Electronic Arts explained why its Battlefield series will not be serialized like its competition, Call of Duty. EA CFO Blake Jorgensen responded to questions at the UBS Global Technology Conference earlier this week.
"The challenges are you’ve got to most likely do it out of two studios because it’s hard, it’s a two-year project," Jorgensen said. "Battlefield takes us about two years to develop and so you want to make sure that you're sharing talent across studios, so you keep core talent of the product and the experience for the consumer there."
While the Battlefield series is developed by DICE with some help from its affiliate, the Call of Duty series has two major developers and a ton of smaller developers contributing to the game. Call of Duty switches off studios between yearly releases between Infinity Ward and Treyarch Studios.
Jorgensen said that annualizing the franchise without making a significant change to the game year after year would be very bad for the publisher.
"You also want to be really careful that you don’t destroy the franchise along the way. You've got to make it exciting and different, but at the same time you want to make sure you maintain a great franchise."
Critics have made a big stink about the annual Call of Duty releases. The latest entry, Call of Duty: Ghosts, received moderate to low ratings for a series used to big numbers but that didn’t stop it from selling like crazy. Still at the top of many charts and raking in the cash, it’s hard to weigh the use of critics against the popular demand. Electronic Arts is also notorious for delivering sports titles year after year that are almost identical. Maybe EA should take some of it's own advice.