Electronic Arts has confirmed that Battlefield 3 is in the works, saying it's putting a "real concentrated effort" into the game in hopes it can put a dent in Activision's dominance of the military shooter genre.
Released in 2005, Battlefield 2 was the first "modern" combat shooter in the Battlefield series, following Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield Vietnam, and was a respectable sales success with over one million units sold in the U.S.; the console version, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, fared comparably, puting out 1.2 million copies. But both games pale beside the eight-million-selling Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the 2007 Activision FPS that went on to be the best-selling game of the year.
Modern Warfare 2 is set to come out later this year and Activision is planning for even bigger sales this time around, but EA no longer appears willing to let that thunder go unstolen. "We have a lot of IP in that [shooter] area, and we have not not noticed that Call of Duty has a significant share of that business," EA Chief Operating Officer John Pleasants said during a question-and-answer session with industry analysts. "We are putting a real concentrated effort behind those titles. Battlefield happens to be one of them."
"I've had the luxury of looking at Battlefield 3 over at DICE over in Sweden. I was highly impressed by the way the people were working on that product," he continued. "That's not for this fiscal year [which ends March 31, 2010], but that is a product that is looking very good."
Pleasants said that Battlefield 1943, which is set for digital-only release in September, is also "going well," and that with the Battlefield franchise "strengthening and moving to a service model," he is optimistic about its future. "But it's not our only title which we are hoping to gain share with in the shooter category," he added, noting that EA has high hopes for the upcoming Army of Two: The 40th Day.