Many assumed that with the announcement of Battlefield: Hardline, Electronic Arts had moved the series to an annual release schedule. This is incorrect, according to EA Studios executive VP Patrick Söderlund, who insists that the quick turnaround for Hardline is more a result of the publisher allowing its studios to work on the games they want to make. In actual fact, the cops and robbers concept has been kicking around for more than a decade.
"Karl-Magnus Troedsson, who runs DICE studios, and Steve Papoutsis, who runs Visceral, basically met in Barcelona almost three years ago and they came to me and said 'Hey, we have an idea,'” Söderlund told Polygon . "Actually, the idea of a cops and robbers type Battlefield game has been with us — me and the DICE team — for more than ten years. There are early prototypes from, like, 2000 or 2001 of a game that we called back then Urban Combat. This has been lingering and we've been wanting to do something like this."
"It doesn't necessarily mean that we need to annualize Battlefield and that's the way it's going to be forever and ever," he continued. "I understand that some people may look at it that way but that's what happened.”
EA has traditionally rotated between two military shooter franchises on a two-year basis, but since the critical panning of Medal of Honour: Warfighter in 2012, the publisher has taken it out of rotation. That leaves the publisher with a big, military shooter sized gap in its two-year release schedule. It'll be interesting to see what they come up with in 2015. Maybe no military shooter at all? Imagine that.