The games industry is constantly shifting and evolving, lessons being learned in every corner. From developers to publishers to press to gamers, we’re all figuring ways to push this fledgling medium to greater heights. Sometimes it can be difficult to own up to your mistakes, to hold your hands up and admit that things could be or could have been done better.
DICE, the company responsible for the Battlefield series, however, seem to have no shame in talking about past errors, particularly when it comes to Battlefield: Bad Company. Probably their biggest release from the franchise was met with mixed feelings across the board. Creative director Lars Gustavsson has a few ideas why.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Gustavsson readily admits that himself and DICE were a little naive about the market they were targeting with their first-person shooter, which focused hugely on multiplayer gaming and highly destructible environments.
“I came from the PC audience before starting up here and for a long, long time – to be honest all the way up to Bad Company – I was knee-deep in PC titles, which probably coloured my opinion on what a shooter is, and what it should be,” he explained.
“To me, Battlefield: Bad Company was an eye-opener, and for a very long time I think the PC audience was seen as the hardcore, the most competitive and dedicated audience. Maybe at one time that was partially true, but now we definitely see a fanatic shooter audience on console.
“I think one of our biggest mistakes with Battlefield: Bad Company for example was that when we started making it, laying out the plans, the view on the gamer was that it’s a console audience, and we need to treat them a bit more gently, since they’re less experienced.
“Well, when we shipped it – it was quite a long project – the audience had grown, matured, played more online… so they knew what a shooter on a console should be like, what to expect.”
Gustavsson has been working with DICE since the first Battlefield game was conceived and plans to continue working on new titles in the series, which looks set to be influenced by what the team has learned over the past year or two.