Dating back to the Battlefield 3 days and the franchise’s kickstarting of a new era, the two franchises and their corresponding publishers have been involved in a corporate mudslinging contest.
Battlefield has certainly propelled itself to the top of the mantle in the quality stakes, while Call Of Duty continues to fly off shelves, despite having recently fallen below its publisher’s expectations.
It was EA’s and DICE’s decision to bring Battlefield back to a historical era that arguably helped the franchise establish itself as gaming’s premier shooter franchise.
Call Of Duty, meanwhile, has entered into a period of stagnation, held back by tiring gameplay features and a futuristic setting that didn’t resonate with players.
Previously, Call Of Duty‘s return to a historic setting would have prompted some jeering from the Battlefield crew … in good spirit, of course.
However, the team at DICE is a little more grounded and appreciative of Call Of Duty‘s apparent shift away from the futuristic setting, saying it’s good for the genre and industry more broadly when major franchises can more directly compete with one another.
Speaking with Games Radar, DICE creative director, Lars Gustavsson, said other shooters returning to historical settings offered “healthy competition”.
“I think it’s just like Usain Bolt; if you’re running your race, yes, you should be aware of what other people are doing but you need to focus on your lane and do your race,” he said. “If someone would go to the same era, I welcome them.”
Gustavsson said the Battlefield franchise wouldn’t be where it is today without all other game makers and franchises out there.
“Since that’s what inspires us, that’s what we play when we get home,” he continued. “I think it’s healthy competition and inspiration [which] is just good for everyone. It’s not a negative. But we’ll see. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in times to come.”
Battlefield‘s risky decision to head to WWI proved to be the right one, and DICE was confident in the era’s ability to help offer a strong gaming experience.
Speaking with Fenix Bazaar at gamescom 2016, DICE’s Robert Sammelin said WWI offered a treasure chest to take from.
“It was a treasure chest to take from,” he said, “just to make new gameplay and further enhance what makes Battlefield great.”
Call Of Duty, meanwhile, appears set to truly return “back to its roots”: a era it hasn’t been set in since 2008’s grossly underrated World At War.
The franchise established itself as gaming’s premier shooter franchise with a shift towards a modern battlefield, but its gradual jumps into more futuristic settings have turned the brand into a shadow of its former self.
Battlefield 1‘s success — and Infinite Warfare‘s failures — appear to have woken Activision to the challenges the genre faces.