DICE: Battlefield Bad Company’s Humour Made it Too Niche for Mass Market
Humour?! FPS Fanboy smash!
It’s been a long time since the Battlefield: Bad Company series saw an update, with Bad Company 2 having released in 2010 for current-gen platforms. If you’re thinking it’s because DICE prefers the more serious approach of the main Battlefield series, you wouldn’t be half wrong. In fact, speaking to OXM, creative director Lars Gustavsson believes that Bad Company has a more niche audience because of its humour.
“It is a discussion about niche and mass market, I think. If you make your product more niche, you’ll get more happy fans, but that audience will be smaller – some people won’t care, some people will love it.
“When we did the original Bad Company and the sequel, we got a lot of criticism. Why would I play this? It’s not a serious shooter, I don’t care about this. I want a serious shooter with a more hard-boiled angle. And we thought it was fun! We loved it, we thought it was a great game. The narrative was amazing and the characters were amazing.
“So it’s not that we’ve buried the crew, so to speak. But it is true that for some reason if you want to make a game for the masses, you need to be more neutral when it comes to things like humour, because humour is very personal. Some people love it, some people hate it.”
Creative director Patrick Bach also talked about whether humour wouldn’t be the way to go, seeing as how characters like Nathan Drake crack a quip more than once. “He’s not really funny. He’s serious, but he’s kind of ironic. I’m happy for franchises that can do that. I think Bad Company was perhaps part of that group. I love franchises that don’t take themselves too seriously.
“I think that games in general can be anything. Sometimes you get the feeling that the community and the press only think there’s one type of game, the ultimate game, and for me it’s becoming more and more diverse, much like the movie industry, which I think is a good comparison.
“When you started out it was quite serious, because it was an expensive business to make a movie, so you’d [effectively] have this stage drama that you’d film, but then you start to add comedy to it and make money off that, and turn it into a genre, and now you have all types of genres, where it isn’t just based on comedy, drama, documentary, or whatever – it’s also how you consume those movies.”
Regardless, will this affect our chances of seeing another Bad Company game? Never say never, but it will be a while.