DICE Underestimated Console Gamers with Battlefield Bad Company, Says Director

By Nick Breckon, May 13, 2009 12:03pm PDT Battlefield developer DICE learned several lessons from its first significant foray into console gaming with last year's Battlefield: Bad Company, not the least of which was to never underestimate the skill level of console gamers.

"I think one of our biggest mistakes with Battlefield: Bad Company.. was that when we started making it, laying out the plans, the view on the gamer was that it's a console audience, and we need to treat them a bit more gently, since they're less experienced," said DICE creative director Lars Gustavsson to GamesIndustry.

Gustavsson had been with the company since the first Battlefield title, and admitted to coming to the console project with a colored opinion.

"For a very long time I think the PC audience was seen as the hardcore, the most competitive and dedicated audience," he said. "Maybe at one time that was partially true, but now we definitely see a fanatic shooter audience on console."

"When we shipped [Bad Company].. the audience had grown, matured, played more online," he added.

DICE is taking this lesson into consideration when designing the sequel, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (PC, 360, PS3), which is due for a winter release.

"Now, looking at our console audience, we just had this discussion that we should more or less handle them on equal terms," said Gustavsson. "A lot of PC players like me have become old farts, with children at home, and it's harder to find the time to sit in front of the PC. Therefore, when they find a good shooter title they'll expect more or less the same possibilities when they fight it out in a console game as they would in a Battlefield PC title."

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32 Threads* | 171 Comments*

  • Maybe what he meant is that DICE was wrong to think that console gamers were so stupid that they would go along with DICE's initial idea of paid cheating in BF:BC through selling more powerful guns only at a premium. But DICE discovered that the backlash was so severe that they had to partially backtrack on their pay-to-cheat scheme by making the Gold Edition weapons unlockable by anyone who reaches level 25 in the multiplayer portion on the game.

    Perhaps this is a sign that in Bad Company 2 they are going to forget altogether about the anticompetitive, gameplay-destroying idea of allowing lamers to pay for earlier access to more powerful weapons. Maybe they see that console gamers also firmly believe in the concept of an even playing field where money does not give an advantage in competitive multiplayer gaming.

  • I hope they don't completely ditch making small changes to the game to make it "console-friendly". This doesn't mean "easier", but somethings do work better on consoles then they do on PC and visa versa.

    Take Halo 3 for example. It's got a lot of console adaptations to what would typically be expected of a PC FPS, and it benefits from it. Halo 2 felt a little strange on PC, but it was great on Xbox.

    The real key I hope they realize is that you can make the PC and console versions different. I hope they do what works well on PC for the PC version of BC2, and what works well on consoles for the console versions of BC2. They don't have to be completely identical.

  • Battlefield Bad Company was one of the better console 1st person games I've played in a while. Now I'm concerned the follow up will be made "console gimmicky" with coordinated jumps and puzzles. Again as a PC / Console game player - I don't know what he means. Please don't mess with what worked in the first game.

    As PC game player since 1991 I am not sure what he is talking about. BFBC was great!
    I still play COD4, L4D, TF2, UT3, BF2 only the PC. But I get allot of time on 360 as well. There are certain Console FPS games I wouldn't touch on the PC. Bioshock, Fallout 3, Far Cry 2. Some games simply look and play better on their respective systems.

  • What guess that developer never player Halo 1,2,3 Goldeneye, Socom for ps2 online, or if he did he never got to past lv 23 on TS or he was in a cave taking LSD and playing single player time trials on mario cart. I remember seeing over 500,000 ppl online at once playing halo2. There are plenty of hard-core gamers out there for a console. When are these money making mothers going to relize that 4/5 games should be made for the hard core gamer. And that anyone that spends $300 on a console and $60 for a game is hardcore. Battlefield 2 and 2142 are still fantastic games today, crap the for the first two weeks you play the game you die, but come back for more. Until you figure out the 100 different complexes in the interface, and get to know a level or two. (24k Hawaiiboy) you almost have to hire a coach to learn how to play. But thats what we want. The console gamers are dying for some of that. We want to personalize our FPS, we want to see world stats and where we stand in the rankings of knife kills. For most ppl who are hard-core gamers for PC own a 360 because they need their fix of competitive FPS. I just wish that the true excuse for making a console BF is so they can take the money that they stole from everyone and make a real hard-core BF on a console. Well I am at work and dont care to edit or even try to keep my point in line. Just dont make excuses when EA came out earlyier this year stating that most game makers need to stop making half arss games. Just get a gov bail out and make a game. LV47 halo3 battlefield 2142 ace. Goldeneye lover. Socom fan. Mario Cart milk man.