In a battle for supremacy in the lucrative first-person shooter video game market, Electronic Arts is looking to gain ground with Battlefield 3. Matt Cowan reports.
The lay of the land is changing for first person shooter video games. Ahead of its launch in stores later this month, Electronic Arts is showcasing its new title Battlefield 3. Though it is still a distant second to the market leading Call of Duty Modern Warfare, which is also due to be refreshed next month, EA has high hopes it will gain ground. PatricK Bach is the executive producer of the highly anticipated title. SOUNDBITE: Patrick Bach, Battlefield 3 Executive Producer saying (English): "Our game is focusing on a variety of things - you have the vehicles, you have the jets, you have the tanks and then of course you have great gun play. The whole team play apect is quite unique for a battle field game and as well the destruction. It's fun to blow things up." In order to encourage team play on the virtual battlefield, players are given points for helping their fellow players. The game is designed by EA's DICE studios in Sweden who created a new gaming engine for this title called Frostbite 2. Hunter Skipworth is a writer for the UK technology blog Pocket-Lint, and has been following both camps in the first person shooter competition closely. SOUNDBITE: Hunter Skipworth, Pocket-Lint writer saying (English): "At the moment Modern Warfare is the king of first person shooters. It has millions and million of people who play it on the internet. But there's a lot more hype surrounding Battlefield 3 because of the way it looks. It's a new game. It's an entirely new engine and the game play is totally different. Call of Duty is a small tight nit game on the internet - 16 people fighting each other whereas Battlefield on the PC is 64 people." EA Vice President for Northern Europe Keith Ramsdale says pre-orders of the game have surpassed expectations, and predicted Battlefield could outsell Call of Duty in certain markets but refused to elaborate on either point. SOUNDBITE: Keith Ramsdale, EA Northern Europe Vice President, saying (English): "We've been less strong over the years on shooters. It's such a great category to be in and Battlefield is our massive bet in this space. The Quality is very high. Dice is an incredible studio to deliver world-class content which you need to have. You need to have a category killer." The game launches in the U.S. on October 25 and in Europe two days later. Gamers wanting to immerse themselves deeper in the world will be offered a novel networking experience. SOUNDBITE: Patrick Bach, Battlefield 3 Executive Producer saying (English): "We have a social network called Battle Log, where you can log on anywhere, anytime from any platform and check your stats, chat with your friends so you have this whole social element of Battlefield 3 and it's quite unique for the genre." Most analysts agree that Activision Blizzard's "Modern Warfare 3" will sell at least twice as many copies as EA's "Battlefield 3." But EA has its sights set on making strong gains in market share. The guns are drawn for what promises to be an intense battle. Matt Cowan, Reuters