Battlefield is going back to a narrative campaign. EA has established Ridgeline Games, a new studio dedicated to the Battlefield franchise, that will focus on creating a proper campaign mode — a component that has been lacking in recent entries. The studio is headlined by Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto, who will lead the Seattle-based team, composed of industry veterans. “We're all in on the future of Battlefield!” EA said on Twitter, albeit it remains tight-lipped about the new experience and a release window.
“It is a great honour to have the opportunity to collaborate with DICE and Ripple Effect and lead the charge on expanding the narrative, storytelling and character development opportunities in the Battlefield series,” Lehto, Game Director and Head, said in a prepared statement. While Ridgeline Games focuses on the narrative aspect, EA has fully entrusted development on the multiplayer end to longtime partners, DICE, working together since 2006.
The campaign segment of Battlefield has not received proper treatment for a while, with the newest Battlefield 2042 completely stripping it off the game. To top it off, the title was received poorly by fans and critics alike, owing to the slew of glitches, rendering issues, and underuse of map segments. EA cut down development costs on several iconic aspects such as destructible environments, whilst not bothering to iron out bugs before launch. Even the World War-themed entries — Battlefield 1 and Battlefield V — featured half-baked stories that functioned more as a tutorial than an actual campaign.
EA first spoke about building a new campaign focussed team for Battlefield, just weeks after 2042's launch, completely revamping their management, a result of the negative reception. At the time, Vince Zampella, CEO, Respawn Entertainment — known for Titanfall and Apex Legends — was put in charge of the series. The studio confirmed that it was looking to build a “connected Battlefield universe,” exploring new experiences and stories.
“In this universe, the world is interconnected with shared characters and narrative. This universe is also built with our community as we harness the power of Portal [Battlefield's in-built map customisation tool] and user-generated content that puts creativity in the hands of our players,” Zampella told GameSpot.
In addition to Ridgeline Games' reveal, Dice confirmed that creative director Lars Gustavsson, who has worked on the franchise for over 20 years, would be departing. “I've dedicated a substantial portion of my life to Battlefield, and I'm very proud to have helped shape this franchise into what it is today,” he told GameSpot. “I think it's time for something new.”
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