If you’ve ever doubted DICE’s commitment to the Call of Duty sales race, take a look at Patrick Söderlund. He spent seven years at DICE before packing it in to become EA Games’ top exec, overseeing the development of Battlefield, Titanfall and Meh-dal of Honor when that was still a thing.
“Competition is good,” Söderlund told MCV this week. “It brings the best out of people. If there was only Battlefield or only Call of Duty, then the development teams might have been a little bit more content. We don’t look at them necessarily and mimic what they do. But we think about them.
“Maybe they weren’t thinking about us much when we made Battlefield 3, but I can tell you, they are thinking about us now,” he went on. “They need to. We made a dent in the FPS market and we took share from them. And I am not going to give up until I’m No.1 and I am going to make sure I’m No.1.”
Yikes: sounds personal. The twin engines behind Söderlund’s push are “a tonne of money”, unsurprisingly, and a set of development teams “killing themselves every year to make great games”.
“I want to give our consumers the best I can,” he said. “We will strive to be No.1. If I said: ‘No.5 is probably fine,’ it’s hard for people to rally behind that message. But I wouldn’t say we could be No.1 if I didn’t think we could. I think I have the right team, the right product and the right strategy to get there.”
What Söderlund won’t do to reach his prized principal point, however, is make Battlefield an annual occurrence.
“We have other games now,” he explained. “We have Titanfall, which we didn’t have when we had Medal of Honor. To me it is about a balanced portfolio.”
DICE must be thankful to have a familiar voice in the room as EA takes on its new CEO. But does it matter to you, as a Battlefield player, whether or not the series outsells Call of Duty?