Battlefield studio boss says moving on from modern-day warfare is not enough.
Today's FPS market is all about present-day warfare, with more to come on the Christmas horizon. As game publishers attempt to release franchise titles to a regular schedule and bolster existing ones with DLC, DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson took aim at first person shooters, criticising them for lacking innovation.
Troedsson believes that the stagnant technical evolution of the genre is failing to hold the attention of FPS gamers, whom he considers to be a more "hardcore" audience with extremely high expectations. He states that every upcoming game needs a "new, if not revolutionary then at least evolutionary" progression of graphical rendering otherwise FPS audiences will lose interest.
A change from the modern day theme may sound like a more appropriate direction, but Troedsson believes that it is only a temporary diversion and not real innovation. "Every now and again settings or themes start to get stale and then everyone jumps over," he says. "It used to be WWII, and recently it's been the modern era and people are now moving towards near future.
"But it's a bit cheap to just say, 'Okay, we're going to switch and go back in time or into the future and that will be innovation'," he explains. "It will definitely drive the franchise forward for whatever game, but it's not true innovation, it's more a thematic change that has a perceived value to the gamers out there. But as a developer you can only make so many games in one particular era, and then you personally start to get a bit bored with it."
While advances in rendering and presentation are certainly welcome, it is far more appealing to see more thematic variety in a genre that is dominated by a single mainstream idea. It is, however, understandably difficult for big-budget teams to justify a venture into new territory in the hopes that shooter fans will respond well to the change in scenery. We'll see whether better graphics and bigger spectacle will rejuvenate the next batch of FPS games.