTo history.”
The long-tail success of Battlefield 3 was boosted by a comprehensive DLC strategy. And retailers hope that EA will adopt the same tactic for Battlefield 3.
Sainsbury’s games boss Gurdeep Hunjan said: “We all know what a huge success Battlefield 3 was and continued to be with the DLC drops. Lets hope EA builds on this with lots of new cutting edge technology that really pushes the boundaries once again.”
Battlefield 4 was revealed with a 17 minute trailer at two locations earlier this week, at GDC in San Francisco and in Stockholm, Sweden. And EA has told MCV that it expects the game to be one of the biggest releases of the year.
“The innovation and quality that DICE are known for will be to the fore again and, with the game dev and Frostbite teams working so closely together," Uk marketing lead on Battlefield Colin Blackwood told MCV.
"We’re looking forward to Battlefield 4 being one of the most exciting games of 2013."