As part of the EA Play Live Spotlight Series for the publisher's FPS games, developers from DICE discussed Battlefield 2042 and specifically offered a tease for the game's mysterious new mode. This mode is being developed by Ripple Effect Studios, the LA-based team formerly known as DICE LA, and it will be fully revealed at EA Play Live on July 22.
Studio head Christian Grass said this new mode, whatever it is, will feature "fan-favorite" maps from across the Battlefield franchise.
"I can't say that much about it, but what I can say is that one of the components in this experience that we're creating is that we're adding some of the fan-favorite maps back into Battlefield 2042. But the entire experience, you have to wait a bit longer before we reveal what that is," he said.
Another new mode coming to Battlefield 2042 is Hazard Zone, and this, too, remains largely a mystery. DICE's Oskar Gabrielson teased that it's "not your classic battle royale," but is instead aiming to blaze its own trail.
Hazard Zone is a "high stakes squad based game mode with a lot of high tension. It's not your classic battle royale, it's a really contemporary mode," he said.
"It's also something the team has been thinking about for many years. It has some really special components, and it really leans into the super powers of Battlefield and DICE at the same time," Gabrielson added.
Hazard Zone will be revealed this fall, ahead of the launch of Battlefield 2042 in October, Gabrielson said.
Also during the chat, Gabrielson reflected on the announcement of Battlefield 2042. He said he hoped to feel excited and enthusiastic about getting to show the game to the world, but instead he felt "pure agony." That's because the developers had been working for years on Battlefield 2042 and no one knew for sure what the reaction to it would be.
Battlefield 2042 is a multiplayer-only title that will grow and evolve over time with new seasons of content that add more to the game. DICE has yet to formally unveil its post-launch strategy and timelines, but Gabrielson teased that DICE has a "couple of tricks up our sleeve" that will be announced later as it relates to the live service component of Battlefield 2042. He also acknowledged that Battlefield 2042's live service features build off the learnings from Respawn on Apex Legends.
Gabrielson and Grass also spoke about where they see FPS headed in the future. Grass said FPS games have a lot of room to grow on the social side. He observed that, with traditional ball-based sports like football, fans can just go outside and kick or throw a ball around to enjoy the sport in a different context than watching it on TV. He said video games have room to grow in this capacity too; they can become social spaces where people not only meet up to compete, but also to just hang out. He didn't use the word, but what he's describing sounds like the so-called Ready Player One-like Metaverse that numerous companies are trying to create.
For Gabrielson, he said he believes cloud computing stands to have a major impact on games in the future, and specifically Battlefield. Game logic and processing for things like AI, destruction, and procedural content can be offloaded to the cloud to help free up local processing power. With cloud computing, the developers at DICE can do some "really high-scale computing," Gabrielson said, noting that this is just a couple of years away. He stopped short of saying what impact this may have on Battlefield specifically, but Gabrielson said FPS fans should expect to see some "pretty cool shooter games" thanks to cloud computing.
Here are some other quick takeaways from what was discussed on the panel:
Gabrielson loved the Tablet Commander feature from Battlefield 4 and he hopes it can show up in a future Battlefield game down the road.
Live destruction, first introduced in Battlefield Bad Company and now the franchise's trademark feature, was not originally seen as a "sane" idea. Grass said the team at DICE believed it it, and pushed for it, and it eventually made it into the game and has now become a defining and core component of the Battlefield series.
Titans and wall-running was cut from Titanfall 2 because the developers wanted a game with a slower pace. Titans were too OP, and it became too difficult to balance, Grenier said.
People assume that developers are some of the best, most highly skilled players of their games, but Zampella says this is not true, apart from the first few hours after a game releases.
Developing a Battlefield 2042 map takes about 6-12 months, Gabrielson said.
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