Activision’s Call of Duty has long reigned supreme when it comes to military shooters, but that could change with this year’s Battlefield 6. Though there have been times over the years when it seemed like Battlefield might outsell any given year’s Call of Duty title, most recently in 2016 with the WW1-based Battlefield 1, developer DICE’s large-scale multiplayer shooter always seems to come up short.
Few concrete details are known, but Battlefield 6 is expected to finally be returning to a modern combat setting and to feature bigger battles than ever before. That’s good news for many Battlefield fans, but it will take more than a return to modern combat to dethrone Call of Duty. To outsell the king of shooters, Battlefield needs a steady stream of content for players to engage with, something Call of Duty has long excelled at thanks to multiple Activision Blizzard support studios helping to create content for each new game release.
Now, at long last, Battlefield seems like it will be receiving the same treatment. Recent news that studios DICE LA and Need for Speed studio Criterion will be assisting with Battlefield 6 means DICE’s shooter finally has the support it needs to compete with Call of Duty. Here’s why 2021 could be the year Battlefield finally comes out on top.
Call of Duty knows content is king. That’s exactly why a new season for the game rolls out every two months, packed with new cosmetics, maps, game modes, and more. There is always something new to see or unlock, and that steady stream of new content every few weeks is what keeps players coming back for more. That kind of content production is only possible thanks to multiple studios having a part in each game’s ongoing creation. Activision Blizzard knows Call of Duty is a huge money-maker, and they aren’t afraid to make sure it stays that way by devoting as many reimgs as possible to each game’s development and post-launch content plans.
Battlefield, traditionally, has been a largely DICE-developed affair. While that has resulted in some stellar shooters over the years, in today’s gaming environment dominated by regular new content drops in games like Call of Duty or even Fortnite, DICE simply can’t keep up. That fact was made clear with Battlefield 5. Though developed as a live-service game in mind, Battlefield 5 saw frequent content droughts and feature delays, sometimes for months at a time. Battlefield games are notorious for releasing in a buggy state, and having to fix bugs and other various launch issues distracts from creating and implementing new game content.
If DICE wants to truly compete with Call of Duty, that can’t happen with Battlefield 6. It’s for that reason the news regarding Criterion and DICE LA is encouraging. DICE will finally be receiving the support it needs to not only finish the game and launch it in a polished state, but also to help create future content for years to come. Criterion is no stranger to working with DICE, having created Battlefield 5‘s Firestorm battle royale mode and also helping with Star Wars Battlefront and Battlefront 2. With Criterion’s extra help, Battlefield 6 has a good chance of launching in a better state than more recent entries in the franchise, which will mean fewer distractions and a smoother transition into the live service portion of the game’s lifespan.
DICE LA will be primarily responsible for creating content for the live service portion of Battlefield 6. With the studio having already helped on previous Battlefield entries and now being helmed by Vince Zampella of Respawn Entertainment fame (the studio behind Titanfall and Apex Legends), DICE LA is in a great position to help make Battlefield 6 be all it can be and help to relieve some of the pressure on DICE proper to create new content.
Battlefield 6 has huge potential, and having two studios like Criterion and DICE LA lend support puts EA’s shooter franchise in a great position to finally outdo its longtime rival. Whether or not that comes to pass remains to be seen, but it seems clear EA is finally dedicated to putting forward the necessary reimgs to make it a real possibility.