As the decidedly not very good Medal Of Honor: WARFACEFIGHTER received its critical pannings, one refrain was repeated again and again: they’re the games EA puts out on the year’s DICE don’t have a new Battlefield ready. That may well be true, but EA are now at pains to point out (not necessarily in reaction, I should say) that DICE are not “a Battlefield factory”. (Imagine a non-gamer reading those words. “Dice are not battlefield factories? And you say FPS games HELP your minds?”) There’s more to the Swedish team, they insist to OXM today. And in response rumours that Mirror’s Edge 2 is in development have once more bubbled to the surface.
Did anyone say they were? Was it you? That was mean, because they’re not. They also make… you know, they also do… oh yeah, Mirror’s Edge! EA Games’ VP, Patrick Soderlund, told OXM that it’s important for the team of 300 to have other non-BF projects on the go, or they could get fed up, and as he puts it, “we don’t want to become a Battlefield factory.” Which rather asks the question, but aren’t they?
In fact, take a look at their release history, and – well – theysuredolooklikeabattlefieldfactory. Since 2005 the only thing they’ve released that wasn’t BF was indeed Mirror’s Edge, the parkour-ish but-actually-spoiled-by-stupid-guns-for-no-reason runny, climby game that everyone wants a sequel for anyway. Before that was the well-liked Rallisport Challenge 2 for the original Xbox, then you’re back to 2003 for Midtown Madness 3, with just Battlefields and Battlefield expansions in between. If there are portions of the team working on non-BF games, then where are they?! Sequels for Shrek Extra Large on Gamecube, perhaps? Finally the follow up to 2001’s Diva Starz: Mall Mania?
See, I’m teasing, because actually it’s okay that they’re the Battlefield factory! They’re hardly doing a bad job, are they? The consistently make really brilliant Battlefield games. They should be proud of that. And you have to say, with no other IP released in over four years, and none scheduled for release in the future (with Battlefield 4 likely for next Christmas), um, the evidence they’re otherwise is scant. Except!
Except, after the OXM story did the rounds earlier today, former DICE studio manager, Ben Cousins, tweeted giving the game away on Mirror’s Edge 2. He said,
“It is general knowledge in the Stockholm dev scene that Mirror’s Edge 2 is in production at DICE.”
It’s gossip, certainly. But it’s the sort of gossip that is likely true. (Former devs and current devs remain friends, and talk shop all the time. I remember once, many years ago, being asked by some former LucasArts developers if I’d seen the new Monkey Island 4 game that the studio was then developing. The PR guy with us went white, his forehead hit the table, and hilarity ensued. I believe PC Gamer’s The Spy mentioned it in the following issue. That is a VERY old story – I am a VERY old man.)
So there it is. They’re not a Battlefield factory, because they might be making a Mirror’s Edge sequel.