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DICE Was Reluctant To Hand Battlefield To Another Studio

Last week, we spoke with DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson about the studio’s work to improve Battlefield 4 and possible plans for embracing an Early Access business model. We also chatted about the handoff of the Battlefield franchise to Visceral Games, which is working on the upcoming police-themed title, Battlefield Hardline.

We asked Troedsson about the hand-off from DICE to Visceral and how the project started. "Naturally, that’s a big thing. You’ve had your baby for so many years, and that baby has grown up," he says. "Naturally, the first reaction was, ‘What’s going on here?’"

However, he and Visceral Games general manager Steve Papoutsis turned informal partnership conversations into reality. "Steve and I met at one of those internal meetings that we have. We started talking about it and they were really keen on making a Battlefield game," Troedsson recalls. "It was brought up as, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we do this?’ Out of the gates immediately, I felt, and so did my boss Patrick Soderlund, 'Yes, this is a game that we want to build and we want to play.'"

When DICE first brought the idea to the larger group, there was a bit of trepidation about handing off the studio’s marquee franchise. “Did it take some convincing? Yes, absolutely.” 

Troedsson tells us that one area that wasn’t a hard sell was the change in thematic focus from military to law enforcement. “That’s actually been much less of a discussion,” he says. “As long as we stay true to the core pillars of the Battlefield franchise (destruction, vehicles, team play, etc.), it can absolutely go into new settings.”

He cites the change in eras from World War II all the way into the future and back to the modern era. But regardless of the setting, Troedsson comes back to the people making the games as the real motivator of success. “Great games aside, great ideas aside, what goes on in the background here is about passionate individuals—individuals that are working in this industry because they want to create great games.”

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