DICE may no longer be the sole developer of EA's Battlefield series.
Analyst Michael Pachter said in an investor note last Friday that his company believes Criterion Games is working on a military shooter that may become a brand extension for the Battlefield franchise in FY15”.
However, Pachter followed up the report by telling Eurogamer that it was in fact Dead Space developer Visceral Games that was handling the game and not Criterion.
As OXM points out, Visceral had a hand in development of some Battlefield 3 DLC.
The conclusion drawn by many online is that the terrible tech problems that have dogged Battlefield 4 have led EA to look elsewhere for the next game. A more likely explanation is that EA is looking to place two studios in charge of the franchise in an effort to annualise it – which is exactly the same model that Activision has employed with Call of Duty.
Still, EA last month did downplay suggestions that Battlefield would move to a yearly rotation, with CFO Blake Jorgensen stating:
Battlefield takes us about two years to develop and so you want to make sure that your sharing talent across studios, so you keep core talent of the product and the experience for the consumer there.
And Battlefield is a product that doesn't just sell once; it sells for 24 months associated with not just Battlefield, but all the additional Battlefield Premium activities that the consumer wants. So you've got to be careful that you don't destroy some of that tale that is on the Battlefield product.”