Battlefield 3 executive producer Patrick Bach proposes that continual updates - not annual sequels - are the proper way to support a franchise.
Speaking with Rock Paper Shotgun, Bach discussed the respectful, often forgotten practice of supporting a game post-release. He says lessons learned regarding player habits in Bad Company 2 will translate into smarter design and possibly longer legs for the upcoming Battlefield 3.
Bach added that DICE woefully underestimated how long gamers would continue to play Bad Company 2, saying just as many gamers are playing now (one-and-a-half years later) as there were only three months after shipping.
"I think the learning we've done is that if you make a good game, people spend a lot of time with it," Bach said. "If you make a great game, they will never leave."
Regarding his disapproval with modern "sequelitis," Bach had this to say:
"But maybe you don't have to build the new game, do you? If people like the old one, then keep fixing that one, update it and make it better. I think sometimes it turns too mechanical when people release new games every year, and just focus on 'how can I sell another copy, another copy, another copy?' Of course companies need to make money to survive, but you can actually provide for the title you already have out on the market. You don't have to leave it, just because you've shipped it. You can go back to it and think 'can we add something to this, can we change something, what do people want?' And then if you keep doing for a longer period of time, why start building something new? Of course you can always plan for the big next step, but if that's in two years, or three years, five years..."
Thank you, sir, for that.
Source: Rock Paper Shotgun