Battlefield 4: DICE general manager "very interested" in supporting eSports
DICE have provided some broad hints about what they'd like to achieve with Battlefield 4's multiplayer. In an interview with YouTuber Luetin09, the company's general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson reaffirms that multiplayer is "the heart" of any Battlefield game, before hinting at a surprising area of interest for the team. "I can't talk about the specifics because we're not announcing them," he said, "but I can say that e-sports is an area that we are very interested in." Excitingly, this raises the possibility that one day there might be a world champion in defibrillation.
And Troedsson recognises that successful eSports means more than slapping some streaming integration into the game. He admits that true eSports support is "not as easy as some game developers like to think, that it's just you do 'x, y and z' and everything is done - it's actually much bigger than that now."
"There are some people that actually see this as a new phenomena, and that's not true either. For the people that have been involved in this scene it's been around for a long time. It's just recently that it's really started to take off more in semi-mainstream, online media etc. which is amazingly cool by the way.
"So yes, we're very interested in this area, and we're definitely going to see what we can do there."
It's certainly an interesting idea: one I'd not considered compatible with Battlefield's large-scale battlefields. First-person shooters have struggled to get the eSports attention enjoyed by Starcraft II, League of Legends and Dota 2. Those that are being built to target tournament play - ShootMania: Storm, for instance - do so by scaling down the action in a way that gives the viewer an instant understanding of what's happening. Much like a traditional sport, but with lasers.
Matches of Battlefield can be long, large, and centred around intricate team-work. Understanding everything that's happening from a full-scale war down to individual squad skirmishes sounds like a big ask for both viewers and casters. Are DICE focusing their eSports ideas around the smaller modes that have made it into the game - like Squad Deathmatch - or do they have a more involved solution for bringing pro play to our screens?