Not every game should try to be a sandbox game, says the EA DICE producer.
The wonderful thing about sandbox games is that they give players the chance to go where they want and do things at their own pace. They’re not for everyone however, notably Battlefield 3 executive producer Patrick Bach, who thinks that in most cases, sandbox games are kind of dull.
Bach said that with a few exceptions, sandbox games were “hardcore, boring, hard to get into, [and] not very popular.” He didn’t specify what those exceptions were, other than the sandbox-style games DICE had built over the last few years. Bach indicated that the upcoming Battlefield 3 would more closely resemble the likes of Call of Duty than the more-open Bad Company games. He thought that sandbox gameplay was just one way of making games, and that it was a mistake for all developers to aim for that goal, as then no one would make campaigns.
Bach’s comments about the sandbox games seem a little strange; not because he doesn’t like them, but because he seems to be talking about a very specific breed of game. It seems like the majority of sandbox games – or certainly the most well-known ones – have campaigns in addition to their open worlds. Exceptions exist, of course – Minecraft isn’t overflowing in the story department, for example – but open-world series like the Elder Scrolls, Just Cause and Grand Theft Auto all have campaign modes as well as the ability to roam around.
Battlefield 3, which will most assuredly not be a sandbox game, is thought to be scheduled for release on Xbox 360, PC, and PS3 later this year.