EA and DICE heard the calls for a shooter to shake off the near-future setting. And answered them with Battlefield 1. On May 6th, they revealed the Battlefield mayhem we love is heading back to World War 1.
More than 43 million views later, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Millions more views across hundreds of gameplay videos point to a lot of excitement around Battlefield 1. Views on YouTube aren’t always indicative of huge sales, but this is Battlefield. Huge sales are coming.
EA’s Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen recently gave us an idea of what the publisher is expecting for Battlefield 1 sales. “Typically a Battlefield does 15 million in a year,” Jorgensen said in EA’s latest earnings report. “Our guidance is slightly under that and we hope that excitement builds and it’ll go through that number, but for now it’s slightly under that number.”
Did You Know: The shooter genre is a $4.5 billion chunk of the video game industry according to Jorgensen. $4.5 billion!
Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1’s setting
EA is in the unique position of releasing two massive shooters within a week of each other. The vastly different settings and subsets of players Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 cater to are the only reason this could work.
EA expects Titanfall 2 to do better than the first one. “[The first] Titanfall did a little more than seven million units last time. It was early in the cycle, one of the few titles out there. We think [Titanfall 2 will] do more than that, but it’s probably closer to 10 [million] than it is to 15, as built into our guidance,” said Jorgensen.
It helps Titanfall 2 is expanding its player base big time by coming to the PS4. The potential is there for Titanfall 2 sales to exceed 10 million units.
My only concern (and it’s a small one) rests on the setting for both shooters. For years, shooters were entrenched in the World War II setting. The success of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare pushed nearly the entire genre into the present, and it quickly jumped to the future.
Are fans tired of the futuristic settings? If you glance at Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s reveal trailer, you would think so. 31 million views and the dislikes far outweighing the likes.
It’s tempting to take the anger towards Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and blanket the entire shooter genre with it. If that was the case, Titanfall 2 trailers should see the same disdain. But they don’t. Why? It’s an issue specifically with Call of Duty. And even then, I don’t think it’s as bad as the dislikes on every trailer make it out to be.
Me and many Call of Duty fans yearn for the days of old. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare stands as one of the best modern shooters (especially on consoles) in many gamers’ eyes. Activision smartly recognized this and is remastering Call of Duty 4 and packaging it in with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Will that be enough? C’mon, of course it will be.
Now, let’s talk Battlefield 1. I’m pumped. Even with Battlefield 4’s bugs, it was still my favorite shooter to release so far on Xbox One or PS4. When I heard the rumors about Battlefield 1 going to World War 1, I was a little skeptical. It’s not a conflict I know a lot about (The Great War YouTube channel changed that).
But after seeing the reveal trailer and various gameplay trailers, I’m sold. It sucks we lose helicopters, but I can manage.
EA’s own guidance points to a slight nervousness about Battlefield 1, and I believe it’s setting. I don’t think EA should worry about it. With their marketing machine and how much Battlefield 1 stands out from the crowd of shooters, the game will sell like gangbusters.
Just give us a smooth launch. That’s all I ask.
What do you think about Battlefield 1? Do you think it can outsell the average Battlefield title (15 million units per year)?